Dear Citizens


This morning.

Further to the results of the Citizens’ Assembly on the 8th amendment and abortion.

Today FM’s Juliette Gash tweets Fine Gael TD and Housing Minister Simon Coveney’s position on “abortion on demand” after she spoke with him at the Global Irish Civic Forum.

Listen to Ms Gash’s report here



In an interview with Shane Beatty, of Kildare FM, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Mr Beatty raised the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly and Fine Gael TD Richard Bruton comments in the Dáil on Wednesday where he said Fine Gael won’t be bound by the assembly’s recommendations.

At the beginning, Mr Martin said he himself has a “pro-life disposition”.

They then had the following exchange:

Shane Beatty: “Just to be clear, if someone is raped by their father, for example, and becomes pregnant as a result, what’s your view on abortion in that case?”

Micheál Martin: “Well it’s not that simple Shane…”

Speak over each other

Beatty: “Well, someone’s either pregnant or not pregnant…”

Martin: “Sorry?”

Beatty: “Someone’s either pregnant or they’re not pregnant.”

Martin: “They are indeed…”

Beatty: “…so it’s not that complex?”

Martin: “Well it actually is in terms of the… in terms of, are you talking within 10 weeks? Are you talking about within 20 weeks for example?”

Beatty: “I’m talking about a father raping his daughter.”

Martin: “Well it’s not that simple. It’s just not that simple in terms of…”

Beatty: “She becomes pregnant as a result, you don’t see that as a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’?”

Martin: “Well I don’t actually, it’s not a simple ‘yes or no’, that depends on a number of issues. That’s why…”

Beatty: “Would there be any circumstance, would there be any circumstance where a father raped his daughter, yes, go on…”

Martin: “Seán.”

Beatty: “Shane.”

Martin:I know people today who are alive whose mothers would have been, in one particular case, was raped and she was the outcome of that. And she gets very angry when people suggest that she should never have had a life. So this is not simple, and I think it’s an issue and I think that will be one of the issues that will come before us in the Oireachtas, to decide on that.”

Listen to the interview in full here

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131 thoughts on “Dear Citizens

  1. Robert

    Martin’s example is a corner case. One for which he should be turducking legislating instead of hiding behind an ill-conceived constitutional provision.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            I’ve always wondered how that happens. Genetic engineering of some sort, I assume

      1. joak joke jik

        I thought that was a quote from something, but it’s not. “We had a turducken one Christmas.” is actually a Googlewhack. Well done newsjustin, no-one in the history of the internet has ever typed that sentence before

        1. Robert

          Congratulations. Your reply (not the original comment for some reason) is now the top result in google.

          But I wonder, do the likes of justin and barnabas just type in vacuous blather just to fill in and obscure any useful discussion? Are they mere flying monkies?

          Real winners in life there.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            I didn’t think my motives could be so easily discerned. This is humiliating.

          2. newsjustin

            Ah it’s a Friday Robert. Just having some fun. There’s plenty of serious discussion below.

    1. Fairhill

      Question is did the Woman have a pint in each hand, these are the real on the ground issues at hand here

  2. ahjayzis

    If you can’t imagine yourself telling a young girl, raped by her father, that she WILL carry his child to term despite her pleas – don’t try and get doctors to do same and act like you’re a man of principle or courage. It’s disgusting.

    1. classter

      Yup, and his counter-example is a deliverate diversion.

      Nobody is suggesting that no foetus which results from rape be taken to term.

      Only that the mother can decide.

    2. Daisy Chainsaw

      It’s god’s will that Daddy put a baby in your 12 year old tummy, little girl.

      1. benblack

        I think to whole point of this ‘earth’ experience is that God does not interfere with our free will. Daddy impregnated that 12 year, not God.

        Evil people do evil things, but let’s not fight evil with evil – that’s the Gospel message, isn’t it?

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          I thought god was supposed to know everything you do before you do it, so god would know a man was about to rape his child… and does nothing to stop it.

          Of course, the logical alternative is that god doesn’t exist.

  3. Vote Rep #1

    Yeah but Sean, can we just talk about womens rights in Saudi Arabia instead? That is a lot less complicated.

  4. mildred st. meadowlark

    What a surprise there.

