In advance of Irish abortion referendum
By Dave Andrusko
To say the mainstream press in the Republic of Ireland is pro-abortion is like saying it’s above freezing when the temperature is 100 degrees. True, but it vastly understates the reality.
When the the Irish media are not busy making up accusations out of whole cloth, they are amazing condescending towards pro-lifers.
For example, if you read, say, the Irish Times or The Independent you’d come away thinking that the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution pits two sides with roughly equal resources.
That is so comically inaccurate that you would laugh were the truth not so painful.
Those who want to maintain “the 8th,” which offers equal protections to mother and unborn child, have a fraction of the dollars, none of the major media, and face the opposition not only of pro-abortion billionaires such as George Soros, but (of all organizations) the Irish affiliate of Amnesty international and a UN Human Rights Committee!
Likewise, the Irish reader is told unceasingly that pro-lifers will tell tall tales about abortion, beginning with saying that what Parliament is already gearing up to do (if the 8th is evicted) is allowing abortion not through the 12th week only but well into pregnancy for a myriad of bogus exceptions.
Never mind that it’s true. It can’t be true. Why? Because otherwise the Irish public might not vote to gut the 8th amendment.
It really is the pot calling the kettle black.
You see that distortion everywhere, even (and I kid you not) in stories about how to tell children about abortion in the context of next month’s the referendum. The first one I happen to read a few day ago ran in The Independent.
Stella O’Malley is an Irish psychotherapist and was the wise woman interviewed for this story. Naturally the referendum is a time for fostering “critical thinking” in children under 12.
For example, it gives
“your children an opportunity to get an insight into extremism, into politics, into the way people will use scare tactics to try to convince you over to their side. And to how it’s their job to hold their own, and listen to points, and not necessarily go on one side or the other.”
(Gosh, I wonder who those extremists peddling scare tactics might be?)
How about up to seven or eight? What can you tell them?
“[I]t’s quite a simplistic conversation where you talk about maybe mammy had a pregnancy, a person had a pregnancy, and they didn’t want it to continue, and so they went to the doctor and the doctor fixed it up.”
“Fixed it up.” That will surely foster critical thinking.
O’Malley also said, “The good news is there’s a wealth of ways to go at this. There isn’t only one way.” For example?
“You could say some people believe this is all about the woman’s body and it’s all about the right for a woman to make decisions of her own, and bodily autonomy is what that’s called.”
“However, other people say ‘well if the Mommy is carrying a baby, that might infringe on that woman’s rights. And that’s a huge thing, and that’s why people get into politics because they’re interested in these subjects.”
Ah…where is the pro-life side?
Then I read across a piece written by Fiona Ness, also written for the Independent.
We are to understand she is the model of dispassionate observer, even though, of course, she wishes she didn’t need to tell a seven-year-old and a nine-year-old. (The four year old gets a “hall pass.”) So what is her technique?
Well, her seven year old has a rudimentary idea of where babies come from. Read the following carefully, please:
Now she wants to know, “is there a way of getting a baby out of your body if you don’t want it?”
I tell her yes there is, and it’s called abortion. However, you can’t do that in Ireland, but you can in Britain and some other countries. I tell her that is what all the posters she is seeing are about. People are deciding if we can have that choice in Ireland.
I tell her that in this case, remember, the baby does not live. “Awww, sad,” she says.
We talk about the differences between the foetus on the posters and a baby in a pram [stroller], and the reasons that some people might believe that one doesn’t necessarily mean the other.
“I think everyone deserves a chance at life,” says the nine-year-old dolefully.
This is clearly not the responses Ness is looking for. She immediately plants the seed that, she obviously hopes, will grow into the right example of “critical thinking”:
I tell her it’s good to have an opinion on such an important subject, but that she might think about the topic again as she grows older and has more questions. I say that, in the words of the late professor Stephen Hawking, “All we need to do is make sure we keep talking”.
Granted, it’s hard with little ones. Their first instinct is empathy and sympathy and compassion.
Can’t let those little ones think wrong thoughts, can we?
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