Put simply, any argument for a vote of conscience on a social issue does not apply when the legislation is necessary to give effect to the Constitution.
The decision on X was made by the Supreme Court in 1992. More recently, the ECHR ruled our failure to legislate means we are in breach of our obligations under the convention. The people, on two separate occasions, 1992 and 2002, stated the X Case and the Supreme Court ruling on X should stand.
This is not a matter of conscience; it is a question of accepting the Constitution is the highest law in the land, and the Supreme Court the final authority on its interpretation.
Demanding legislation in these circumstances is not remotely radical. To suggest we can do otherwise is anti-democratic and allows a group of vocal regressives to overrule the wishes of the silent majority.
The refusal of some to give effect to this constitutional right because it is a matter of conscience is all the more surprising when, in the next breath, they will roundly criticise those who refuse to abide by other laws on similar grounds – most notably in relation to the household charge legislation.
To behave like this is à la carte moralism of the worst kind.
Yes. Good. There are many reasons I struggle with patriotism (it’s in there somewhere, believe me), but when the nation insists on being such a farcical piece of shite it really is quite difficult to love Ireland.
- Rebecca Moynihan and Jane Horgan Jones, “Political cowardice must not obstruct abortion law”