Content Note: this post contains some very extreme anti-choice views from certain candidates that may be upsetting.
On October 10th, the voters of Roscommon-South Leitrim will be voting in a by-election to select a replacement for new MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan. I will be contacting all the candidates to ascertain their position on abortion, and more specifically, repealing the eighth amendment.
Why I Am Voting Pro-Choice For me, reproductive rights are non-negotiable. I’ve written before on why we need to repeal the eighth amendment, and many people have put it far more eloquently than me here, here, and here, and there’s a whole playlist of excellent speakers here all making the case for repeal aswell. Simply put, opposition to changing Ireland’s abortion laws is a dealbreaker. Any person who would oppose my right to bodily autonomy and my dignity is not someone I would want as my representative in Dáil Éireann. Luke Flanagan had a fine track record on reproductive rights and other issues, and I would like to elect someone who will continue in this vein. I will be sharing my responses from candidates here as I get them.
Fine Gael-Maura Hopkins–contacted
Fianna Fáil-Ivan Connaughton-contacted
Labour- John Kelly–contacted
Sinn Féin-Martin Kenny-contacted
I’ll be perfectly honest with you, and I’m not going to give you a rehearsed political answer. I don’t believe that as a man I can give you a simple answer on this issue. Naturally if I was a father to be, I would want have that child, under any circumstances. However, I also believe that it is not my place to tell a woman what to do with her body. I wish I could tell you more but this is a very complex issue and one that as a man I am terribly under qualified to answer with a simple for or against.
I’m personally concerned that there is a big attempt being made, now, to overthrow The Eight Amendment to the Constitution,which was passed in 1983, and which recognises the equal rights of the mother and of her unborn baby. Abortion is the deliberate killing of an unborn baby. I’m against the state condoning abortion and enshrining it in law. This applies, also, to babies in the womb who are regarded as being likely to be disabled, those counted as having fatal foetal abnormality etc. Mankind cannot act as God and decide to deliberately take away their lives. A baby conceived through rape is also entitled to be protected. Why should another crime, i.e. murder, be added to the crime of rape. Again, mankind cannot predict the outcome and should not attempt to act as God. Masters of our leading maternity hospitals have put it on public record that they do not see abortion as a solution to the suicidal feelings of an expectant mother – in fact, they argue that, in the end, it will be most destructive to the mother’s health. It is natural that a mother- to-be would wish to have and to hold her baby. Even if that baby is born and lives for a very short while, there is great consolation for the parents if she can hold it, even for a few minutes. On a wider scale, I’m very opposed to the creation of “a culture of death” in Ireland. If it is the unborn that are being deliberately killed today, then it could be the elderly or some ethnic group that will be next. That is not civilised living, but savagery worthy of Hitler.
UPDATE: OK, as you can see, radio silence from all but two candidates on the contact front. I’ve been looking for contact details for Gerry O’Boyle, but he doesn’t seem to have any online presence. However, I found this advertisement on the Life Institute website, and it also featured in some of the local papers:
So, Ivan Connaughton (FF), Des Guckian (Ind) and Gerry O’Boyle (Ind) are anti-choice.
P.S. this little mission is inspired by the efforts of the wonderful @sharrow_ie back in may, see how she got on here!