    I’ve marginally more respect for Coveney now, seeing as he has the balls to take a stand on it.

    Typically vague, non-committal response from FF.

  5. Yeah, Ok

    I hate this false middle ground that people are trying to make of rape and incest. For people who are prolife, rape and incest still result in a “baby”. In the case of rape that baby is probably perfectly healthy.
    The people who try to take the high moral ground (looking at you SF and Labour) by wanting to legislate for rape and incest are the worst people in this whole thing. Worse than Youth Defence. Worse than David Quinn and his 5 Iona cronies. Worse than the church. It’s saying a lot that I have more respect for those turds than I have for someone trying to pretend they’re a beacon of good sense by claiming abortion for rape, incest and FFA are the only right and true reasons.
    Abortion should be a matter between a doctor and a patient. There should be no reason for it to have any associated legislation.

  6. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    I’m genuinely conflicted about this. I THINK I support people’s right to choose, but I would probably vote against abortion on demand with no limits. I would have a moral issue with someone getting an abortion at anything over 25 or so weeks. If it was because of a FFA, then fire away, but if it were using it as a form of contraception, then hmm. If it could survive outside the womb, it’s dodgy territory in my eyes.
    My opinions have softened a lot as I’ve gotten older, but not to the totally liberal viewpoint.

    Are there many people on here who support abortion on demand, no matter what?

    1. realPolithicks

      “Are there many people on here who support abortion on demand, no matter what?”

      What I support is a womans right to choose what happens with her own body, neither I, you or anyone else should have any say.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        how about at 35 weeks and 6 days? would you still support the mother’s exclusive right to choose what happens?

        1. Cian

          Brother – can you tell me what scenarios you can think of that would have a woman at 35 weeks and 6 days asking for an abortion?

          1. ZeligIsJaded

            Not realising she was pregnant?

            It happens – rarely, but it does happen

          2. Brother Barnabas

            No, I can’t – but then again I don’t spend too long thinking about this.

            It’s not really the point, though. I’m just trying to understand whether people who support abortion on demand “no matter what” really do mean “no matter what” or not?

            For the record (like anyone cares), I do support everyone’s right to choose – but not “no matter what”. I’d prefer there to be some sort of term restriction. And I think during the third trimester is wrong.

          3. Cian

            Brother – ” I’d prefer there to be some sort of term restriction. And I think during the third trimester is wrong.”
            If we can’t understand why someone might want an abortion during the third trimester we should be slow to prevent it from happening. Perhaps have a more complex process the further along you are – e.g. have a cooling off period.

            But I trust that women won’t wait until they are 34 weeks pregnant before option for an abortion – unless they have a very good reason.

        2. scottser

          yep. but you’d imagine a woman would have made up her mind waaaaay before 35 weeks. and you’d imagine also her doctor would have plenty to say on the subject also.

        3. realPolithicks

          Brother that’s just a nonsensical question, at that point a person would simply give birth.

      2. Yep

        To be fair, term limits are going to be a real issue for the vast majority who support “a woman’s right to choose”. Myself included.

        1. Nigel

          Once you’re debating term limits you’ve agreed in principle with the right to choose. The limits are just a detail, albeit an important one to many people.

          1. newsjustin

            The “viability” thing is nonsense. It’s a complete and utter fig-leaf.

      3. classter

        I support abortion on demand with no limits, I think.
        I could possibly be persuaded on term limits.

        How can you support a ‘right to choose’ and oppose ‘abortion on demand’?

        1. mildred st. meadowlark


          It is no one’s business, barring the woman, (and man, if that us the case) and her doctor. We do not get to judge, because we cannot know what would lead her to that decision.

          1. jungleman

            That is nonsense! Are you really saying you believe a woman should have the right to opt for an abortion within a week of giving birth?

            Seriously now, think about that.

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            I’m saying it’s none of my business, and it’s none of yours either.

            I don’t think I can make it plain enough.

          3. jungleman

            It is the business of the State as the State must vindicate the life of the unborn, firstly.

            You might say the killing of innocent Palestinian children by Israeli bombs is none of our business either then, yes?

            But I suspect you wouldn’t agree with me on that assertion. It is surely the duty of all human beings to strive for the good of others. This would surely include an unborn baby within days of birth.

