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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