“We Have A System That Is Actually Working.”

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Mayo Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin (top) went on Newstalk’s lunchtime show with Jonathan Healy yesterday to discuss with Dearbhail McDonald (above) – the implications following the death of Savita Halappanavar.

And…

…the need for clarity

Jonathan Healy: “It has given rise to the question again about legislation and there is a lack of legislation in this country. We’ve had a number of doctors on our station today, and they’ve been speaking on other stations aswell, saying that they need clarity in relation to this. The Tánaiste said they’re going to bring swift legal clarity to this. How quickly do you think that can be done?

Michelle Mulherin: Ok. Well, just seeing as you started off the story talking about the case of Savita and her loss, the loss of her life in circumstances we don’t fully know and even if we know some facts and we need, I suppose, a medical interpretation of how events preceded. I think we have to begin at a point here that, and it seems to be accepted across the board that this country is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby and therefore one of the safest places in the world to be a mother giving birth and delivering a baby. So we have a case now where a woman has lost her life. Now, well we have to think that, for the most part, we have a system that’s actually working and until we would…

Healy: “Michelle…”

Mulherin: “If I could, if I can just say…”

Healy: “I just want to bring in a point and I’m presuming you’ve heard. We had Peter Boylan on this programme earlier on. We had the Master of the Holles Street Maternity Hospital this morning saying to us, very explicitly, that they need legislation so they know that they are operating within the law. They are saying that legal action, sorry, that legislation is needed and that it is the likes of yourself and others in Leinster House that need to take the leadership on this.”

Mulherin: “OK.. And I won’t disagree, that there has to be leadership and there has to be clarity but it also has to be said that at the moment that, as regards the law, the Irish law, and as regards medical ethics that, when there are life-threatening complications to a mother and they are identified, it’s not a case of ‘well, the doctor might of mightn’t whatever their personal view is on the situation’, they are obliged to act to preserve the life of the mother. And that means that we know there is an equal right to life: the mother and the unborn. But, where the life of the mother, where there’s a real and substantial risk, from what the X case tells us, that means they have to act, they have to intervene and if, as a result of an intervention to save that woman’s life, the baby is lost, well then that is lawful in our, within our country…”

Healy: “So you’re telling us we don’t need legislation?”

Mulherin: “We have to start at that point and really put it in context. And really, in this situation, that that standard of care and level of care was not meted out, well then, which will be revealed by an inquiry, in relation to the tragic case that we’re talking about, well then necessary action has to be taken. In relation to the clarity, I would agree. And, what I would agree here is, at the end of the day, it’s a medical decision. So we go to doctors and we say to doctors, is this a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother? So, it bats back to the doctor so what we’re really here asking this expert group is we’re not going into the area of abortion on demand. We’re saying that, in the case of a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, which I presume, as medical science progresses, that the view can be different on this, so it’s not something that’s cast in stone. So what we’re asking doctors, in a way, in conjunction with lawyers, on this expert group, to report back to us the public, who are not the experts, and say that these are the circumstances…”

Healy: “Can I just bring in Dearbhail McDonald, who is the legal affairs correspondent with the Irish Independent, who’s been listening to Michelle Mulherin there, Dearbhail?”

McDonald: “Listening and shaking my head and speaking in a personal capacity, it’s that kind of response from one of the few female legislators that we have that makes me despair as a woman, as a sister, as a daughter, as someone who hopes to be a mother one day, that there is simply that level of denial on the Fine Gael backbenches of the need for legislation. Whether you are pro-choice, whether you are anti-choice/pro-life, whatever label you pick to choose, there is a need for clarity. The constitutional…”

Mulherin: “I, I…I’ve said that, what are you talking about…”

McDonald: “Excuse me..but you’re not taking it that step further…”

Mulherin: “You’re taking it to a personal level…”

McDonald: “Michelle, you were given a great run there, if you’d let me just, if you’d let me just finish. What worries me about Fine Gael, in particular, is that the Constitutional position, and not everyone is happy with it, is that, as Michelle has said, is that if there’s a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, as distinct from a health risk, that includes suicide, there should be, that abortions are allowed in those circumstances, what the Supreme Court said, back in 1992, the late Niall McCarthy, when he said look we are not judges, it’s not our job to program society. The failure of the legislature, of the body politic, to legislate in this area is in excusable. Here we are in 20 years later. Twenty years later. And there’s a risk, if Michelle’s kind of reluctance to admit the need for legislation that would assist, like you heard Jonathan this morning, on your news station, and on others, doctors, you know, speaking about what the European Court of Human Rights recognised in Strasbourg, as the chilling effect of criminalisation, in conjunction with the lack of clarity in our laws. So our politicians, you know, and again, we don’t know the circumstances of Savita’s death. But what her death has done, has catapulted this issue back and here we are. We need laws, for wherever on the spectrum you lie, we need laws that give our doctors confidence to make the decisions that they do in distressing situations and we need confidence for women. And, of course, Ireland is one of the safest places for women to give birth but I can assure you that there are women out there today just wondering, ‘well if that was me, and in that situation, would my doctor be afraid to act because of these laws criminalised’. Our body politic of which Michelle is an active and prominent member, must do that now, they must legislate, they must execute their political duty and serve everybody well in this situation. And what worries me is that there’s a contingency within Fine Gael that seems reluctant to go that extra step and legislate.”

Healy: “Michelle Muherin.”

Mulherin: “No, sorry. Look, look. That, that. What’s happening here is and unfortunately I saw on this poor woman’s story, there’s an extreme of one side and we’ve an extreme on another side. We are acting in a very responsible way, in accordance with the Programme for Government. We have put an expert group in place. It is not my job to pre-empt what they have to say…”
Talk over each other
McDonald: “Do you support legislation, Michelle? Do you support legislation?”

Mulherin: “Sorry now, Dearbhail, excuse me, excuse me. I’m a very, I’ve a great appetite for straight talking…”

McDonald: “Well do you support legislation?”

Mulherin: “No, no, as far as I’m concerned, we see what this has to say, we see what the report has to say, if I’m going to be, for the sake of, you know, crystal ball gazing and saying here, ‘well, actually, you know it should be X, Y and a Z, without respect to the fact that we have a group that are looking at something which has not been done before. So. The idea…It’s absolutely ridiculous to say there’s no serious approach…”

Healy: “Can I phrase the question a different way? Can I phrase the question in a different way, Michelle? If the Government, can I just ask you, if the Government proposes…”

Mulherin: “No, can I just say one thing? Can I finish? We have a judgement here that we’re very prepared to deal with, the A,B,C case, the European Court of Human Rights and we have the X case and yes, there should be clarity but let’s be very clear.”

McDonald: “In law, clarity in law, Michelle.”

Mulherin: “No, because the idea is, we’re all clear and the law stands that there’ll be no abortion on demand, we have to tease out the implications of when a woman can access, and yes, so there can be clarity for doctors but as far as I’m concerned at the moment the, the..the mother, the doctors are entitled to act and must act to save the life of the mother. And if a doctor has not done this, well then the doctor is in the wrong.”

Healy: “Well we don’t know…”

Mulherin: “No, sorry, I’m talking about across the board, in any case. In any case, in any case. And that’s the protection that people have at the…”

Healy: “If the Government, of which you area part of, on the back of this, produces legislation that you are uncomfortable with, for whatever position you draw, will you back it because you’re a member of that Government or would you be willing to walk away?”

Mulherin: “Sorry, hold on, this isn’t about politics. This is about teasing out one of the most sensitive issues in our country, one of the most inflammatory issues in this country, as I say, on both sides. I will face up to, in relation to the objective of the X case which is that a mother should not lose her life because she’s given a baby, she’s given birth to a child or she’s pregnant. That is the law of the land and that is not because one is pro-life or pro-choice, religious or not religious, that is the law of the land at the moment. We have to get clarity surrounding the thinking of doctors so that us, as a general public, can point and say ‘well this is, in this circumstances, what that means’. But at the end of the day, can I just really say…”

Healy: “There’s no-one disagreeing on the issue of clarity. Dearbhail, I’ll let you finish in a minute.Michelle:we’ve a little bit of time, so there’s no rush anywhere. Dearbhail?

