Exit polls suggest Irish voters have repealed abortion ban

A man leaves a polling station in Dublin on May 25, 2018, after casting his vote in the referendum on the eighth amendment of the Irish Constitution. The referendum on whether to repeal the country's strict anti-abortion law is being seen by anti-abortion activists as a last-ditch stand against what they view as a European norm of abortion-on-demand, while for pro-abortion rights advocates, it is a fundamental moment for declaring an Irish woman's right to choose. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland appeared to move away from its conservative Roman Catholic roots and embrace a more liberal viewpoint Friday as two major exit polls predicted voters had repealed a constitutional ban on abortion.

The RTE television and Irish Times exit polls are only predictions, with official tallies due Saturday afternoon, but both exit polls suggested an overwhelming victory for abortion rights activists seeking a “yes” vote to change the constitution.

Catherine Murphy, co-leader of the small Social Democrats party, said the polls strongly indicate “voters have taken on board the clear message that the constitutional ban harms women” and must be removed from the constitution.

If the exit poll numbers hold up, the victory will be of a larger magnitude than “yes” activists had believed possible. It would then fall to Parliament to establish new laws governing abortions.

Ireland’s referendum represented a battle for the very soul of a traditionally conservative nation that has seen a wave of liberalization in recent years.

The country’s leaders supported a “yes,” an outcome that would repeal a 1983 constitutional amendment requiring authorities to treat a fetus and its mother as equals under the law. They called it a once-in-a-generation opportunity to liberalize some of Europe’s strictest abortion rules.

Voters went to the polls after a campaign that aroused deep emotions on both sides. For advocates of repeal, a “yes” vote would be a landmark in Irish women’s fight for equality and the right to control their own bodies. For opponents, it would be a betrayal of Ireland’s commitment to protect the unborn.

The vote also is a key indicator of Ireland’s trajectory, three years after the country voted to allow same-sex marriages and a year after its first openly gay prime minister took office.

The newspaper exit poll indicated overwhelming support for change. The survey by pollster Ipsos-MRBI says 68 percent of voters backed repeal of the ban and 32 percent opposed it. The pollster says it interviewed some 4,000 people and the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points. The RTE poll used similar methods and projected the “yes” vote to be nearly 70 percent.

The voting took place on a day that was sunny throughout much of Ireland, which may have bolstered turnout.

Theresa Sweeney, a repeal supporter, was one of the first to arrive at a church polling station in Dublin.

“I feel like I’ve waited all of my adult life to have a say on this,” she said.

Emma Leahy said her “yes” vote comes from her firm belief that everyone should be able to make their own choice when it comes to abortion.

“For Ireland, it’s hope for the future,” she said of the referendum. “Whether you agree or disagree, it shouldn’t be the government or anyone else making that decision.”

Vera Rooney voted against repeal.

“It is a hard decision but I just feel I don’t have the right to take life,” she said. “I think life is sacred and for that reason I had to vote no.”

The contested amendment requires authorities to equally protect the right to life of a mother and that of a fetus, from the moment of conception. That effectively bans all abortions in Ireland, except in cases when the woman’s life is at risk. Having an illegal abortion is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, and several thousand Irish women travel each year to get abortions in neighboring Britain.

If the amendment is removed and the issue moves to parliament, the government proposes that terminations be allowed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Later abortions would be allowed in special cases.

Thousands of Irish people abroad travelled home to take part in the historic referendum, and supporters of repeal gathered at Dublin Airport to give arrivals an ecstatic welcome.

Some activists held a placard reading “Thank you for making the journey so other women don’t have to” — a reference to the way Irish women seeking abortions have had to leave the country to obtain them.

Tara Flynn, who 11 years ago flew to the Netherlands for an abortion, said she planned to vote “yes” to make sure future generations of women don’t endure what she did, with feelings of isolation and shame.

She said her vote would be one for solidarity and compassion, “a vote to say, I don’t send you away anymore.”

Campaigning was not allowed Friday, but Dublin was still filled with signs and banners urging citizens to vote “yes” or “no.” Many of the anti-abortion signs showed photographs of fetuses.

Voting has already taken place on Ireland’s remote islands so that paper ballots can be taken to the mainland and counted in time.

Letters to the editor published Friday in the Irish Independent newspaper contained several emotional arguments urging voters to reject the repeal movement.

