Leo Varadkar said that the vote in May to introduce abortion was the culmination “a quiet revolution.”
The fact that this quiet revolution involved illegal funding from a foreign billionaire, physical intimidation against public speakers with pro-life views, massive and systemic bias by the national media, the expulsion of pro-life politicians from their parties, the large-scale destruction of campaign posters and the banning of all online ads by a multinational corporation acting at the behest of abortion advocates means nothing.
It wasn’t a revolution and it certainly wasn’t quiet, but they won and so they get to write the history book afterwards. Such is politics.
A dishonest narrative created by a disingenuous political elite is appropriate given the circumstances. Dishonesty is at the heart of all efforts to promote or advance the acceptance of abortion.
Abortion became acceptable in Ireland in the same way and for the same reasons that it became acceptable elsewhere. Its acceptability in polite society is based on unspoken agreements never to ask the obvious questions or say what is best left unsaid.
In this respect, politicians are no more culpable than those ordinary citizens who support their efforts. Taking time to consider the issues which abortion presents is to be avoided at all costs, and clear thinking needs to be replaced with cheap slogans, no matter how transparently illogical they are.
Abortion is fine (but let’s call it termination, or better yet, choice).
Abortion clinics are bad (because they provide abortions).
It is only a foetus, just a cluster of cells (unless the pregnancy is wanted, in which case ‘baby’ immediately becomes the preferable term).
Abortion is a private choice (but everyone should have to pay for it).
Abortion is a personal decision (up until 12 weeks into a pregnancy, at which point it magically becomes everyone’s business).
There is nothing distressing about abortion (but no one should explain what it involves, or God forbid, show it in picture form).
It is part of being a liberal society (and protests against it should be banned or at the very least severely circumscribed).
It is a normal part of healthcare (even if most doctors want nothing to do with it, and many would leave their profession rather than perform such a procedure).
It is a New Year, and it is a new Ireland too. We voted to make it so, but it’s never too late to begin to think, and ask questions.