Letters to the Editor

Do not deprive our unborn children of their human rights

I know that people opposed to abortion are quite a varied lot with some taking a largely religious view that abortion is simply morally wrong. This is the view that the vast majority of people whose affinity is with the Democratic Unionist Party. Others take a view that from conception there is a separate human being deserving of the full protection of human rights that apply to those already born and it is this view that I wish to further comment upon.
I have read much of the argument those who support the provision of abortion facilities in Northern Ireland have and it appears to me that their main argument comes down to – it is a woman’s choice. 

All of us make choices every day, most without thinking about it. Choosing to end the life of a baby in the womb is the only choice I know where taking a life has been legalised in many parts of the world and which several groups are attempting to legalise in Northern Ireland. 

A huge part of this campaign attempts to hide the full horror of abortion and what it actually involves in a large percentage of cases. Effectively it pretends that
unborn babies are not human and are not deserving of human rights protection. Racial, sexual and sectarian prejudice are strongly influenced by this distorted thinking and anyone who takes a cursory glance at the Easter Proclamation will see that Pearse and his colleagues did not make any distinction between children still in the womb and those who are born.
They simply made a commitment to ‘cherish all the children of the nation equally. 

I therefore urge people to carefully consider the impact of designating some parts of the human race as not deserving of human rights. 

It is ironic that at a time when the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Campaign is taking place that the main political party representing nationalist people here are solidly behind depriving our unborn children of their human rights. 

Dungiven, Co Derry


Defenders of the unborn must be pro-active

Any regular listener to Irish Free State radio will have observed how the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment did not begin when the referendum was called on June 14 2017. Instead, it began in earnest 34 years previously during the anti-amendment campaign.

Since that time journalists, radio and TV presenters and associated commentators began to steadily increase their attacks on the Eighth. This insidious tactic became more intense after the regrettable death of Savita Halappanavar in 2012. It was that avoidable tragedy that acted as a rallying cry for those determined to treat the unborn as objects to be discarded at will.

By the time Varadkar called that ill-fated referendum the pro-abortion lobby had already gained an unstoppable momentum. The so-called ‘liberal’ media assisted in the slick movement of this bandwagon, conditioning an unsuspecting public with the belief that abortion on demand was somehow progressive. It is indicative of an established desire to embrace all things British and American.

The pro-life lobby was caught napping, seemingly secure in the status quo. By the time those who would defend the unborn child realised what was happening, the contest was over. Complacency cost them their campaign and the result will cost the lives of future unborn children in the Free State.

Those, who today respect the right-to-life of a baby, must now ensure that a similar scenario does not take place in the six counties. 

Whenever a journalist, radio or TV presenter sounds out their belief that abortion should be introduced here, then the pro-life movement must strongly counter. 

Even further, the defenders of the unborn must be pro-active in informing the public here, particularly younger generations, of the sordid truth that surrounds the immoral practice of treating the unborn child as a social inconvenience.

Newry, Co Down


Unacceptable behaviour

The recent recall poll  taken here should have been more inclusive. It should have involved the local electorate in a ballot along the lines: ‘Do you want Ian Paisley to continue to represent you – Yes or No’.

However, under the current rule, not even 10 per cent of this electorate could be mustered to remove him as our representative, so it must be that such behaviour is perfectly acceptable within this constituency and we now have the makings of an enduring dynasty, answerable to no-one.

What happens at the top permeates through to the bottom, so what is apparently considered acceptable behaviour can be justified at all levels, with minimal sanctions taken against the perpetrator/s.

Such behaviour would have been condemned in any normal society but these six counties are beyond normal –  you can understand why Sinn Féin want no more power sharing with the DUP .

Still, Sinn Féin seem to be blamed equally for the failures at Stormont, which seems to be rather unfair since they have only been in this power-sharing arrangement since the start of the Good Friday Agreement, whereas the various unionist parties have held unfettered power here since 1921. What the real surprise is that this arrangement lasted as long as it did.

Ballycastle, Co Antrim


Unionists in constant state of denial

Newton Emerson – ‘Unionists are living with a legacy of fear’ (September 13) – is a convoluted piece that [to me] sought to see committees and historians as arbiters of past events. Yet there was one statement that caught my eye, it was that unionists feared any report produced would not adequately present their side of the story.

That observation posed a question. For more than 50 years of unionist/British imposed ‘government’ here, unionists have been in a constant state of denial about civil rights and equality.  Repression, loyalist killings, internment, killings by the RUC and the British army evolved into a bloody war – and an amplified republican analysis.

Yet unionists, in particular the DUP, deny this analysis. Is it fear? Afraid the unionist analysis will not suffice?  Republicans for their part have stepped into new territory – a risky business in risk taking. Unionists must do this wholeheartedly. As Mr Emerson writes it can be done “side by side” yet done on the basis of accepting the integrity of the other.

Derry City


Sanity at last

Jeremy Corbyn last week has rightly acknowledged the turmoil in Westminster due to the Tories’ fraught negotiations and insists that the entire UK remains in a customs union. He also knows, like the rest of us, that as the negotiations go to the wire, the Tories in order to protect their own precious Brexit, will dump the DUP very soon.
Thanks Jeremy, sanity at last. 

Belfast BT11

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