McDonald: “In the course of five minutes, my despair is now kind of bordering on contempt. I attended two years ago, Jonathan, a European Court of Human Rights hearing in the ABC case, involving Ireland, where the State was brought before the Strasbourg court and what the Ireland legal representation said at that stage was look, you know, referencing the X case and the Supreme Court, they said there’s a clear and bright blue line in Irish law that everybody knows of and is aware of. And the European Court of Human Rights said ‘no there isn’t’ where it’s in respect to Ireland’s general, you know, you know, Ireland’s profound moral opposition to abortion on demand. You have an existing Constitutional right to abortion, as per the X case and you know there isn’t a clear and bright blue line because there is no, there is nothing in the law to assist the courts and others. And what I’ve heard or actually what I’m picking up on more from Michelle is what she’s not saying because she’s telling us that she wants clarity, clarity, clarity but when we ask the direct question do you support legislation because what is clarity in a legal context, it is law. And all, and what the European Court of Human Rights, and what many people are looking for, I don’t think there’s any prospect of looking for abortion on demand in Ireland. But what we people are saying is…”

Mulherin: “Are you, are you…”

McDonald: “People are saying is ‘put into the law’. You know when you talk about clarity in a legal context, what you’re talking about is the law and what people are saying ‘put into the law. put into the law the constitutional position that it is, put into law, put into statute, the legal effect to the X case ruling. And that’s what just really, really makes me angry and despair because people are talking about Savita’s case being a tipping point and to be honest, not if the view as articulated, or not articulated by Michelle in the course of this conversation, if that is carried through in our body politic, I am just so angry that she can’t even answer the question, ‘would you support legislation’.”

Healy: “Michelle, can you respond to that please.
McDonald: No, look, we have a report, we have to see what is recommended in the report and yes, the move then is towards clarity and in whatever way that needs to be done, then we do it.”

Healy: “There’s no movement…”
[Talk over each other]

Healy: “I’m in the middle here. Can I just ask you, there’s no need to move toward clarity. We need clarity. We don’t need to move towards clarity.”

Mulherin: “Well, ok. That sounds like we’re splitting hairs. We…Once the report is in place, we act on foot of the report. We act on foot of the report, in relation to the, the, as I said, at the end of the day, it’s to do with establishing, from the point of view of the person who is the ordinary person and in this case the woman what the criteria is, or what the guidelines are, or what the law is, whatever you want to call it. So that I can know well, in this circumstance, doctors are considering this a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother. But I think it should, you know, there’s talk here as though there’s no protection for women.”

McDonald: “All doctors want is legal protection.”

Mulherin: “There is protection for women in this country and you know it’s very easy to give lip service to say this is a safe place to have babies, either it is or it isn’t a safe place to have babies. And if there’s a particular cases that arise then we deal with those. And yes, we also have to deal with the implications of the ABC case and I don’t know, I, like, wherever you’re getting the idea that we’re trying to avoid something or not deal with something, we’re waiting on a report that is a very responsible thing to do. We’re waiting….”

Healy: “You have the report now, when do you think there will be clarity?”

Mulherin: “I don’t have the report. The report is with the minister. And the minister…the minister…”

Healy: “The Government has the report, of which you’re a member…”

Mulherin: “Pardon?”

Healy: The Government has the report, of which you are a member.

Mulherin: “Sorry, now. I don’t see the report. The minister sees the report, he deals with Cabinet, then, then we see the report. And yes, to tell you the truth, I welcome, the sooner the better the report is published. Because this isn’t, this a debate that’s a bigger debate than something beyond politicians. And I’m very mindful of that.”

Healy: “OK.”

Mulherin: “So, you know, this is spurious sort of stuff. We are going to act and we will act in a clear fashion and it will be left very clear the whole situation in relation to our implementation of the ABC ruling, very, very clear.”

Healy: “I have to leave it there, Michelle.”

Previously: She So Forni

Mulherin: The Saturday Night Show Transcript

76 thoughts on ““We Have A System That Is Actually Working.”

  1. Paul Moloney

    Genuine question; how many of our TDs are of average or below intelligence? I get the feeling some are cute hoors with a great ability to make contacts, but that’s as far as it goes.

    P.

        1. Caroline

          Bar is packed with jaw-dropping idiots. All professions are full of profoundly cretinous people who just happen to be good at learning stuff off by heart.

  2. Jess

    “So, you know, this is spurious sort of stuff.”

    I absolutely agree. What a load of waffle from an elected representative… I do despair.

  3. Laura

    On her website Michelle lists her favourite film as Twelve Angry Men. Obviously to imply she’s concerned with the necessity of justice in society. No time for angry women though – not even one.

