Em maio a República da Irlanda irá referendar o Direito à Vida consagrado na 8ª Emenda da Constituição Irlandesa. Com os meios de comunicação social de um lado maioritariamente a favor da abolição da 8ª Emenda e consequente liberalização do aborto, com inúmeros movimentos de cidadãos e a Igreja Católica do outro, numa luta difícil e desigual, os políticos irlandeses e os seus partidos levam a cabo os habituais malabarismos de forma a estarem de bem com Deus e com o Diabo. 10 de Março foi dia de uma grande mobilização e manifestação em Dublin em defesa da Vida e da atual Constituição, o All Ireland Rally for Life 2018 https://rallyforlife.net/, manifestação a que se juntaram, solidariamente, os movimentos pró-vida da Irlanda do Norte. O clima que se vive pode ser descrito pela seguinte frase: "Forget the real estate boom, here comes the real political, ethical and values clash!"

O blog irlandês https://cherishthechildren.ie/ contem artigos atuais e oportunos, com abordagens diversas. "A lei não se destina a proteger apenas os perfeitos, desejados, planeados...", "Republicanismo, soberania e direito à vida" , " A vida não é só para os ricos, afortunados, saudáveis...", "A encruzilhada ética".

 

Promoção do aborto na Irlanda ? Como nos EUA ?

Dois caminhos se bifurcam num caminho dourado. E, desolado, não os poderia seguir aos dois.

Esta são as primeiras linhas de um poema bem conhecido de Frost. Não se trata de um poema particularmente opaco, mas ele é claro, simples e verdadeiro. E Você, caro leitor, encontra-se neste momento no local em que os caminhos divergem  e não podendo utilizar os dois simultaneamente. E, como no poema, você não voltará a estar nunca nesse mesmo ponto.

Em 1969. A América inclinava-se para o aborto. Actualmente, os números anuais sobre o aborto na América no Norte ultrapassam um milhão. A América encontrava-se perante os dois caminhos, um viajante como nós. Fizeram uma escolha e tomaram um caminho, e, como disse Frost, o caminho conduziu a um outro e a América nunca mais encontrou o seu caminho de volta ao ponto de partida.

Mas em 1969, os Americanos inclinavam-se para o aborto com um olhar relativamente céptico: como explicar então  que tenham escolhido, alguns anos mais tarde, legalizar o aborto ? Pois bem, não temos de tentar adivinhar, pois um homem, que foi um dos líderes do aborto na América, no-lo disse.

Bernard Nathanson era o principal médico promotor do aborto, co-fundador da Associação Nacional a aprovação das leis sobre o aborto (NARAL) América a favor da escolha. Ele consagrou as suas competências e notáveis qualificações à legalização do aborto efectuando ele próprio cerca de 5.000, supervisionando mais 70.000 efectuados pelo seu pessoal e incluindo mesmo a sua própria progenitora. Escrevendo,  falando, fazendo “lóbi”, ele admitiu ter hipertrofiado a verdade com falsas sondagens e ter inventado números para as mortes maternas devidas aos abortos ilegais. Depois de ter avançado com êxito, liderando o espinhoso e radical caminho, encontrou-se face à realidade do aborto no momento em que a ecografia dava os primeiros passos, no início de 1970. Mas o caminho estava traçado, não havendo qualquer hipótese de se voltar atrás.  E é que nunca há.

Ele era um homem da Medicina, um homem de ciência e a ecografia mostrou-lhe a realidade do aborto – que faz para um coração que já bate. Ele não podia voltar a participar nos abortos e continuaria a lutar activamente contra a Indústria que ele tanto havia ajudado a crescer. Ele escreveu documentação e realizou filmes para denunciar o aborto  ( “O Grito Silencioso” e “O Eclipse da Razão” – sempre acessíveis no YouTube).Contudo, ele expos igualmente a estratégia utilizada pela NARAL para criar um clima no qual o aborto se tornaria legal. Não era um desenvolvimento orgânico ou natural; ele era construído e manipulado.

A estratégia da NARAL consistia primeiramente em manipular a comunicação social – isso permitindo ganhar um numero suficiente de eleitores , quer representantes “a favor das escolha” quer  facilmente influenciáveis.  Uma vez que tivessem conseguido um número suficiente de políticos, estes acabariam por eleger juízes favoráveis. Então um caso “bom” apareceria: um caso difícil, rapariga oriunda de um meio pobre e sem instrução, e o “espírito de justiça” faria o resto.

