SUZANNE HARRINGTON: Forget foetus frenzy and focus on actual children

SO, Ireland. This is it. This is the week where the present cleaves from the past, like those bits of rocket that fall away as the rocket gathers momentum. That rocket is the voice of Irish women.

On Friday, history will be made, when the will of Irish women becomes enshrined in law. It’s hard to imagine another outcome.

As an Irish woman abroad, catching snatches of the debate, it is a relief to not have been in Ireland in the run up to May 25. The poster-covered lamp posts, the televised bun fights, the rhetoric, the shouting, the piety, the fury and the ignorance. The relentlessness of it, and the black and white thinking.

What is boils down to is that some people think the life of a woman is not more important than the life of a foetus, while other people believe that it is. Even writing that sentence feels insane; yet here we are. All that energy, passion, committment, to ‘save’ something that has a one-in-three chance of spontaneously aborting itself in the first trimester.

What is it about a two-inch foetus that causes such a furore?

I only ask because there seems to be so many other things that are so much more important. Like the lives of the children already born who are having a terrible time — why don’t those concerned over the fate of two inch foetuses redirect this energy towards the fate of the living, to the children who are in dire situations? The lost, the abused, the displaced, the refugee kids, and the war orphans.

It’s not like you’d have to look too hard to find a suffering child, a deprived child or an unloved child. These are the future adults we should be worrying about, rather than half an ounce of dividing cells inside the deep privacy of a woman’s body.

Not to be doomy, but humanity is not doing too well at the moment — we are ruled by psychopathic billionaires, we have broken our eco system so badly that our planet may end up shrugging us off like a bad dose of nits, there is war, hunger, drought, disease, and Donald Trump. Yet what are people freaking out about in Ireland? The preservation of a two inch foetus. I find this is genuinely baffling.

There isn’t enough food to feed the living, because we still haven’t got the hang of sharing resources. War is conducted for profit. We reward greed, as we destroy our habitat.

Yet a chunk of the Irish population has chosen the proposed legalisation of first trimester abortion as their preferred topic about which to freak out.

Forget feminism, forget about the basic human rights of half of the population (the female half, lest we need reminding).

Logic alone would dictate that those who have worked themselves into a frenzy about foetuses could harness this frenzy to far greater good.

By focusing on actual children in need instead, and helping them live their
actual lives.

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