Wake Me Up When It’s All Over

The date for the referendum has not yet been announced, yet the campaign is already getting nasty. I refer of course to the proposed referendum to remove the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which effectively bans abortion in almost all circumstances (for my non-Irish readers).

I’ve made my decision, and I explained my reasons here. But I will not be campaigning or reading or listening, because I find it all too upsetting. There’s good people on both sides, compassionate people who do care, I know that. But there’s others who will use anyone, any strategy, or any argument in their attempt to win this battle, and it’s ugly to watch. So I plan to avoid it. I will be muting and hiding as much of the coverage as I can.

Personally I find some of the tactics of the Save the 8th campaign barbaric (with apologies to my pro life friends). Pictures of dead foetuses are surely disrespectful, and seeing one in your Facebook news feed or on the street must be very upsetting for those who’ve had abortions, as well as those who’ve suffered miscarriages or given birth to very premature babies, like I did.

Then there’s the fake accounts being set up to discredit the other side by spreading horrible lies.

And I was disgusted by the exploitation of children with Down’s Syndrome by one group. I fired off an angry tweet asking whether this group actually provides any support to children or adults with Down’s Syndrome who “leave school and face into a life of sitting at home with their parents or being dragged around shopping centres by their carers.”

Not a very balanced tweet, I admit.

When I calmed down and admitted that I know adults with Down’s Syndrome who live happy lives, I was admonished by a member of the repeal campaign because it “confuses the issue by giving undue prominence to a minority.”

That tweet left me feeling very uncomfortable.

The repeal side can also present a cold clinical tone when discussing the whole issue of abortion, and how many babies/foetuses will be affected, which I also find upsetting.

And many of the campaigners ignore what happens post pregnancy whether it’s ended early by abortion, or results in a baby being born. Everything has to be presented in black and white, but life is messy, and there will never be a solution that works in every situation.

Abortion is obviously an emotive subject, and I’d love to ask everyone involved to play nicely, but it ain’t gonna happen, is it? I’ve never liked wars, so please excuse me while I head off to hibernate. Wake me up when it’s all over.


4 thoughts on “Wake Me Up When It’s All Over

  1. I HATE those photos on my newsfeed. I think you’re a wise lady to close your eyes and eyes as much as you can …. the nastiness is shocking already and it hasn’t even revved up yet. I think I’m going to follow your example and keep my opinions to myself, and not waste my precious time and energy arguing with people who aren’t listening anyway. That’s very cool thinking XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My experience is that pro-choicers often do not even regard the foetus as a human life at all, even up to the point of birth. They studiously avoid language that suggest that an unborn baby is a baby because to them, the right of the woman to ‘choice’ overrides every other consideration, and they do use awfully clinical language. One feminist blogger wrote “I will not call it ‘unborn child'” as if her use of language made the unborn child other than what ‘it’ (rather he or she) is.

    The issue with the 8th amendment is that repealing it will not mean abortion is legal; it just means that Parliament can consider laws on the matter. It will still be possible to block legalising abortion purely on the grounds of a disability such as Down’s syndrome, especially where the baby was wanted until that was discovered (as opposed to an early abortion of a pregnancy that was never wanted). I would vote for repeal if I lived there, as it is not just abortion but any medical treatment that may harm a developing foetus; the mother is treated as a mere vessel, not a human being in her own right, and that’s wrong. But I wouldn’t support abortion on demand beyond the first few weeks or (as we have in this country) late abortion being legal on the basis of disability unless it is very serious or the baby will not survive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for another thoughtful comment. I didn’t have time to be quite as careful about language in this post as I would’ve liked: so many words and phrases have been appropriated by one side or another, and I don’t like feeling boxed in by linguistic divisions


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