Mullen's comments reflect need for debate on the 8th
Published 08/10/2016 | 00:00
Senator Ronan Mullen's remarks in recent days in relation to the abortion debate have very much divided opinion.
While I believe his heart is in the right place, his comments haven't helped parents who are facing the reality of a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis.
Senator Mullen spoke quite well on Monday to give greater context to the views he shared where he outlined that 'abortion providers' see the foetal remains as 'debris' and 'not the kind of thing you put into a coffin and grieve over'.
I think that to a certain extent he was unfairly criticised and it was clear in the text that these were not his own views, but rather what he perceived as the views of those who run abortion clinics.
The problem is that these clinics he speaks of are all in the UK and the fact that Irish women are often left with no choice but to avail of their services is what the whole country is up in arms over. Senator Mullen said that he represents families who have taken the decision to allow doomed pregnancies to continue to their natural end, and deal with the consequences, whether the child is stillborn or lives for just a short time.
He said that he agrees that this is a better decision and that it helps parents to grieve and that it affords the unborn child the right to a natural end of life. These tragic stories have clearly had a strong impact on him and he is entitled to hold whatever view he sees fit but isn't it important to try and support all parents faced with this terrible decision. What he says is true, but only for some families. For some, continuing the pregnancy is just unthinkable and more painful that the alternative.
The problem is that there is no choice. In truth, there is no happy outcome for those who avail of overseas abortion or those who allow the pregnancy to come to a natural end.
Both of these scenarios have their own heartache and tragedy. What differentiates them is that those who feel they cannot continue the pregnancy must leave their country to bring it to an end.
Senator Mullen spoke against repealing the eighth amendment as he believes that the natural end is a better way, but for those that prefer this route, it still can be.
Repealing the eighth will simply give those who make a different choice to have options in Ireland.