            I am pro choice, but within reason.

          4. mildred st. meadowlark

            Well, I would I agree with you. I don’t feel it is right to ‘abort’ a pregnancy within days of it being born.

            Can you realistically see that happening there? Look to the Miss Y case. What happened there? The child was taken out via c-section (well before term) and put up for adoption.

            Can you imagine a woman capable of carrying a child to term and asking in the final days for an abortion? I certainly can’t.

            By the time the child is 30 weeks, you can feel it’s movements clearly. You can see it when the child kicks or stretches, you can tell when it has the hiccups. Imagine feeling all that, sharing your body with somebody in that way for 40 weeks? Do you know anyone that would opt for an abortion by that time, feeling those things?

          5. Compassion Cash

            No, but you would be ok to if someone wanted to kill that life . Because it’s none of our business. Ridiculous stuff. Sick.

          6. mildred st. meadowlark

            Ah, I see you missed the part where I said I don’t believe that abortion in such cases is right. Personally.

            And, as I have also mentioned, I highly doubt that the Irish government would ever permit such a thing to occur – where a viable child is killed – once again, look at what happened to the baby in the Miss Y case. The baby was born by c-section and (as far as I know) put up for adoption.

          7. jungleman

            I think the main thing to realise is that it isn’t a straight forward case of just providing that it is up to the individual and her doctor. We must provide for all possible scenarios. Legislation and the constitution must be thorough and all-encompassing in respect of the intention and wishes of the people.

    2. Donal

      I support the right to choose.
      The term limit thing is in my mind nonsense.
      Most pregnant women who get to a stage of pregnancy whereby the foetus is close to viable outside the womb want to have the baby. They choose to continue.
      Most terminations after viability are due to a complication relating to the health & wellbeing of child or mother.
      Also, a termination of pregnancy does not have to mean the death of a foetus, just the ending of the pregnancy. A termination at 34 weeks has another name, induced birth, happens all the time for medical reasons.

      1. Donal

        To put it another way, if a woman with a viable pregnancy hasn’t made up her mind as to whether or not she wants to continue with pregnancy until she is at 30 weeks, then let it be legislated for that in such a case the child be put up for adoption, following a stay in neo natal intensive care in an incubator. I’m not saying it’s ideal but it’s an option.

        1. kellma

          excellent. There are enough women/couples out there dying for children that cannot have them that would be queuing to give those children a wonderful life…..

          1. Daisy Chainsaw

            A woman is not a breeder to satisfy others’ wants. You have two kidneys, there are people who’d love to have a kidney, why can’t you give them a kidney to cherish?

    3. Cian

      “Are there many people on here who support abortion on demand, no matter what?”
      Yes, and Donal eloquently expressed the reasons better than I could.

    4. Gorev Mahagut

      It’s too serious a matter to be decided by some middle class professional who gets paid, goes home at the end of the day and doesn’t have to live with the consequences of their decision.

    5. DubLoony

      Abortion on request was the term used by the Citizens Assembly who are the only group who have spent prolonged period of time actually debating this issue.

      Its exactly the system they have in Canada. And guess what?
      Most abortions take place <9 weeks stage. there are medical ones at about 20 weeks, usually the time people find out that there are serious problems.
      And after that? It doesn't happen. Women don't go around 8 and a half months pregnant and decide then, feck it, I've had enough.

      It is complex and should not be up to a politician to decide.

      1. DubLoony

        And any politician who wants to come out with an opinion on this should be made watch ALL of the presentations at the Citizens Assembly first.

        We deserve better than cliches at this stage.

      2. scottser

        it’s also incredibly hypocritical of FG to kick the issue over to the citizen’s assembly and then completely ignore its recommendations.

  7. ironcorona

    Anti-abortionists act as if legalising abortion will make it mandatory to have an abortion.

    1. dav

      They live in a backward world of superstition and fear of the unknown. Do not expect anything else from them.

    2. newsjustin

      A few maybe. But for most, the issue isn’t mandatory or by choice. It’s that any abortion, unless to preserve the life of the mother, is stone-cold taking a human life.

