Like the author of this piece, I am a FG supporter (and member) and am disappointed by the absolutist stance taken by some of our TDs this week. The X case legislation is not just some box-ticking exercise, it is a moral obligation. Even those opposed in principle to elective abortions should understand that the X case is a fundamentally different scenario and needs to be treated on its own merits.
I know women who have had miscarriages – members of my own family – and the trauma is indescribable. We all have friends or family members who have gone through the same pain, whether they chose to share it with us or not. But in most such cases the physical trauma is mercifully brief – not so in cases like X.
To deny palliative care to a woman who has been told that a miscarriage is inevitable – but not imminent – is quite simply inhuman. Morality is not a set of unbending, rigid rules – it is about compassion. Moral principles are derived from that compassion, not the other way around. Those in leadership positions who are elevating a set of abstract principles above their own capacity for reason are in danger of losing touch with their basic humanity.
One can quite consistently argue against elective abortions but allow them for medical reasons – the Constitution itself recognises this distinction. But some of our politicians have decided it is better to throw vulnerable women under the bus than have to make that distinction in their own minds.
To continue to deny medical abortions because one is afraid of the “slippery slope” towards elective abortions is cowardice, and those engaging in it should be utterly ashamed.