“If we vote ‘yes’ every unborn, wanted and unwanted, will have zero rights,” wrote Frances Kelleher, from Killarney. “I do not believe the smart people of Ireland want this unrestricted, abortion-on-demand bill.


Leo Enright contributed.

About the author

The Associated Press


Click here to post a comment

  • Apparently there is an enormous influx of money flowing in from outside Ireland, mostly from here in the U.S., attempting to sway the election in favor of the NO vote. Sources in Ireland who did ample research determined that tactics that were used to influence both the Brexit vote in the U.K. and the 2016 presidential election here in the U.S. are being strategically deployed once again in Ireland using subtle but carefully targeted ads on YouTube, Facebook, and other forms of social media to sway the vote to NO among undecided voters. An Irish data journalist named Gavin Sheridan traced the source of many of these ads to two American Catholic groups: The Community of St. John and New York Franciscan Friars of the Atonement.

    Given that the outside influence team is on such a winning streak these days I have no doubt they will succeed once again. As the world stands there flat-footed scratching its head looking like a dunce, these marauders like foxes are raiding the hen houses, Because we’re letting them.

  • You pretend never to have heard of George Soros.
    Let’s pray that humanity chooses life over death.

  • It wasn’t until the year 1869 that the Roman Catholic Church, completely ignoring earlier teachings, officially declared that life begins at conception. That happened when Pope Pius IX wrote in “Apostolicae Sedis” that excommunication is the required penalty for abortion at any stage of pregnancy. He further stated that all abortion was homicide. This was an implicit endorsement – the church’s first – of ensoulment at conception. Prior to that, the church believed in the concept of “delayed hominization” or “delayed ensoulment,” a concept that was embraced by no less than St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. So in the church’s long 2000-year history, the belief that life begins at conception is rather late to the game, much like the belief that the pope is infallible, a declaration that happened the very same year – 1869.

    I offer that as a little historical context.

  • So if the outcome is No, it’s ‘outside forces’.
    If the repeal passes, it’s ‘the will of the people’.
    Got it.

  • So if the outcome is “no”, it’s the will of god.

    If the outcome is “yes”, it’s the devil, misinformed people, the culture of death, the failure of religion.

    Got it.

  • Why is it that the people who claim they are “pro-life” and anti-abortion are also apparently against comprehensive sex education and easily available birth control, both of which ought to reduce the need for abortion drastically?

    Why is it that the people who claim they are “pro-life” seem generally opposed to universal health care after a child is born?

    Why is it that the people who claim they are “pro-life” would rather give money to anti-abortion politicians and political grifters who have been making a lot of money for the past 45 years “opposing” abortion, but not actually “doing anything” about abortion?

    Why are their billions spent on the politics of abortion, but relatively little money spent on offering assistance to women to carry their babies to term?

    Why are their billions spent on the politics of abortion, but relatively little money spent on offering to adopt and care for all of the children born because their parents chose not to get an abortion?
    I have exactly the same question of those Christian fundamentalists who think that adoption agencies which receive tax dollars should be able to discriminate on the basis of religious belief against gay tax payers who want to provide unwanted children with a home. They believe so strongly that every child deserves a mother and a father who love them. (we won’t get into the vicious and virulent beliefs that are also present). You’d think that with such a strong belief about what children need, and all of the money spent to pass these laws, that the adoption rolls of those states are virtually empty, because all of those children have been adopted by all of those Good Christians (TM) who so strongly believe what they claim.
    But the adoption rolls are not empty, but overflowing.

  • Ireland is taking another step (hopefully) out from under the yoke of the RCC. Keeping fingers crossed for a Yes vote.

    In Ireland…first, contraception was legalized, then divorce was allowed, same-sex marriage was approved in a referendum and now Irish women can take their rightful place outside of a Church’s dogma…and have some control over their bodies and lives.

    My grandmother had to flee the oppressive theocracy of Ireland of the past…slowly it is joining a civilized, secular world. None too soon!

    Sadly this referendum will not affect Northern Ireland, still part of the UK, however no abortion rights or SSM in the North…both Catholcis and Protestants to overcome up there !!

  • Thanks Mary mother of God — your prayers are no better than anyone else’s….

    An exit poll released by The Irish Times points to a landslide margin for the ‘Yes’ side of the referendum, at 68% to 32% for ‘No’.

