They talk of choice, they talk of rights, they talk of freedom. But once again the belligerent interest groups demanding the repeal of the 8th amendment of Ireland’s constitution fail to practice what they preach.
Irish citizens who are morally conflicted or anxious on the issue are not permitted to voice their concerns or possible objections. Their right to make informed choices is not being respected. Their freedom to determine their own courses of action is anathema to the dogmatic and entrenched position of the Repeal movement who are irrevocably convinced of the moral superiority and infallibility of their crusade.
Once again the Irish media is a cacophony of consensus in favour of Repeal.
Dissenters are relegated to the sidelines of the debate. Marginalised as crazies, religious zealots, misogynists, oppressors, Opus Dei boogie men.
The Oireachtas committee established to frame the parameters for the referendum on abortion is overwhelmingly dominated by pro-abortion partisans. The two sole opponents – Senator Ronan Mullins and TD Mattie McGrath have been portrayed as cranks, have been openly derided and effectively silenced. So-called impartial experts summoned to appear before the committee have adhered closely to the preordained script, citing real life examples which were, by design, emotive, tragic outliers that, to my mind, reinforce the truism that hard cases make bad laws.
This is yet another lamentable instance of the slow demise of genuine democracy in this country. The strangling of debate. The disappearance of diversity of opinion that was always at the heart of Irish society. In its place we are left with groupthink, bullying and a new clerisy that condemns those of us who dare question them, ironically with the vehemence of the Catholic Church they so deride, as at best antiquated and uninformed, at worst as deviant and inhumane.