A estratégia mais eficaz da NARAL para ganhar eleitores  tornou-se conhecida como “cavalgamento católico” – hoje poder-se ia designar como “cavalgamento moral” ou ético,  a posição de um eleitor católico poder ser separada da sua acção política.  Assim, um eleitor podia ser pessoalmente contra o aborto mas mesmo assim votar por um político pró-aborto e fazer aceitar que o aborto era uma questão puramente médica e não uma questão moral.

De momento e por um minuto,  abstraia de qualquer sentimento religioso que tenha ou não. Não se trata de um Blog sobre religião. Mas é um Blog sobre a forma como a política tem consciência da religião e consciente que a ética ( religiosa ou não ), coloca um limite ás aspirações dos políticos.

Separar a Ética da política é uma via directa para o Inferno. Se a Ética é inteiramente pessoal e não é uma coisa que devamos defender, não existirá Ética. Se a verdade é qualquer coisa da subjectivo e pessoal, então não haverá ninguém que se bata por isso. A que tripo de mundo isso levará ? Isso leva a um mundo onde a morte intencional e deliberada de milhões de bebés é apresentada como um direito. Pense apenas nisto. É a sociedade mais reles que possa existir. O simples facto de  considerar submeter a votação qualquer coisa tão fundamentalmente incompatível a um mundo onde as pessoas verdadeiramente se preocupam uns com os outros é verdadeiramente surpreendente.

Temos caminhado na esteira da América e constatamos as marcas de quase cinquenta anos ainda visíveis na lama dos caminhos divergentes de Robert Frost. Podemos seguir num sentido ou noutro mas um facto permanece. Temos meio século de observação sobre até onde a América e outros chegaram. A América não teve os progressos da medicina fetal que nós tivemos, nem mesmo ecografias, sem falar já de cintigrafias 3D e da cirurgia intra-uterina, bem como do nível actual dos conhecimentos sobre o ADN fetal e o desenvolvimento. A América tinha uma desculpa, já que podia esconder a face na vergonha da ignorância.

Nós não temos qualquer desculpa. Que ninguém diga, depois disto, que nós temos uma desculpa. Nós temos a oportunidade de seguir outro caminho. Dizermos não, há um caminho melhor, mais progressista, mais medicamente evoluído, para seguirmos.

Um caminho que cuida das mulheres e dos bebés irlandeses. Que fornece um apoio e cuidados sem sacrificar os direitos humanos. O povo irlandês teve sempre um tal amor e um tal respeito pela família, pela sua casa, pela sua terra......que nos traria o aborto ? As nossas crianças crescerão sabendo que se não tivessem sido desejados ou fossem malformados , se teriam encontrado no fundo de um boião de metal.

Eles crescerão sabendo que estão vivos porque convém e não porque têm direito à vida  e existe um valor que lhes é próprio. Enfim, se no dia do referendo, cada eleitor votar para contrariar a 8ª emenda, isso não lhe retirará sempre a razão. Porquê ? Porque é uma questão moral, é uma questão de verdades fundamentais, baseadas na realidade, na lógica, nos factos e na ciência. Assim sendo, ela ultrapassa os Partidos, as histórias, as camadas sócio - económicas, as religiões , a cor, a idade, o sexo. Porque a moral está acima da política. A Política é a ciência do governo, mas ela deve evoluir numa esfera Ética. Fora desta arena a política torna-se em tirania, torna-se falsa, um não senso distópico.  A moral define o bem e o mal, a ultrapassagem da Ética é um  erro para consolar o espírito daqueles que não querem lutar pela verdade. Não tenha ilusões: o aborto é uma falsa moral. Uma daquelas que diz respeito a toda a gente, incluindo voc^.  E ele nunca será justo.

Léan Nic Chombaill in Cherish the Children, Irlanda,

tradução F. Voff ( de inglês para francês )

 

Léan Nic Chomhaill

in https://cherishthechildren.ie/blog 

 

Doing the Ethical Splits

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both

They are the first lines to Frost’s well known poem. It’s not a particularly opaque poem, but it’s carved and simple and true. And you, dear reader, are standing right now where the roads diverge, and you cannot travel both. And like the poem, you will never stand here again.

In 1969 America was eying up abortion. Now the annual abortion figures in America hover upwards of a million. America was standing at the two roads then, a traveller ahead of us. They made a choice and took a road, and as Frost said, way has led to way, and America has never found its path back to that spot.

But in 1969 Americans were eying up abortion with a rather sceptical eye, so how did they end up choosing to legalise abortion just a few years later? Well, we don’t have to guess, a man once on the inside of America’s abortion drive has told us.

