Abortion debate - Respect on both sides

The Oireachtas Committee on Health, chaired by Fine Gael’s Jerry Buttimer, has begun compiling a report on its hearings on the heads of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

The report will be forwarded to Government before the full text of the bill is published.

Members of the Oireachtas will then, of course, have their say on the bill, in line with the legislative process. There is a real danger, however, that this debate could become hysterical.

Mr Buttimer had already received obscene threats. He has called on Church leaders to criticise those elements of the anti-abortion movement that are engaging in vile and vitriolic tactics that are unChristian.

It is important that responsible people on all sides of this debate should ensure that is conducted in a rational, mature way. That may be expecting too much of some people, but the perceived leaders — episcopal and legislative — should at least conduct themselves in an exemplary manner.


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