The Abortion Rights Campaign which is fighting for legalized abortion in Ireland assures Catholics that you can be both Catholic and a cheerleader for killing the unborn. Whew. That’s a load off a lot of people’s minds.
The radical pro-abortion group is issuing a list of “myths” about abortion. Here’s the 8th one:
Myth #8: Ireland is ‘pro-life’ (because it’s a Catholic country)
But the truth is much simpler:
Truth #8: Being Catholic does not mean you are anti-abortion. At least 150,000 women have travelled from Ireland for an abortion in the last 30 years.
The group complains that a poll showing a pro-life majority in the country used misleading language in their questions. And when they say misleading language, they mean words like “motherhood.”
The only recent opinion poll that has shown a supposed majority in favour of ‘constitutional protection of the unborn’ was one commissioned by the Pro Life Campaign (PLC). (Note that favouring such constitutional protection would not be in any way incompatible with favouring wider access to abortion, yet the PLC framed this poll as contradicting the Irish Times poll, which asked a completely different set of questions.) Let’s leave aside any consideration of the potential impartiality of a poll commissioned by a group with vested interests in the abortion debate and look at the questions asked.
Q1. In current medical practice in Ireland, the doctor treats the expectant mother and her baby as two patients and does his/her best to safeguard both in a crisis situation. Do you consider that this practice should be protected and safeguarded by law or not?
Q2. Are you in favour of, or opposed to constitutional protection for the unborn that prohibits abortion but allows the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life in accordance with Irish medical ethics?
Problem 1: These are leading questions padded with emotionally loaded motherhood-and-apple-pie best-case scenarios and presuppositions of medical consensuses that gloss over the lack of clarity (then as now) in Irish abortion law. ‘What marks these findings out from other research,’ remarks Caroline Simons of the PLC, ‘is the way important ethical distinctions are clarified for the benefit of respondents.’ How thoughtful! But what if respondents disagree with these positively Orwellian PLC-sanctioned ‘ethical distinctions’? (The distinction underlying the second question has no currency in modern medicine—another myth for another day.) ‘No, but…’ or ‘yes, but…’ not being available as answers, it’s perhaps best to leave the ‘ethical distinctions’ to the individual respondent and just ask the questions—as the Irish Times poll did.
Don’t you love that? “Emotionally loaded motherhood” terms. You’ve gotta’ love that.
So in short Catholics, you can be Catholic and pro-baby killing because there’s no rules anymore. Just make it up as you go along. Oh, but don’t use words like “motherhood.” That’s a rule.