Sshhhhh… Don’t mention an actual Abortion…..

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For the last few years a small internationally funded campaign with easy access to the media establishment have called over and over again for a debate about abortion. The usually don’t use the word abortion. The use words like terminations, choice, repeal, etc. However they have demanded repeatedly that we debate the issue.

However, if someone in this whole debate actually mentions what an abortion is, the sky falls down. Jude Collins is a long-time well respected commentator in the north. He is recognised as a well-researched and dispassionate political analyst with clear insights into the nationalist/republican community. In a blog post about the result of the Abortion Committee in Leinster House, he did no more than factually detail what an abortion of a 12 week unborn child is like.

Jude Collins: The repeal of the Eighth Amendment: some facts

Think about it for a second in all the column inches, the news items, the chat show discussions, television programmes about abortion so far, how many times have you heard anyone detail what actually happens in an abortion? How many times have you heard what happens to the remains of the unborn child? I’d say never. That’s because those who want to introduce abortion don’t want you to spend any time considering what an actual abortion is.

The Abortion Committee in Leinster House has just published a report seeking to import the British abortion regime to Ireland. While they deliberated they refused to allow a simple video of an abortion operation be shown in the committee. When Jude Collins detailed the operation in his blog a journalist for the Irish News sought to close him down with claims that the language he had used was appalling. She claimed that his provision of information about what an abortion is was an effort to traumatise women. She claimed that the description of the operation was an example of ‘ old men imposing their views on young women’.

Now we all agree that the details of an abortion are appalling. This is why pro-life republicans so strongly oppose abortion. However what Allison Morris sought to do was to say that the messenger was appalling rather than the operation. This tactic, whether Allison is aware of it or not, is an effort to censor debate. It’s aim is to produce a chilling effect, to shut people up who seek to ensure that all information on abortion is in the public domain. For good measure Allison then started to call Jude an old man. She sought to delete his right to participate in this life or death debate on the basis of age and gender. How progressive!

We welcome a debate on abortion. But it must be honest and fair. We cannot allow censorship of information and the facts. We republicans know all about Section 31 and what it did to our community. Many pro-life republicans have not yet found their voice in this debate despite the fact that we are in the majority. It is the strategy of the pro-choice side that you and tens of thousands of people like you keep your mouth shut during this debate. The question is will you kowtow or will you stand up and participate in the most important human rights debate of our generation.

Anne Brolly

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Anne was a Sinn Féin councillor on Limavady Borough Council for over 15 years. She left the Party because of its stance on abortion.
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