- Letters Unpublished
If you sent a pro-life letter to a newspaper and it remained unpublished, we may publish it for you here. Lots of people have asked us to set up this page so send us your letters!
This letter was sent to the Irish examiner 26-4-18 and was refused publication.
Ardcarrig, Carrigaline, Co.Cork
My body, my choice
runs the slogan on the posters.
But it is a complete fallacy. There is no campaign to ‘control women’s bodies’. No one is canvassing door-to-door or lobbying to stop women from having organ transplants, being blood donors, going on a diet, or doing pilates.
The slogan ignores the elephant in the room – there are not one but two bodies to consider: that of the mother, and that of the unborn child. This reality has been repeated so often one can only conclude the slogan deliberately chooses to ignore it.
While one might concede some right to a mother to ‘use’ her body as she sees fit, no society can allow the same woman the power of life and death over another human being without undermining itself.
If we are to ignore the right of this human being to their very life - on which all other rights hinge - why should we listen to a demand for any other ‘right’? The pro-abortion position contradicts itself on the very grounds by which it makes its demands.
Furthermore, being a popular slogan does not make it either true or wise. In actual reality, we already accept some limits on bodily autonomy in the name of the common good. For example, people can drink alcohol, but then are expected not to drive. Nor do we encourage – or worse, enshrine into Law – some kind of right to self harming. If ‘my body, my choice’ were really true and a self-evident virtue, we would not make any unilateral effort to help people who wish to self harm, or who suffer from eating disorders – indeed, we would not even dare call them ‘disorders’ for fear of giving offence.
At a bare minimum the right to personal bodily autonomy must of necessity be limited where it might extend to causing harm to others. And in the case of self-harm or eating disorders, we even accept limits where the harm is principally to ourselves. That we can't always stop self-harming does not imply we ought either embrace or enshrine it into Law.
How much more true is this in the case of abortion, where there are two human lives to consider! What ‘my body, my choice’ really demands is the absolute power of life and death over another human being.
Finally, apart from the say of the unborn child, there is a further choice that is being ignored: that of the father. While it may be true that some men go so far as to wash their hands of all responsibility to their own offspring, many fathers feel a deep emotional and personal attachment to their child from the moment they learn of its conception. And why shouldn’t they? Is it not their child too, as much as it is anyone’s? Is not half its DNA that of the father? What kind of father reacts to the news that his partner has decided to end the life of their child with a shrug of his shoulders and a ‘nothing to do with me’?
‘My body, my choice’: It is a cry worthy of Shakespeare’s Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, insisting on his legal ‘right’ to a pound of human flesh.
This letter was sent to the Irish independent 29-1-18 and was refused publication.
Ardcarrig, Carrigaline, Co.Cork
The connection between eugenics of abortion and the gradual reduction of Down Syndrome in countries with liberal abortion regimes must be hitting home. It seems the pro-abortion lobby are now getting desperate to censor this connection in the public mind, in case people are alerted to the reality.
The latest entrant to the stage, Mary McDermott (Irish Independent 28-1-18) says she’s ‘both pro-choice and cares about people with Downs’. Maybe this is possible, but she must accept the 90% or so people diagnosed before birth with Downs, being aborted in the UK and elsewhere would be alive were it not for 'pro-choice'. What are we to say to those people? Who cared about them? And is the ending of their lives – because they had Downs - consistent with our compassion?
Ms.McDermott says her Downs brother has ‘taught her life is not fair and some people are treated like second class citizens … and about equality and standing up for human rights’.
She’s right. Life is not fair – especially for those without even a right to life. Some people are indeed treated like second-class citizens. Especially those from whom constitutional protection of the law is about to be stripped; reclassifying them as non-citizens so they can be killed on whim. Yes, people should be ‘given the opportunity to make choices’. As long as those choices don’t harm or kill other people. Has it been forgotten that ‘Choice’ is not a virtue in itself - it depends what we choose. We cannot expect to make ‘choices’ that harm or kill others and value them equally alongside ‘choices’ that help or care. And if she wishes to ‘stand up for human rights’ I urge her to join the pro-life camp while there’s still time.
