Irish Papist

Irish Papist
Statute of the Blessed Virgin in Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Church, UCD Belfield

Friday, July 27, 2012

Avoiding Abortion

With the storm clouds of possible pro-abortion legislation gathering over Ireland, I find myself feeling guilty about how little attention I have paid to this topic, and how-- in a certain sense-- I have lacked interest in it.

When I say "lacked interest", I don't mean that I am not horrified at the thought of abortion, or distressed at the pressure being exerted on behalf of its introduction in Ireland. I simply mean that, when I come to an article on abortion in a newspaper or magazine-- even a Catholic newspaper or magazine-- I tend to skip it, or to force myself to read it. Because of this, my grasp of the arguments-- both medical and metaphysical-- is poor.

This is simply because the subject seems so open-and-shut to me. I agree with Mother Teresa: If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong. As many people have pointed out, every other right is meaningless without the right to life.

But it's not just that. I don't want to read articles by those who support abortion because I find it painful to witness intelligent, articulate, apparently sane people promoting the slaughter of human beings. In the same way, I don't want to get into discussions about abortion in my daily life because I don't want to face the fact that people I like and even love might agree with something so monstrous.

There are those amongst my relations, friends and acquaintances who I suspect would be "pro-choice"; but I don't want to know they are. I can enjoy other debates in an academic, detached kind of way, even when my deepest beliefs are called into question. But how can murdering the unborn be discussed in a debating club manner?

And I am conscious of a feeling of hopelessness, of defeat. If the thought of ending a human life before it has even reaached birth doesn't sicken somebody, what else is there to say? When they have seen the gory pictures, and heard the nightmarish stories-- what else will move them?

I don't say this as an excuse, but as an explanation. I should have paid more attention to this subject. And I can't help feeling guilty now, when the enemies of life are manouvering to strike.

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