There are so many contradictions in the debate around the article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution, better known as the. Here are a few I have been studying…

1. We are told: ‘It’s not a baby, it’s just a clump of cells’ yet we are also told ‘abortion is a traumatic experience for a woman and is not entered into lightly.’ So why the trauma?

2. We are told: ‘It’s not a baby, it’s a clump of cells’ yet the politicians say ‘abortion should only be legal up to 12 weeks.’ Why should it make a difference to a bunch of cells?

3. Abortion is supposedly OK for fatal foetal abnormalities or in cases of rape or incest. Why not then on other grounds?

4. “I believe women should have the choice but I couldn’t have an abortion”. But why not?

5. Abortion supporters talk about rape, incest, sexual abuse and fatal foetal abnormalities as justifications for abortion. Yet they accuse pro-life supporters of resorting to emotional language by using the term ‘baby’.

6. Women who have had a hysterectomy or who have gone through menopause or who are unable to conceive can have an opinion. So why do abortion campaigners not want men to have an opinion?

7. Article 40.3.3 considers a pregnant woman a mother by virtue of her pregnancy. Abortion campaigners argue is that women shouldn’t be forced to become mothers. But mothers of what … a bunch of cells?

8. The death penalty was made illegal in Ireland in 1990 for all crimes (including rape and incest). So why then do abortion campaigners now want to make it legal to kill the innocent child resulting from rape or incest?

9. Our TDs and Senators voted to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, under which abortion for reasons of disability is a violation. So why at the same time do they want abortion available if there is a disability diagnosis of ‘fatal foetal abnormality’.

10. In all countries where abortion is legal, sex selection forms part of the abortion business and females are aborted purely for being female. So why do abortion campaigners consider abortion as a women’s rights issue?

11. Studies show a much higher rate of depression and anxiety among women who have had an abortion when compared to women who have continued the pregnancy to birth. So why then do abortion campaigners consider abortion as a women’s health issue?

12. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not list abortion as a human right so why do abortion campaigners claim abortion as a human right?

13. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that “the child…needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”. So why do abortion campaigners consider repealing article 40.3.3 as a human rights issue?

14. Scientific studies prove that a fertilised egg is an autonomous, living being. So why do abortion campaigners consider abortion itself, the negation of life, a human rights issue?

15. Article 43.3.3 has served women and children well. No one woman has died because of Article 43.3.3. So why should we even consider removing it?


By Brónagh Hayes.

Brónagh is a Law student in Dublin.