A world where most things are not just black and white

Country Living with Francis Farragher

DO you ever get the feeling that the closer you look at something the more unclear it gets, or the more that someone tells you an issue is black and white, the more you realise that there are myriad shades of grey in-between?

Like a lot of what I’ll describe as ‘ordinary people’, I find myself tending to switch channels on the car radio when a debate swirls into full wind on abortion and the Eighth Amendment and the rights and wrongs of our laws and Constitution in this country.

One thing though, I am pretty convinced about, is that the extreme views on both sides of the arguments are the ones that tend to fill the letter spages of our papers, week-in and week-out.

Somewhere in-between there lies a middle ground, where I suspect the vast bulk of the population lies, who do not want an Ireland where abortion is available on demand but who equally do not want to see a scenario whereby a woman’s life could be endangered if she was to carry through with a normal pregnancy.

There are also the very disturbing cases where a woman gets pregnant after being raped or has been the victim of incest, or where a fatal foetal abnormalities give a 99% guidance that a pregnancy cannot be viable, but there’s the other side of the story too.

The thought of killing babies, is, by any yardstick of human society, quite a disturbing one  and the prospect of an innocent child in the womb having his or her life terminated on the operating table, is not one that can be easily reconciled with a civilised society.

Yes, it might be happening in other countries and yes thousands of Irish women might be taking the plane and boat to the UK every year for abortions, but is that an argument for saying it’s right. Somehow, I don’t think so.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.