Mary Kenny’s incorrect article

Dear Editor, Regarding Mary Kenny’s article ‘Being neutral on abortion’ (IC 10/10/13).

Obviously Mary Kenny disagrees with the sentiment of Anthea McTiernan’s Irish Times article. I have no issue with people having differing opinions. But I wish to bring to your attention incorrect information in Mary’s piece. If you actually read Anthea’s piece you will see she did not say abortion is as insignificant as having a tooth out (or of no greater significance than minor dental surgery). 

What she actually said was if all Irish people were required to travel for dental appointments in England there would be uproar, we would think it cruel and particularly for the poor who perhaps cannot afford to travel. If we in Ireland in 2013 had to travel to English dentists we would think it crazy. Yet we have no problem with exporting our women for abortions (out of sight out of mind, or like an ostrich with its head in the sand?).

What was also incorrect was Mary’s interpretation of the term ‘great men’. Until recently Ireland didn’t have a pro-life or choice community that was vocal. So when Anthea spoke of ‘great men’ it is obvious that she was referring to Irish history. Our politicians (men), our Catholic leaders who exercised control over reproduction and family planning (men), and anyone of influence like doctors, surgeons, senators etc. (men). I need not remind you that until quite recently women were kept in the home, the marriage bar was in effect, contraception illegal, few women educated.

I will leave it to you to act as you see fit.

I just felt compelled to illustrate Mary’s incorrect interpretation of Anthea’s article.

Yours etc.,

Emma Ryan,


Co. Louth.