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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (26/07/16)

Your letters, your views.

Columnist is blind to basic human rights

I refer to Louise O’Neill’s article in your Weekend Magazine on Saturday (July 23). It is difficult to know where to start in making some observations about her diatribe.

She seems to me to harbour the usual prejudices. She left the Catholic Church because it “was so deeply misogynistic and homophobic”.

As for the misogyny read “no women priests”.

There are profound theological reasons why the priestly office has remained strictly all male and which can be better expounded on by someone better qualified than myself.

As for homophobia, the church simply recognises the most fundamental function of the sexual experience is to keep the human race in existence.

Nature has confined this experience to the union of a man and a woman.

All else is void.

Just as some people may not be able to conceive a family by virtue of a poor sperm count or such like, homosexuals and lesbians are unable to do so because their sexual orientation is misdirected.

If this for her is indeed a reason for rejecting the church so be it, but I suspect her departure from the church has more to do with the unfortunate fact that she never cultivated her faith properly in the first place.

She later tells us she and her fellow class mates in secondary school were “drip-fed a steady diet of misinformation from the media and the church about abortion”.

I found this assertion incredible.

Firstly the church doesn’t have to lie about abortion.

All it has to do is to point to the essential and gory truth about it, and how it has adversely affected the lives of so many people racked by the guilt of having taken the life of an innocent child, their own child, in the womb.

As for the media supplying misinformation about abortion — that may well be the case but it is without a doubt that all of the misinformation coming from that source favours the abortion agenda.

Yes there are people who will use hyperbolic and offensive language which is both uncharitable and unfair just like there are people who will use euphemisms and understatement to conceal the gravity of their actions.

This latter practice is a favourite of the abortion lobby who for instance describe the act of abortion as a mere “termination”.

The truth is however most harrowingly different.

Louise speaks about “my basic human right to exercise control over my own body”.

There is a more “basic human right” and that is the right to one’s own life.

She conveniently overlooks or is simply blind to this basic human right without which no other right can be enjoyed.

The 8th amendment is the last line of defense against this most basic of human rights being violated by abortion.

She might also acknowledge the attack on the unborn is an attack on every person from those in the womb to those on the verge of the tomb.

Patrick J Pyne
23 Castleowen
Co Cork

‘Grow up and stop pretending’ Louise

I recently spoke to a woman who was involved for many years in post abortion counseling.

She spoke of the many women who regretted the choice made at the time and who now have to live with the consequences.

Some had taken the decision to end their pregnancies without informing husbands/partners that they were pregnant.

I also spoke to a man whose (former) partner, with whom he had campaigned for abortion rights, had aborted their unborn child, against his wishes.

Maybe Louise O’Neill knows many women who have no regrets about their decisions, who, as she says, ‘made the decision that was right for them’.

I don’t doubt for one minute they exist.

But has she (or they) ever considered the possibility that it is they who are enforcing their views and beliefs on others, through denying opportunity for life to unborn children whose rights they regard as somewhat less than those of a fox on the run, and on others who may be impacted by such decisions but whose views are ignored.

Few of our decisions are without consequences for others.

Perhaps it is time for Louise and her friends to ‘grow up and stop pretending’ it is only women who should have a say on the life prospects of unborn children.

You never know, it might be the first step to recovery!

Rory O’Donovan.
Co. Cork

Pro-abortionists are anti-choice

Louise O’Neill refers to those who oppose abortion as ‘anti-choicers’.

It seems to me that it is those who are pro-abortion who are anti-choice.

They would deny the person who is to be aborted any choice as to whether they will live or die.

Revd Patrick G Burke
Co Kilkenny

Fatal lacking of a fair literary review

I was taken aback by the contents of a recent letter from a group called “Doctors for Choice” (Irish Examiner, July 8).

In it, this group insists that the term “fatal foetal abnormality” is a medical term which is “clearly used by medical professionals with expertise in this area of medical practice”, citing a 2010 report of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

This is quite extraordinary, since the report which they reference doesn’t actually use the term “fatal foetal abnormality” at all.

It is curious that they should cite it in an attempt to show that the term is accepted in the medical community.

Second, it is also curious that the authors appear not to have considered a more recent RCOG study published in 2012 which, rather than being a general study on the issue, as the 2010 report was, is a comprehensive examination of the specific issue of whether the use of the terms “fatal” and “lethal” in respect of such conditions is correct.

The 2012 study reviewed 75 separate pieces of research and identified 26 disorders which can be diagnosed in the womb and which are sometimes described as being “fatal” or “lethal” in common media parlance.

It concluded that “none of the malformations that are commonly described as being ‘lethal’ are in fact lethal in the strict sense.

Prolonged survival has been described in all of the conditions listed”.

It also found that in their short lives, babies born with several of these so-called “fatal” conditions have gone on to “experience awareness of those around them, hear and respond to sound, and to learn and remember”.

The damning conclusion of the 2012 study is that, apart from cases of misdiagnosis, conditions are often referred to as “fatal” in order to “make it easier for women to come to terms with termination of the pregnancy” and, shockingly, where “practitioners are aware that death is not inevitable, but believe that survivors will not have a life that is worth living”.

The report stressed how this use of terminology “can corrupt both the inner logic of the clinician’s decision-making process and the counselling of families facing difficult decisions.”

This research was not produced by or on behalf of “anti-choice commentators”, as the authors of the letter dismissively refer to those who oppose the introduction of abortion on these grounds.

It was conducted by widely renowned experts and published in the journal of the RCOG, a body which “Doctors for Choice” quote as an authority.

It is a shame, therefore, that this study seems to have been ignored by the group when it came to its own conclusions on the matter.

Barry Walsh
Dublin 3

US gun controls

Why not a proposal like black woman Michelle Obama for Presidency who has all the qualifications — good speech writer and legal background, etc.

That would settle the problem of republicans who shoot blacks for little or no reason.

Matriarchal power is needed to change gun laws and Clinton has too much ‘baggage’.

Ian Hester
Co Roscommon

New Trump tower?

In the event that Donald trump is elected US President is it true that he intends remove the plaque on the base of the Statue of Liberty bearing Emma Lazaruse’s famous poem?

“Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore/ Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,/ I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

And will he have the image atop the column replaced by an image of himself?

Brendan Casserly,

True democracy

Failed republican presidential nominee, Ted Cruz, said in his controversial speech: “We have no king or queen.

We have no dictator. We the people constrain government” which is a bit rich coming from a country where the President can exercise far greater and far more dictatorial powers than any constitutional monarch such as our own Queen Elizabeth or her representative, the Governor-General, ever could.

The fact is, the powers of the US President of the United States are fairly similar to the powers exercised by George III; whereas the Westminster system has continued to evolve into a far truer democracy of the people.

In reality, it is under a constitutional monarchy, such as that which we have in Australia, where the people truly constrain government because it is the people who re-elect or replace a government at election time and it is only the people who can remove the monarchy by referendum.

Philip Benwell
National Chair Australian Monarchist League
PO Box A1213
Sydney South NSW 1235


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