I am shocked by the number of TDs who call for a speedy passage of the Abortion Bill through the Dáil using the excuse ‘the people are sovereign’. This Bill is an unrestricted charter for the wholesale abortion of Irish unborn children.
TD’s must bear in mind that there are limits to ‘democracy’ and limits to ‘freedom’. One person’s freedoms cannot impose undue burdens upon other persons. The establishment of new rights for some people is not legitimate if they become burdensome duties for other people. One person’s rights cannot become another person’s duty. One person’s liberty stops where another person’s liberty begins.
TD’s are responsible for implementing this principal. Legislators do not have a right to simply grant freedoms, they can only recognize freedoms when those freedoms do not impose undue burdens on other groups and it is incumbent on legislators to identifying any potential undue burdens that may arise in this process.
It’s not acceptable for legislators to say “we are only implementing the will of the people”. Legislators are responsible for preventing the “tyranny of the majority”. Even if of 66% of people vote to allow a choice to kill by abortion legislators cannot allow the majority to impose on the minority such undue burdens. Abortion – the freedom granted to abort places an undue burden on the baby to die. The fact that the victim cannot defend himself or herself does not negate their natural right to life.
Such proposals should not be put to a vote for the same reason that the government should prohibit a ballot that would allow ethnic cleansing – driving ethnic minorities out of the country – legalizing eugenics or euthanasia – depriving minorities of property rights or allowing a private army to persecute sections of society. The referendum on abortion touted by many as a democratic exercise was in fact a perversion of democracy, an abomination of justice.
All members of the human family possess in themselves by virtue of their existence alone the inalienable rights of life, liberty, including freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of association etc. as outlined in Articles 40 to 44 of our constitution.
No government gives inalienable rights and no government can take them away without making a mockery of justice. The most fundamental bedrock of all is THE RIGHT TO LIFE. While there are individual and enlightened TDs in the Dáil who try to uphold this right, it is shocking that there is no political party in the Dáil that does so.
No Government – No Citizens assembly – No Court - & No Referendum of the people can justly remove inalienable rights from any section of the human family. Unjust laws are not laws but are a perversion of law. In the case of severe injustice which will be meted out on a daily basis to unborn babies, tolerance is not justifiable. Unjust laws cannot be accepted out of respect for the Dáil, the courts or the will of the people expressed by a majority of voters. Not alone do we have a right to oppose unjust laws we have a moral duty to do so.
Saying “we are only implementing the will of the people”. is not only perverting democracy it is also a crime against justice. Minimum justice is based on the ethical principle’ first do no harm’. Civil authorities who use their powers unjustly undermine their very own legitimacy. Hand wringing and hand washing in public saying ‘the people have spoken’, ‘we must respect the will of the people’ is capitulation at best but in reality, it is cooperating to end the life of little babies.
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