In just over an hour's time this society will begin the process of casting its votes in the referendum on the 8th Amendment. Before the weekend is over we should know if the emancipatory campaign to Repeal the 8th has been successful or if conservative Catholicism is to have a stay of execution. I remain confident that like all previous secular driven campaigns, Repeal shall prevail.
Unlike many motivated by religious opinion, this is not a perspective that subscribes to the theology of domination whereby others must be compelled to conduct their lives in accordance with a religious opinion not their own. They are not some sort of fertility police eager to have customs officials intervene to prevent abortion pills making their way into Ireland.
Being open to all manner of opinion on the abortion question other than a religious one (Unicornology is of no concern to me) I find it easy to live with that alternative view. Nevertheless, because the issue is so polarising, opinion so divided, allowing the individual to behave in accordance with their own conscience rather than somebody else's, is the best way to proceed: optimum not perfect.
When I go to the polling station this evening after work, I will not be doing so out of any belief that it empowers child killers to inflict some form of biblical infanticide. I will cast my vote to help those faced with a difficult decision, the power to make the decision.
As for the luminaries of the No campaign, as Ruth Coppinger observed of them:
As well as saying ‘no’ to the right of a woman to have a choice, the leaders of the No campaign have said no to contraception. They said no to sex education. They said no to same-sex marriage three years ago. They have said no to divorce, to equal employment, to married women being in the public service, to working mothers, to LGBT+ rights and to gender recognition . . .
My Yes vote is a No to all of that.
Anthony McIntyre blogs @ The Pensive Quill.