    1. Dave, Dublin

      Twelve Angry Men is actually about how a chancer can get someone off a murder charge through bullying and smooth talk. Makes sense that politicians flock to it.

    1. Oh Danny Boy.......

      Yes the catholic fornication lady with a partner and child if i do remember correctly. Stones glasshouses etc.

      1. Listrade

        Referendum 1 – following X Case government attempted to make it unconstitutional to have an abortion if the woman was suicidal. It failed. the majority of the Irish citizenship did not embody that principle.

        Referendum 2 – government again tried to “clarify” legal position by making abortion illegal if a woman was suicidal. It failed. The majority Irish citizenship did not embody that principle.

        Just who is this average citizen these idiots are supposed to be representing and voicing the opinion?

    2. Jess

      Probably because they’re too worried about varadkar or loose lips lucinda planting their foot in their mouth

  4. Sidney

    Living in the dark ages still! It infuriates me that politicians don’t give a straight answer instead of the waffle they come out with. Put simply, this wan’s a complete moron.

  5. Dec

    I completely agree. Mulherin is talking about medical legislation and it sounds more like she is winging it. McDonald comes across (not only in this encounter) as a learned, well read and intelligent woman. I just don’t see how someone like this is representing us and charged with implementing this sort of legislation. She is diving back to reports or ‘expert advice’ from the doctors but they are looking to government for clarity. Its the blind leading the blind.

    I might ad an article was put up here from the Irish Times where consultants in Ireland (as used bu the anti-abortion brigade) came to the conclusion that in no circumstances would abortion be needed to save the life of the mother.

    It’s awful to see this negligence and incompetence.

  6. Murtles

    Doctors call for legislation, the people of Ireland call for legislation and the people of the world call for legislation. Mulherin : Nah we don’t need legislation. I weep.

  7. Kdoc

    Judging from her extensive waffle, she must have graduated from the Bertie Ahern school of English – speaking at length but saying nothing.

    1. Frodo Baggins

      I couldn’t, i mean that is to say , I didn’t … can we… I never read teh entire…well this article..

      How does she get by in life speaking like this. I’d leave the room if someone tried to speak to me like that. Incredible.

  8. frillykeane

    Right. First comment on the awful desperate tradgedy.

    Clarity. Fúcking sick to me hole hearing this. Needing Clarity ….Requires Clarity …More Clarity

    Ireland needs to grow up. A medical professional asked, and only after days of suffering as well as hearing all the facts of her condition, for a termination

    She was refused.
    It’s time.
    It’s time for discussion to stop and for cop on to take over.

    My view on abortion hasn’t changed in 27 years. “politics should stick to taking care of potholes and let the women of Ireland take care of their own holes”

  9. Clampers Outside!

    Michelle Mulherin can just STFU and all of her ilk. We’ve had two referendums and a ruling from the ECHR and twenty years in waiting for something to be done that the people of Ireland have called for.

    Enough is enough. You work for me Michelle, and all voters in the two referendums, you’ve been told what to do so bloody DO IT. None of your feckin’ knuckle dragging nonsense and waffle.

    Rant over!

  10. Cora

    Is there any way we can legislate the following: as a TD, if you are proven to be an idiot in your subject matter, you are immediately replaced by the person who proved you are an idiot.

    I would prefer if Dearbhail McDonald could replace Mulherin until the legistation is complete, then Mulherin can go back to representing dying Ireland.

  11. Daniel Sullivan

    I should be surprised but I no longer am at the number of elected reps who appear to think that because the Supreme Court ruled in the X Case that the Constitutional allows for something this means it is provided for by law. It isn’t. We need detailed legislation to codify exactly what the law allows for within the limits of the constitution, that’s the job of the national legislature.

    In essence the constitution allows for law to draft to provide for something, until that law is drafted the precise situation remains unclear. It’s the difference between you being able to build a house on your land in principle and you making a detailed planning application and being granted permission for that specific design of house. The principle is there, provided for by the 1983 amendment ironically enough but the detail isn’t.

    It is quite clear that some members of my party are beyond clueless.

    1. Daniel Sullivan

      I should be surprised but I no longer am at the number of elected reps who appear to think that because the Supreme Court ruled in the X Case that the Constitution allows for something that this means it is provided for by law. It isn’t. We need detailed legislation to codify exactly what the law allows for within the limits of the constitution, that’s the job of the members of national legislature.

