Louth TD: 'While I am pro-life, I have no intention of telling anyone how they should vote in this matter'
Louth Deputy Declan Breathnach has called for a respectful debate on the Eighth Amendment when he spoke in the Dáil on the issue this week.
“While I am pro-life, I have no intention of telling anyone how they should vote in this matter", he stated in a statement to The Democrat.
“We all have differences of opinion. The idea of being respectful and being tolerant of other views in the world should be appreciated. There has already been much negative campaigning and I do not want to see a return to the 1983 referendum.”
“We need informed debate and I encourage people, when the referendum commission that is charged with giving a balanced opinion on this begins its work, to read about the two sides of the argument. The Commission is charged with giving an unbiased view and opinion that people should respect. The report should be read and digested before negativity enters any portion of the debate. The advertisements on both sides on social media can be bought by virtually anybody and people should be sceptical. Fake news on both sides is not unique to America.”
“I spent 35 years teaching. In that 35 years I embraced disability and I witnessed first-hand the great warmth, ability and talent of these children and, indeed, the career paths many of them have followed. It is on this basis, and not being overly gospel greedy, that I believe where there is life there is hope and that people can achieve what they want. I am proud to have seen a child I taught complete a degree at Trinity College, despite the fact that person may not have been given the opportunity to live.”
“While I personally have a strong pro-life view, and that pro-life label will be put on me I fully respect the decision of anyone whose conscience tells them they are that other label, pro-choice. I may not agree with them but I respect their opinion on what is a deeply personal matter. ”
“I am acutely aware that there will be extraordinary cases but it is my belief that these ethical considerations could be dealt with by better legislation, rather than a broad brush legislating for all.”
“If I thought for one minute that my view of the eighth amendment would save one life, then I am quite happy with my stance on it”, concluded Breathnach.