Even as one baby clings to life, pro-choicers call for more abortion

We need to look behind the headlines to see the real story behind abortion polls, writes Cora Sherlock

Pro-life supporters should not be in the least bit surprised by the results of a recent opinion poll on abortion published in a Sunday newspaper, suggesting widespread public support for abortion.

The key results of the Millward Brown poll claim 56% of the public support a referendum to repeal the eighth Amendment, which offers the only remaining legal protection to the unborn. The poll also showed 60% support for abortion in the case of threatened suicide.

If you were to take these findings at face value, it would make for depressing reading but, as is always the case with polls, you need to go behind the newspaper headlines.

Take abortion in the case of threatened suicide. Nobody can deny that in recent weeks abortion has been openly presented as the obvious response when a pregnant woman threatens suicide. This false presentation has a direct link with last year’s abortion legislation which introduced abortion in the case of threatened suicide, even though abortion in such a situation runs contrary to the expert medical evidence presented at two sets of Oireachtas hearings before TDs and Senators voted in favour of the law.

Not only is there no medical evidence to support abortion in this case, there is much peer-reviewed evidence highlighting the adverse mental health consequences of abortion for women. But for some pro-choice campaigners, evidence counts for absolutely nothing in this debate.

If the public were asked in a poll “do you support the repeal of the Government’s new abortion law which allows abortion up to birth, based on no medical evidence?” it would paint an entirely different picture. It would not be a loaded or misleading question to ask. It merely reflects the reality of what is now legal.

I don’t think, therefore, we should be unduly alarmed at the recent poll results in the Sunday Independent. What we should be extremely concerned about, however, is the one-sided debate that is going on in the media at present on the abortion issue. It is a pretend debate, not a real one.

It is a disgrace that abortion in the case of threatened suicide is now being presented without qualification as a necessary medical treatment when it is nothing of the sort. It is also very disturbing watching the baby at the centre of the latest abortion controversy being treated as a nobody in most of the media coverage, rather than a unique human person with dignity and rights. As this defenceless baby clings to life in an Irish maternity hospital, abortion advocates are using the fact that he is alive to clamour for more abortion. You don’t get much more obscene than that.

The pro-choice side want nothing more than for pro-life supporters to throw in the towel and concede that we are going to lose. If we were to fall for this, we would only have ourselves to blame.

We are not going to let it happen. When we say that we are not just going to go through the motions of opposing the new abortion law, we mean it. But we need everyone on board to begin to turn things around. The Pro Life Campaign National Conference in the RDS on October 11 is a hugely important event. I urge you to make every effort to be there.   Register instantly on www.prolife campaign.ie/conference2014 

And the Pro Life Campaign is hosting numerous other events and activities around the country in October as part of a special Month for Life. For more details be sure to check our website at www.prolife campaign.ie

Organisers of last Saturday’s pro-abortion March for Choice were extremely disappointed with the turnout. Sometimes we can overestimate the power of our opposition and feel like giving up. We owe it to the mothers and babies most at risk of abortion to stay committed and never lose hope.

Cora Sherlock is Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign.