Time for change: Anne Enright on Ireland's abortion referendum
In the coming weeks, voters in Ireland will have the chance to repeal the eighth amendment, which recognises the equal rights to life of a foetus and the mother during pregnancy. We must send a message to the world, the author declares
Sat 24 Mar 2018
Recently I spoke to a reasonable, sane Irish woman who said that she was against abortion and because she was so reasonable and sane, I was curious what she meant by that. Was she against the morning after pill? Certainly not. What about chemical abortifacients? They did not really worry her too much. So, what about terminations before 12 or 13 weeks, the time when woman are often given the all clear to confirm their pregnancy to family and friends? This woman was not, all things considered, against terminations during this window, when pregnancy is not considered medically certain. She was also, just to make clear, in favour of abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, rape and incest. In 1983 this woman might have voted “against abortion”, despite the fact that she is not against abortion, especially if it happens during those weeks when the natural loss of an embryo is called miscarriage. She just found abortion, in general, hard to vote “for”.