      In essence the constitution allows for law to be drafted to provide for something, until that law is drafted the precise situation of what is allowed remains unclear.

      It’s the difference between you being able to build a house on your land in principle and you making a detailed planning application and being granted permission for that specific design of house. The principle is there, provided for by the 1983 amendment ironically enough but the detail isn’t.

      It is quite clear that some members of my party are beyond clueless.

  12. Boba Fettucine

    Next general election I will be contacting all my prospective candidates to ask if they believe in a god.

    Any who respond in the affirmative will not receive any vote.

    We need to get god-botherers out of all positions of power.

      1. Munkifisht

        No, that’s true (and I think it’s better to think of Humanists than Atheists) will tend to side with reason and fact rather than mumbo jumbo hocus pocus and lunacy.

        1. lou

          Fair point! I know I’d tend to favour an atheist over a believer, all other things being equal, but being seeing some of what has gone down in the atheist/sceptic community (insofar as there is one) has made me a bit wary, especially in regards to issues that would affect women moreso than men.

    1. Oh Danny Boy.......

      What we all need to do is vote for people whos personal views agree with yours and are willing to buck the whip system if they have to rather than being good party people and voting for crap they dont agree with..

    2. me :)

      I think that’s a bit harsh. I believe in God. Does not mean I think what’s going on here is right – quite the opposite. I think that there should be clear legal guidelines in relation to the X Case and I do believe that there should be abortion available in this country.
      I think a better question to ask them would be their stance on the issue with out the bull rather than whether they believe in God.

  13. Zackersetu

    Lets be clear on the argument here,,,,, A woman died because Doctors feared prosecution (well that is an assumption based on Dearbhail McDonald’s arguments above) however I think we need to be very careful, It would appear that arguments for legislation are being focused with that, albeit very valid tagline, however there are questions that are being very much overlooked. What I want to know is what truly informed their inaction? Yes, it is clear that they probably feared repercussions (negligently and in violation of all a doctor should stand for based on any reading of the Declaration of Geneva Hippocratic Oath version) however I have not heard once yet that the doctors took any legal advice on this. (please correct me if I’m wrong)

    This in mind, Savita did not die very quickly, but deteriorated over a relatively long time, This was not a Grey’s Anatomy, heat of the moment decision, there was time for doctors and management at that hospital to take legal advice and act. The questions I want answers to is

    a) did they seek legal advice, and of whom?
    b) if not, then why the hell didn’t they?
    c) what was that legal advice? (never going to be told of course)
    d) and if that legal advice was ‘do nothing’ as effectively was done… why?

    It is the legal advice in addition to the doctors in this scenario that should be scrutinised otherwise we are too one sided.

    I pose this thought. Should the inquiry result in the fact that the Doctors just made a bad decision themselves. That is negligence plain and simple. The Government can state that clarity in the law was not the issue, but malpractice, and the death of the young woman was a tragic medical misadventure.

    Should this happen, the Pro Choice movement surrounding her death will loose huge impetus and force.

    Lets face it the death of this young woman was as a result of the doctors not providing the treatment. They will suffer the consequences following an inquiry (Well I certainly hope so) but that inquiry will be medical in nature. The focus needs to be on the lawyers and the hospital management and culture. It is their misunderstanding and their confusion as well as the Doctor’s malpractice that ultimately led to this young woman’s death. To focus on the treatment is to close the door with a ruling of malpractice.

    My (long) two cents!! I’m probably saying whats already being said, so apologies if I am duplicating

      1. Daniel Sullivan

        If you repeal the 8th Amendment then the justification for the Supreme courts intrepretation of it in the X Case which is what provides for abortion in certain circumstances disappears. You’d actually be setting things back to the 1861 Act that prevents abortion.

        1. Boba Fettucine

          8th amendment was brought in by anti-choice brigade who feared that Article 41 of the constitution which refers to the “imprescriptable rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law” of the family could and would be used to allow legal abortion. Get rid of 8th amendment and Article 41 could supersede 1861 law.

  14. Bangalore

    Reading some of the opinions from politicians and pro lifers since this broke I really cannot help but make mental notes of people I’d like to run over in my car

  15. KeithFahey’s Moustache

    If people request a procedure that they are legally entitled to, that will save their life and they are refused.

    The system does not work!!