In a feeble attempt to discredit the pro-life movement, Ms.McDermott further asks if those with Down Syndrome appearing on pro-life literature 'gave their informed consent for their image to be used?'. She promptly contradicts her own argument by pointing out that ‘some Downs people are pro-choice, some are pro-life’ etc. Well, since she evidently sees they can make informed choices in all these areas, it beggars belief that she would question whether they could give their informed consent in relation to their image. Or, if minors, the parent or guardian makes this call, as is normal in the world of film, photography and stock imagery.
In conclusion she asks “can we please all be respectful of the fact that people who have Down Syndrome are entitled to form their own views on this?”
Indeed. The only ones trying to stop them – and the general public – from doing so, are the pro-abortion lobby.
This letter was sent to the Irish examiner 26-1-18 and was refused publication.
Irish author Darach O’Seaghdha says he ‘is concerned’ that literature in relation to the 8th Amendment which depicts children with Down Syndrome may ‘make children [with Downs] such as his own feel unloved and unwanted by their parents (Irish Examiner, 25-1-18).
Mr.O’Seaghdha can certainly reassure his own daughter that she is very much loved and wanted, and she probably already knows this through experience.
But the sad inescapable reality is that the 90% of children diagnosed with Downs who are aborted before birth in the UK and many other countries with similar regimes, are neither loved nor wanted by their parents. There is no other logical way to interpret this fact. One does not deliberately end the life of a child one loves and wants no matter what challenges they present.
Censoring this fact from the abortion debate simply plays into the hands of the pro-choice lobby, as over 40 years of experience has shown that once introduced, abortion comes to be used as a means of eugenics.
As a father myself, I do agree with Mr.O’Seaghdha that it can be challenging to explain to children – and especially those with any kind of intellectual disability – the more difficult or unpalatable realities of life. I just wish he had thought of that before terming his Irish language guide ‘Motherfocloir’.
This letter was sent to the Irish Independent 26-1-18 and was refused publication.
Down Syndrome Ireland have called for ‘both sides of the abortion debate’ to stop ‘exploiting’ images of people with Down Syndrome in advancing their arguments (Irish Independent 26-1-18). Down Syndrome Ireland further believe that ‘each individual should make their own decision’ about which way to vote in the referendum. These statements call for comment. The pro-abortion lobby rarely refer directly to children born with Down Syndrome because abortion aims to eliminate such conditions from our society by eliminating children likely to be born with them. The statistics speak for themselves - in the UK around 90% of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted before birth, and figures around the world from countries with similar abortion laws follow suite. Surely this is not an outcome an advocacy group like Down Syndrome Ireland would wish to see become a reality here, too? On the contrary, the pro-life lobby aim to maintain legal protection for children diagnosed with Down Syndrome before birth, to ensure that their right to life is as respected as that of any other citizen of this country. So there are excellent reasons why conditions like Down Syndrome figure so prominently in this debate. Excluding such references would benefit the pro-abortion lobby most.
As to the second point – ‘everyone should make up their own minds’ – is a tautology. Everyone does make up their own mind one way or another at the end of the day, and it is hardly necessary to say so. But what kind of decision can anyone possibly reach in the absence of information, facts or arguments other than a wholly un-informed one? Is Down Syndrome Ireland advocating an un-informed outcome to one of the most important referenda to be put before the Irish electorate in years? Isn’t it a duty of each side of the debate to present all the facts and information as fully as possible and for each individual voter to inform themselves on the basis of all the available information?
Given the reality of what a liberal abortion regime would likely mean here for the majority of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome before birth, the real surprise is to find advocacy groups like Down Syndrome Ireland not rooting tooth and nail for pro-life, as I have no doubt they do in relation to any other issue of benefit to those diagnosed with Downs.
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