I have signed the Repeal the 8th Pledge. This pledge only commits TDs to hold a referendum on repealing the 8th Amendment and therefore doesn’t conflict with my commitment to digital democracy.
My personal views will not play much of a role in this referendum other than insofar as my own vote is concerned. However, they may well play a role in crafting legislation thereafter, so I’ll lay them out here.
Forcing women who have been raped or who are carrying fetuses that suffer fatal abnormalities to carry to term is cruel and needs to be ended ASAP. I would support legislation that achieves this. Indeed, I’d be more than willing to draft it myself.
As far as all other terminations are concerned, my views are as follows:
– Abortion is not a decision that should be taken lightly. That being said, I do not believe it is a decision that I have the right to make for someone else, and I don’t believe it is a decision that anyone else has the right to make for me. Therefore, I am pro-choice.
– I believe that, in everyone’s interests, terminations should be closely regulated (e.g. time limits as in England and Germany) and that non-partisan counseling should be provided to anyone considering a termination to ensure that the decision to terminate (or not to) is not made under coercion or duress.
– It is, of course, hard to say how statistics can be carried over to Ireland, but in the United States, a high proportion of terminations are performed on women who already have at least one child and who are experiencing financial strain. In other words, one of the most common reasons for a woman to seek a termination is that she is struggling to provide for the children she already has and feels she cannot provide for more children. It’s not the only reason that people seek terminations, of course, but it is a major one. Based on this, I would say that anyone who truly wants to minimize the number of terminations would be better off focusing on improving financial security and income equality than on criminalizing all terminations or publicly shaming those who have had one.