Ireland – Long experience informs shifting views in abortion debate

Long experience informs shifting views in abortion debate
Members of older generation share thoughts on Eighth Amendment

Apr 4, 2018
Sorcha Pollak

Sheila and Paddy Donohoe, now in their 70s, voted in favour of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution in 1983. There was never any question in their minds regarding how they would vote. They were strict Catholics and active members of the Legion of Mary. They had grown up in a conservative country which taught them abortion was a sin in all circumstances.

“We were Catholics, we didn’t practise contraception, we did everything according to the book,” remembers Sheila. “At one stage I would have gone to Mass and Communion every day and we always brought the children to Mass. Whatever the church more or less said we believed. There was no reason for us to doubt or think otherwise. We weren’t encouraged to ask questions. Everything was totally hidden, everything was kept secret.”