      It’s like deriding anti-death penalty people with the point that “why do you care? It doesn’t happen in Ireland. You’re not affected.”

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        I suppose, as I’ve said before, it’s to do with the fact that by placing such a value on a potential life – one which is dependent on the mother for survival – you are effectively diminishing her right to bodily autonomy, to choose, which is equally an injustice. And, has been stated in other comments, that allowing women access to abortion, it doesn’t necessarily follow that every woman is going to choose an abortion.

        You may not agree with unlimited access to abortion, but honestly, do you not think that permitting access in cases of FFA and rape or incest is unnecessarily cruel?

        To force a woman to carry a child that will ultimately die moments after its birth is an awful thing to do. For some women, carrying a child with FFA to term is the right choice; for others it’s unthinkable.

        As for rape, well, it’s inhumane to deny a woman the choice, I think. Would anyone wish this on their daughter, sister, their mother? How could anyone wish to limit the choice of someone in such a position?

        1. scottser

          i have a huge issue with the rape aspect myself. why should a woman have to prove she was raped in order access a termination?

          1. newsjustin

            And why it it deemed ok to end the life of a human because their father was a rapist?

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            Why should the woman have to needlessly suffer the consequences of such an awful act, such a vicious crime?

            Would you expect it of your daughter? Could you ask that of her? Or indeed, of any woman you know?

            Would you ask it of yourself?

      2. Cian

        This is an important point. For some people abortion is murder.

        There is a continuum:
        For some people abortion is never acceptable.
        For other people the only acceptable reasons are to preserve the life of the mother. [rational: if the mother dies, so does the baby.]
        For others it extends to ‘non viable’ babies. [Rational: the baby will die anyway, perhaps we can remove the baby’s pain & suffering]

        But then if you try to allow abortion because of rape you are opening the door to killing a healthy baby – you are killing it because of the sins of the father. And this is no different to killing a health baby that you just don’t want. Or abortion on demand.

        [note I’ve used the words ‘mother’ and ‘baby’ above – this was done on purpose as these words tend to be used by the pro-life people.]

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          I have a real problem with people who are okay with “killing a healthy baby” due to the way it was concieved. If the woman or girl suffered during sex, then “babykilling” is okay for some But if it was consensual and enjoyable but contraception failed, then she deserves to be punished with a forced pregnancy, birth and raising a child.

          Anti abortion is as much a judgement on the sexlives of women as anything.

  8. Jake38

    Meehole. A political genius. Minister in a series of governments which finally drove the economy over a cliff and still he’s here giving us the benefits of his Cork national teacher sleeveen insights.

  9. joak joke jik

    you heard it here first: the political establishment is about to find itself extraordinarily out of touch with the general population. listen – you can hear the plates shifting

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      hopefully reaches critical mass soon so a new fresh start that represents more evenly the people can begin

  10. Junkface

    They found a dead baby last year at a recycling station in Bray I think it was. This would not have happened if there was a choice for young , frightened, unsuitable mothers. I think an abortion would have been a better option than being killed as a baby and then left by some bins.
    Abortions usually happen very early in the pregnancy, while a fetus, not a born, living-breathing baby.
    Watch that film the Cider House Rules.

  11. Nigel

    The sound of the other shoe dropping is also the sound of the Citizens Assembly being dropped

    1. DubLoony

      They fobbed off the hard work onto the CA and are now backing away like the cowards that they are.

      1. Zuppy International

        Oppose the murder of babies?

        Because its evil.

        Just cos your father may be a criminal does that make your own life worth nothing?

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          Are you implying that rape isn’t evil? That it isn’t a violation of the most heinous kind?

          Can you not see that forcing a woman to carry the child of such a person is a hateful thing to do? Would you expect your own daughter to do such a thing? Knowing that after the trauma of rape, there would come the additional pain and conflict of bringing into the world a child conceived in such a way.

          Why should a woman have to bear the punishment for such a crime? Why should it fall onto her shoulders?

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            As a mother, and a proud one at that, I think I can firmly say that you’re wrong. My daughter is a gift, and born from a loving, consensual relationship.

            And I believe you’re well able to discern the difference between my situation and that of a woman who finds herself pregnant as result of rape.