    The most interesting thing this week has been the Pro-Life groups saying that she was actually entitled to an abortion in this case and no legislation is required. It reaks of damage control as it appears even they know this is a turning point. Well at least it should be

    1. lou

      If she was entitled to an abortion and refused, then AT THE VERY LEAST we need legislation compelling doctors to provide procedures that patients are entitled to. If you think your morals or whatever wouldn’t allow you to provide medical terminations (again, at the very least), then frankly you have no business working in obstetrics.

  16. Navy_Blue

    Michelle Mulherin gives the impression that she has only discovered the facts of life very recently! She is a neanderthal – a thorough embarrassment to the Irish education system.

    Fair play to the ever reliable Dearbhail for sticking it to her.I wish that she could have more opportunities to publicly tackle these morons.

    1. deliverusfromevil

      That’s Kevin “illegitimate children are bastards” Myers.
      Even a stopped clock is right twice-a-day.
      There is a world of intelligent and thoughtful commentators out there – Myers is not one of them, he was trollin’ long before dinternet.

  17. Barton Keyes

    Any wrestling fans remember how groan-worthy it was when Vince McMahon was revealed as the Higher Power?

    Yeah, that’s how I felt when I clicked into this one. “Hmm, someone, even in light of what has happened, seems to be arguing that things are flowing along smoothly, everything is grand………hmmm, who exactly could that be………*click*……..of…..f**king…..course….it’s you!”

    Michelle Mulherin is gifted with the ability to obfuscate the fact of the matter by talking about peripheral matters. just one example: That it’s safe for a woman to give birth in this country has exactly zero to do with this discussion, the entire fornication debacle being another example, wasn’t that in response to a call to legislate for the X case?

    Also yeah, I did just bring up WWF in a thread about Irish law on abortion, deal with it :P

  18. Melton_Carbury

    To me this doesn’t bode well for the report that will eventually come out. She’s saying to wait for the report’making me think that she believes that it, in some way, backs what she is saying. unless of course you accept her assertion that she has no idea what’s in the report. I can’t believe for a second that Reilly just ‘glanced’ at it, and didn’t tell his partners what was in it.

  19. Catherine

    We’re relying on the likes of Mulherin, who is unable to string a coherent sentence together, to legislate on our behalf. How depressing.

  20. AdamSmyth

    There is absolutely no need for “medical abortions” or any new legislation. We don’t see newspapers celebrating when a woman is bloacked from having an abortion and her child survives and goes on to become a fully functioning member of society.

  21. BLC

    I think her problem is that implementing the referendums would give us a law allowing abortion where there is a risk of suicide. That would absolutely be abortion on demand, in practice. We all know this. If I had an unwanted pregnancy, I would claim to be suicidal to access an abortion. If I were a doctor, I would sign off in a second on any woman in a similar situation.

      1. BLC

        Couldn’t agree more (within obvious and prety liberal time limits). I’m just trying to figure out why they haven’t legislated.

        1. BLC

          The only solution that will protect suicidal women from enforced pregnancy is abortion on demand. The downside? That women who aren’t really suicidal can’t now be forced to stay pregnant.

          That doesn’t sound like much of a downside to me.

          1. Daniel Sullivan

            But isn’t that where and why there is the massive divide is on the issue, those who self describe as right to lifers would say that it involves in the needless extinguishing of a life. So in their view the downside is the death of thousands at the behest of women who aren’t suicidal and weren’t the victims of any crime at all but who may be making their decision in a rush or due to a temporary set of circumstances that they might come to regret. None of that pertains in the current specific situation being discussed but it’s the argument that they would make on the broader issue of abortion on demand and in the abstract it is a viewpoint that possibly/probably has more popular support.

          2. BLC

            I think that’s a fair summary. That’s where the argument should be had.

            I wonder if you’re right on the numbers. Certainly it’s divisive enough to end some TD’s careers.

          3. Daniel Sullivan

            The problem with the numbers is that the Irish people are rather perversely largely opposed to abortion on demand in principle but whenever presented with a detailed case in practice are inclined to support it. In other words, we don’t support it for people we don’t know personally but we reckon it should be available for us if we ever needed it. A bit like how we’re wholly outraged at what we see as the interference of others in an planning application that we might be making but heaven help our neighbours if they wanted to build next to us.

  22. BLC

    Very true. That’s why politicians need to take a lead, I guess, which is just what they’ve been too terrified to do.

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