Bernard Nathanson was the leading physician pushing abortion, co founder of National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) Pro Choice America. He devoted his considerable skills and qualifications to the legalisation of abortion, carrying out over 5000 of them personally and overseeing 70,000 more by his staff, including on his own offspring. Writing, speaking, lobbying, he admitted to stretching the truth with false polls and inventing figures for illegal abortion related maternal deaths. After trotting happily, indeed leading the charge down that grassy and radical path, he came face to face with the reality of abortion as ultrasound made its debut in the 70s. But the path was taken, there was no turning back. There never is.

He was a medical man, a man of science, and ultrasound showed him the reality of abortion – that it stops a beating heart. He could no longer participate in abortions and would go on to actively fight the industry he had been so instrumental in growing. He wrote material and directed films to expose abortion (‘The Silent Scream’ and ‘Eclipse of Reason’ – still available on YouTube). However he also exposed the strategy NARAL used to create a climate where abortion would become legal. It wasn’t an organic or natural development; it was shaped and manipulated.

NARAL’s strategy was to manoeuvre the media first – that would win over enough voters in order to elect either pro choice representatives, or the easily swayed. Once they had enough politicians, they would end up electing sympathetic judges. Then the right case would come along; a hard case, a young girl from a poor, uneducated background, and the ‘justice system’ would do the needful.

NARALs most effective strategy to win over voters became known as the ‘Catholic Straddle’ – today you could call it the moral straddle – where a Catholic voter’s ethics could be separated from his politics. So a voter could abhor abortion personally, but still vote for pro abortion politicians and argue that abortion was purely a medical concern, not a moral one.

Now, shelve any religious feeling you do or do not have for minute. This isn’t a blog about religion. But it is a blog about how politics is aware of religion and aware that ethics (religious or not) put a limit on the aspirations of the politician.

To separate ethics from politics is a short road to hell. If ethics are entirely personal and not something we need to actually stand up for, there will be no ethics. If truth is something subjective and personal, then there will be no one who fights for it. What sort of a world does that lead to? It leads to a world where the wilful, purposeful death of millions of babies is touted as a right. Just think about that. It’s the lowest society can go. Why we’re even considering a vote on something so fundamentally at odds with a world where people actually care about each other is staggering.

We have trotted along in America’s wake and are standing looking down at their almost fifty year old footprints still visable in the mud at Robert Frost’s diverging paths. We can go one way or the other, but here’s the thing. We have a half century of watching where America and others ended up. America didn’t have the advances in foetal medicine we have, didn’t even have ultrasounds, let alone 3-D scans and in utero surgery and today’s level of knowledge about unique foetal DNA and development. America had some excuse, it could hide its face in the shame of ignorance.

We have no excuse. Let no one say, after the fact, that we had an excuse. We have the opportunity to actually take the other road. To say no there is a better, more progressive, more medically advanced road to take. A road that cares for Irish women and babies both. That provides support and care without sacrificing human rights. The Irish people have always had such a love and reverence for family, for home, for our land… what would abortion do to us? Our children will grow up knowing that if they had been mistimed or misformed they would have ended up in the bottom of a metal bucket. They will grow up knowing that they are alive because it suited, not because they have a right to life and a value all their own.

Lastly, if every single voter on the day of the referendum votes to repeal the 8th Amendment it still won’t make it right. Why? Because this is a moral issue, it is an issue of fundamental truths, based on realities, on logic, on facts and science. As such, it reaches across parties, across histories, across socio economic brackets, across religions, colour, age, gender. Because morals are above politics. Politics is the science of government, but it needs to move within an ethical arena. Outside of that arena, politics becomes tyranny, it becomes untrue, a dystopian nonsense. Morals define right and wrong, the ethical straddle is a fallacy to ease the minds of those who don’t want to fight for truth. Be under no illusion; abortion is a moral wrong. One that concerns everyone, including you. And it will never be right.

 

Republicanism, Sovereignty and the Right to Life

Posted by:

Having given Ireland, her first and last colony invasion, plunder, pillage, famine, cultural subjugation and partition, our colonial masters in their boundless generosity now will pay to facilitate the killing of our children. In total violation of whatever pathetic bit of sovereignty is afforded to subjects of the crown here in the six counties, who haven’t the protection of a referendum, the English parliament has legislated to pay for women from this statlet to have abortions on “the mainland”. The decision was passed on the very same day of a court ruling that abortion provision is a devolved issue. It is a measure of the contempt with which we are regarded in Westminster. And it seems that we should, as in the past, tip the forelock and be grateful.

