Abortion – the line in the sand?

The Irish Times’ Mary Fitzgerald makes a brave attempt in CIF to set the Strasbourg abortion case in a wider Irish context – paedophile scandals, recession and so on. Her point is this:

Until very recently, Ireland’s progressive social change went hand in hand with economic liberalisation – and now that the resulting boom from the latter is over, reasoned political debate over the former seems paralysed

Hmm.. maybe so… but I should have thought the Lisbon Treaty re-run and the perfect storm over priestly – and other – paedophilia would have kept the churn going. At the same time, as what’s being asked for in Strasbourg falls far short of abortion on demand, the issue seems set apart from mainstream liberalising trends, regardless of recession and the general state of Irish self confidence. In the US, the hard pounding continues over the Health Bill now that a version has passed the Senate and abortion cover could yet be a deal breaker.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London