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            Also, you failed to address any of the points I raised. Accusing me of seeing children as a punishment doesn’t really cut it.

          3. Sheik Yahbouti

            Ah, Mildred, you are dealing with Adrian Mole (ultra Conservative) aged 13 and a half. This yoke has never lived with a woman during her pregnancy – apparently it’s a doddle – after all it’s ‘natural’.

          4. jusayinlike

            Zuppy carefully omits the fact that the Catholic Church takes part in baby trafficking, vaccine trials on babies, and the lucrative black market trade of still born baby organs from their cartel of hospitals..


          5. Nigel

            Being forced to go through with a pregnancy that results from a rape is a punishment. The indifference to the trauma of the victim here is unspeakable.

        2. Nigel

          Your little kitchen sink drama at the end has a marble omission from its cast of characters.

          But anyway. Your point about the amount of such cases is irrelevant. You want rape victims to be forced to carry their rapist’s child regardless of how often such situations occur.

          1. Zuppy International

            So Nigel,

            According to you women are just a vessel…

            And babies are cargo to be jettisoned at will.

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            Another illuminating and considered comment from Zup.

            Good job buddy.

  12. Daisy Chainsaw

    All abortions are “on demand”. Regardless of rape, incest, FFA, failed contraception, mental health issues, if a woman or girl doesn’t demand (or ask for) an abortion, she doesn’t get one.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      Same as I’ve been told at many a retail premises. “Sorry we don’t stock it – there’s no demand for it”. :-) Is it the word ‘demand’ (which they themselves have coined) that riles up the godbotherers? The cheek of women to think they can “demand” anything. There has to be five hundred levels of grovelling (at least) before these women should be ‘granted’ anything. :-D

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        It implies a wanton harlot rocking up to a hospital and banging on the counter shouting “Gimme a fuppin abortion!” like she’s been short changed at the chipper.

  13. Sheik Yahbouti

    Your venerable Sheik is SO weary of this endless debate, which has existed longer than I have and (I’m so afraid) might continue after I’m gone. Enough already. Let those who want or need abortion take the advice of medical professionals. Let those who disagree with abortion NOT HAVE an abortion. Christ, can we and de wimmin not have some peace at last? PS I’m sorry to say it, but I despise Senator Ronan Mullen, Amateur Gynaecologist, – the guy creeps me out.

    1. newsjustin

      With the debate having raged for so long, one would think you’d have realised that the “don’t want an abortion? Don’t have one.” is the biggest load of nonsense.

      “Don’t like slavery? Don’t have a slave.” Etc

      1. jusayinlike

        Don’t like Catholic oversight of people’s bodies, don’t have Catholic oversight of people’s bodies

  14. Sheik Yahbouti

    As a matter of interest, has Mr Martin contacted the police at all about these people he knows “who are alive as a result of rape”? Or did he just meet a guy in a pub with a baby in each hand

  15. Shane

    Womans body womans right to choose simple.
    One questin why did we have this assembly thing if thier results are going to be ignored?

  16. anne

    Pretty sad that people believe that humanity is only a material matter. Margaret Sanger Eugenics movement has been pumped with a lot of money particularly theGates foundation, Warner Buffet ,Soros,Ford foundation Rockefeller etc. people don’t realize they are being manipulated. They don’t understand that life is sacred. That they and their ability to carrying another life is a gift, no matter the means by which they have come to be pregnant. If a rose begins to grow outside the rose garden do you throw weedkiller on it? God help us.

    1. Nigel

      Is a rose growing outside the garden a metaphor for pregnancy as a result of rape? Because when you put it like that it sounds sweet.

    2. Janet, I ate my avatar

      life being ” sacred ” is your religious belief which you are entitled to
      you are not entitled to force others to believe it

    3. realPolithicks

      “people don’t realize they are being manipulated.”

      If only everyone was as wise as you Anne.

  17. anne

    A ROSE is a HUMAN LIFE and YES inside rape. MY good friend is a PRODUCT of rape. The world would be much less of a place without her.. You demand something you don’t even understand, abortion is killing a baby. When a couple is expecting a child they don’t say we’re having a clump of cells!

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        Aye. My own roses are blooming.

        Much like my blossoms, which are, incidentally, still blossoming.

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