A labour party delegation visited local pro-abortion advocacy groups last week to offer help and support to bring we backward Paddies into the bright new world they enjoy, where an abortion takes place every three minutes, one in five pregnancies are deliberately ended, and 90% of those with Down’s syndrome are “terminated”. These policies have cost the NHS 0.6 billion pounds, yes that’s 600,000,000 in the last decade, almost all of which was paid to private providers.

And where are the Republican voices protesting at this shameful denial of self-determination? Obediently silent, that’s where. Of course New Republicanism actively welcomes this. Their zeal for abortion means they can countenance even such a blatant insult to their precious Executive without protest. There are many who historically have voted for SF who are deeply uncomfortable with their position on this issue. But the Party is paramount, dissent is not tolerated, no votes of conscience will be allowed. It’s a far cry from the republicanism I was reared with.

Of course, this is not about the health and safety of women. Abortions are legally and appropriately carried out in every hospital in the land, when required, as part of appropriate medical care for women.

The laws on this island have historically been based on a particular vision of the common good, which places a high value on personal freedom, while limiting the deliberate ending of innocent human life. Protecting both women and their unborn children as far as humanly possible is not backward or regressive, but compassionate, ethical and hopeful. In the six counties, the lack of abortion on demand has saved the lives of 100,000 people. These are our friends, colleagues, family members, neighbours. It is a dangerous fallacy to measure rights or progress by our ability to end the lives of our unborn children. Choice must always balance individual autonomy with the rights of others.

The arbitrary selection of who is worthy of life, the reduction of the preborn child to offal, sex-selective foeticide, the weeding out of those who may have disabilities, or are “chromosomally challenged”, this, it seems is the ethos which should prevail when Ireland takes its place among the nations of the earth, and Robert Emmett’s epitaph can be written.

What is the point of having national self-determination, if we discard the values which have shaped us as a nation and as a people, and follow slavishly in the ways of the coloniser? Was this worth one life, not to mention the thousands who have given everything?

Surely the essence of republicanism should be to protect human dignity by whatever means are necessary. This obviously requires change to the current social order, but progressive change, not the culture of death. Irish women and men deserve better.

Our vision and objective should be to cherish all of the children of the nation equally, according to our own genius and traditions. We should not be ashamed of what our people suffered so much for. And if political republicanism moves away from this, then it leaves many of us behind.

 

Laws should not just protect the planned, the privileged and the perfect, but all of us

Posted by:

The most fulfilling, if the most challenging year of my medical career was spent working in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast. Babies do not differentiate between day and night, either at their time of arrival, or when they get ill. Sleep was a rare luxury in those days.

I saw at first hand these wee scraps of humanity as they fought for their lives, and fight they did. Even those of 23 or 24 weeks gestation felt pain, hated me for jabbing and poking them, and even though the endotracheal tube rendered them mute, they screamed silently. They hated needles, and tubes of all types, they loved being petted, they yawned and stretched, smiled and frowned. They especially responded to their parents voices. Some even showed personality traits, which parents used to tell us, when they came back for the Christmas party every year, endured outside of the hospital.

That these small, totally dependent individuals are full members of the human family, imbued with human dignity, and deserving of all the rights and entitlements of any adult is self -evident. Intrauterine life is a continuum, from the moment the mother becomes pregnant till her child is born. There can be no arbitrary cut-off at which it becomes expendable. Our laws should not just protect the planned, the privileged and the perfect, but all of us.

Life should not be just for the rich, the fortunate, the planned and the perfect — Tóibín’s Dáil speech

Posted by:

 

The Dáil and Seanad debates on the Eighth Amendment commenced on the 17th January and continued for much of the following week. For the most part, pro-life voices were absent as leaders and prospective leaders of all the main Parties jostled with each other to present themselves as the face of modern Ireland ahead of the inevitable Dáil elections. A cynic might say, Repealing the 8th Amendment, is the new the Marriage Equality, and if you want to be on the right side of the media love-in at the other side, you had better put your best “progressive” foot forward now!

One “bravely” flip-flopped into line with the Irish Times editorial opinion and steal a march on Taoiseach Varadkar. Another launched a blistering attack on the Catholic Church, the best lines of which were an ‘entirely coincidental’ word-for-word replication of an article on IrishCentral.com. Most of the rest were drearily predictable, “trust women to make decisions on their own bodies” or “abortion happens anyway, so let’s legalise it” variety. Scant regard for the lives of the unborn or the rights of anyone other than themselves.

Then on the evening of 24th January, came the turn of Sinn Féin TD, Peadar Tóibín (a definite favourite around these parts). Using logic and reason, Tóibín eloquently reframed the debate in terms of Human Rights conflict. That is where this debate belongs.