Well Vincent Browne is blunt.
Tonight the (almost) all-male parliament will vote to imprison a woman, for up to 14 years, who refuses to give her body to the sustenance of another human being, irrespective of almost all circumstances.
It is irrespective of whether the pregnancy would do serious and irreversible harm to her health for the rest of her life.
It is irrespective of the circumstances whereby she became pregnant, for example, if she had been gang-raped and was distraught at the prospect of bringing to full term the child of one of her rapists.
It is irrespective of whether the woman would be able to cope physically, emotionally and psychologically with having, say, a 10th child. It’s irrespective of the woman’s will.
That was Wednesday, before the vote happened.
This intrusion on the autonomy of women is founded on the virulent misogyny that pervades our culture. The culture that demeaned women by disbarring them from employment for centuries; that excluded them from the institutions and positions of power; that made them the property of their husbands; that still often portrays them as the mere sex toys of men; that has so infiltrated the consciousness of millions of women that even they believe their role is the mere “helper” of men (see Genesis chapter 2, verse 18). The culture that has absorbed the poisonous misogyny of the Catholic Church. Aside from an acknowledgement of a women’s right to life, there has been hardly a mention of any other entitlement on the part of the mother by any of the anti-abortion advocates, including the Catholic bishops (whose effrontery in engaging in any debate to do with morals is itself astonishing). It is as though they regard women as mere incubators.
Yes, it is.