Repeal the 8th?

Repeal the 8th?

The 8th Amendment and all it relates to, is such an emotive subject. It speaks to the very fundamentals of our belief systems, whatever your religious persuasion or lack thereof. I seriously struggle with the concept of abortion but I equally struggle with the rights of children to have a chance in life with parents that have the capacity to look after them.

Myself and my wife struggled to have a child for several years and eventually went down the route of IVF. With the type of infertility we had, we opted a blastocyst insertion: the injection of a sperm into the egg cell and waiting 5 days whilst the cells divided and subdivided in a petri dish whilst incubated. During this period, we had an update after 2 days and then finally on the 5th day, we had the result of the process and discovered had any embryos survived for implantation. From 7 fertilised eggs, we ended up with four healthy ones after 2 days. The clinic gave us a call and we got an update. They told us that one in particular was a real fighter and had progressed better then the others. After 5 days only 2 remained and our little fighter was the one chosen to be implanted. His name is David and he’s now 8. Don’t anyone, for one single second tell me that life is not life from the moment of conception. My son’s personality was there from the get go. So for me, the moral question is not about where life begins, it’s about justifiable homicide. And that’s a different subject.

Once we start to think about justifiable homicide, there are some circumstances where society deems it appropriate to kill; war and self-defence being the obvious two.  Capital punishment is lawful in many places, although ironically, many of the same people who would champion abortion services have grave issues with state approved killing. Euthanasia is certainly a right I would like to see enshrined in our constitution. I certainly don’t see why any person does not have the right to choose the circumstances of their own death and have the wherewithal to do it in a quick, painless and dignified way. Isn’t abortion not just another form of justifiable homicide?

If it is, then the rules, safeguards and regulations must be extremely rigorous and robust. If taking the life of an unborn child is to be condoned then the criteria must be the 2 obvious ones – where there is no chance of sustained life for the child outside the womb and where the life of the mother is in mortal danger. Regretfully, I also believe that other criteria must be applied – where the mental, emotional or physical capacity of the mother or father would endanger the well-being of the child. Now we get into the grey area of assessing this. I don’t think abortion can be prescribed without counselling, I don’t think it can be prescribed to whoever wants it. However, if a pregnant woman presents to a doctor and is determined to travel to the UK or wherever for a termination, then I don’t see the difference between it being provided for here where the mother can receive support locally or in the UK.

So, I’ve arrived at quite a freedom of choice position haven’t I. The problem with loving children as much as I do, the problem with having been through my own trials, is that I care about a child’s well-being so much, that I don’t want to see children born into a world where they aren’t wanted or can’t survive, or are subjected to physical or emotional stress, simply because of a certain religious ethos. However, we all need to call it what it is and ditch this concept of abortion not meaning anything before 8 weeks, or 12 weeks or 24 weeks. Because that is absolute bullshit. Call it what it is and face the emotional responsibility for that decision rather than trying to sugar coat it to make us feel better. And lets the Repeal the 8th and deal with this in as professional and ethical way as we can.

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