I have a confession to make. It is sometimes difficult for me to determine, using the scale of politics, what is to the left, centre or right when considering certain issues. When I read about the economy or the environment or healthcare, I get confused and I am one of the interested ones (I have watched the box set of “the west wing” a least four times).
There are some issues that don’t fall into any of the above categorization. These issues in British politics are broadly left to the individual elected members to vote on according to their conscience. The British parties may have an official policy on such issues but allows a free vote to its elected members when it comes to legislate.
One such issue is that of abortion.
N Ireland has a different law concerning abortion from the rest of the UK and for this reason alone some say it needs to change and be brought into line. That argument is a constitutional one and would render the Belfast Agreement, St Andrews Agreement and The Stormont Agreement null and void, if as a principle you expect all legislation in the UK to be the same. I think it is fair to recognise the regional difference that there is to abortion.
Does the N Ireland law on abortion break the European Convention on Human Rights? The attorney general has lodged an appeal to a High Court ruling, that found Northern Ireland’s abortion legislation to be “incompatible” with the human rights law and the Stormont’s justice minister is lodging an appeal to a High Court ruling also. When our top legal experts are divided on the interpretation of human rights, there does not seem to be a clear argument here ether to extend the Abortion Act 1967 to N Ireland.
For me abortion is just wrong.
It is wrong to purposely end the life of a human being, whether it be war, euthanasia, capital punishment, suicide or abortion. No man, woman, child or government has a right to end life.
What is a viable life?
Any life taken from its life support environment, will die at what ever stage it is at, inside or outside the womb. From the first heartbeat, sciences, legislations and faiths acknowledge that a human being has formed with its own DNA, totally different from its mother.
The only exception to all of the above, to ending the life of a human being would be this. If there is a real and present threat to another persons life. This principle could be used to favour a just war position. It could be used to permit self-defence or if the life of a mother is threatened by her unborn child.
Undoubtedly there are mothers who find themselves in very difficult circumstances. We need to provide everything we can to support the life of the mother and child and treat both the same.
Do we end the life of a perfectly formed human being because of sexual violence? Not unless there is an immediate threat to the life of the mother, whether it be mental or physical.
Do we medically end the life of a deformed human being before its natural time to die? Not unless there is an immediate threat to the life of the mother, whether it be mental or physical.
These are hard, hard, situations for any woman to go though and more money needs to go into support units and parenting education.
All expectant lives are lives of great expectations.