Life, Death, Hope and the Eight Amendment
A whistle-blower blows the whistle on matters of deep concern, not to cause trouble but to draw urgent attention to a matter which so far has not been properly addressed.
Ireland in 2018 prepares for a referendum on whether or not to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. It concerns the right to life of the unborn, the equal right to life of the mother, and the guarantee in the Amendment that the State would defend and vindicate those rights. It concerns what might replace the Amendment if repealed, and proposed legislation to follow.
Most debate has been on whether abortion will be made legal in Ireland, but the issue is wider. The aim of the book is to analyse aspects of the debate so far, and to “blow the whistle” on the areas where that debate so far has been inadequate or seriously defective. It suggests alternative ways of addressing the challenges.
It looks at the difficult dilemma facing a woman when her pregnancy brings crisis for whatever reason. There are factors from within the pregnancy and external to the pregnancy which are the reasons for it being a crisis. How can we work to replace desperation with hope? The support of friends, family and community help each of us through many difficulties in our lives, when all seems hopeless.
It blows the whistle on the political argument of the Taoiseach and others, and on words and phrases which can be seriously misleading. It blows the whistle on how the Citizen’s Assembly and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eight Amendment let reference to the right to life vanish into thin air.
It blows the whistle on how the widespread debate may desensitise us to the vital reality of the issues: life and death, mother and child, desperation and hope. In short chapters, many sides of the issue are analysed.
The Final Whistle is blown on the world in which Ireland participates, how so much of the world has abandoned the hard-learned lessons of the twentieth century, and what we need to do about it.