Letters, The Connaught Telegraph, August 2012
Without the right to life, all other rights are meaningless
In a time when politicians get criticised for following the party line without question, I was very pleased that some members of Fine Gael stood up recently and said they were not going to accept abortion.
I'm referring to this month's meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party when a number of Fine Gael representatives challenged the Minister for Health and vowed to vote against abortion legislation.
I was especially glad to see Mayo Fine Gael TD John O'Mahony listed among those who spoke up on this issue.
Based on his defense of the unborn so far I would have no difficulty either voting for him or asking others to vote for him in a future election.
While it seems that Ireland remains an overwhelmingly pro-life country, according to consistent Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion polling, there does seem to be bias among the national media that favours legislating for abortion.
Over 79 per cent of people in Mayo want Fine Gael to keep their pre-election promise. That is considerably more than the 65 per cent that voted for Fine Gael in the last election.
In the same election the pro-abortion Labour party got less than five per cent of the vote. Clearly the people of Mayo support women who are pregnant and they want to see the law reflect this.
I was shocked to see that some member of the Labour party were critical of the Fine Gael TDs and senators. The fact that the Fine Gael party made a pro-life commitment to [T]he [P]ro[-L]ife [C]ampaign prior to the general election is laudable and the fact the Fine Gael deputies feel that they should honour their promise is something Fine Gael should be proud of.
The many arguments that are presented for abortion in Ireland, that it is available in Britain, that is necessary to save the life of pregnant mothers, etc., are all shallow and easily refuted. Women in Ireland receive all necessary medical treatment, even if it indirectly results in the death of the unborn child. This is not abortion because it is not a deliberate attack on the unborn child.
It continues to be a tragedy that Irish women travel for abortions and it's a scandal that women do so because they do not feel they have adequate supports in Ireland.
I hope our politicians will continue to see the need to offer women more and better support services when they are faced with a crisis pregnancy.
Without the right to life, all other rights are meaningless. I congratulate the Fine Gael deputies on their stance and hope that the rest of the Fine Gael party follows suit.
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