    But Mary, if you are there — try bugging God about world peace, hunger and disease?

  • The hypothesis that “people who claim they are ‘pro-life’ and anti-abortion are … against comprehensive sex education and easily available birth control” is not well-attested.

    The notion that “both …. ought to reduce the need for abortion drastically” seems to be contradicted by the evidence.

    Of course the primary objection is that education is the duty of parents, not bureaucrats, particularly bureaucrats with agendas contrary to the parents’ beliefs.

    The rest of your “why is it”s seem to be subject to similar objections.

  • It looks like the exit polls indicate that Ireland has rejected overwhelmingly yet another demand for obedience, err, umm, directive from the roman church.

  • Can Ireland expect a natural disaster soon? Maybe a storm, floods, earthquake?

    God cannot punish Ireland for the referendum result with a mass shooting — due to strong Irish gun laws. But I guess he could punish ethnic Irish in the US with a gun massacre to smite Ireland !!

  • The notion that “both …. ought to reduce the need for abortion drastically” seems to be contradicted by the evidence.

    Not true.

    The US has been at an all-time low for abortions. Those levels were achieved primarily by reducing teenage pregnancy. That was achieved by: 1. comprehensive sex education; 2. teenage access to free/economical birth control; and 3. affordable long-acting teen birth control.

    The evidence states that making abortion illegal doesn’t reduce abortion. It drives abortion access underground, putting women’s & girl’s lives at risk.

  • I thought RC belief was eternal, that it never changed. That it couldn’t change.

    Yet it changed.

  • Do you have any citations at all for:

    1. comprehensive sex education;

    2. teenage access to free/economical
    birth control;

    3. affordable long-acting teen birth control?

    or is that simply your impression?

    The evidence does not “state” anything. It supports the conclusion that legalizing abortion results in more abortions.

  • Why is it that instead of working to provide the best access to contraception and the most support to women and families, instead of working harder to reduce the incidence of assault and rape, all things that will reduce abortion significantly, these men choose to promote the criminalization of abortion, a measure which drives it underground and mostly endangers the lives of poor women?

  • Actually it did not.

    But first – it’s either Catholic or Roman Catholic, not “RC”.

    “RC” is a trademark of the Dr Pepper Snapple Group for a cola-flavored soft drink.

    The Catholic position from the first century has been without exception that procured abortion is a moral evil and forbidden.

    “You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.” – 75 Didache 2,2:SCh 248,148; cf. Ep. Barnabae 19,5:PG 2 777; Ad Diognetum 5,6:PG 2,1173; Tertullian, Apol. 9:PL 1,319-320

    So Elagabalus’ contention that “It wasn’t until the year 1869 that the Roman Catholic Church, completely ignoring earlier teachings, officially declared that life begins at conception. That happened when Pope Pius IX wrote in ‘Apostolicae Sedis’ that excommunication is the required penalty for abortion at any stage of pregnancy.” is hogwash.

    The issue of when life begins and when a soul enters, which is the issue Elagabalus has conflated into the discussion, are entirely separate.

    The Catholic position has been essentially the same as modern science’s without the science – life is a cycle beginning with conception and ending with death.

    The immorality of abortion consists of interfering in this cycle, which is not dependent on so-called “ensoulment”.

    Theologians and individual Catholics are entitled to hold different views on the issue of ensoulment, which has no moral impact at all.

    The immorality of abortion is in no way contingent on it.


    Did you actually read this?

    Once you cut through the statistical fog, the conclusion the authors state that their study supports is that:

    “Our analysis adds to the overwhelming evidence indicating that abstinence-only education does not reduce teen pregnancy rates.”

    I.e., abstinence-only education does not work.

    In fact it is nearly a broadside for comprehensive sex education, and does not consider the impact on promoting sexual activity or the increase is stds.

    Your Guttmacher article really does not offer any data, beyond some general comments about things being swell in California.

    The Guttmacher Institute is committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and globally. It was founded as an arm of Planned Parenthood and still frequently received financial support from Planned Parenthood, for which it acts as a think tank and propagandist.

    Swell graph. What is the “Choice Project”?

    I read this, and then read the first article again. According to the first article, California has results far better than any other state without the touted education. According to this article, without education but with birth control Colorado get far better results than any other state.

    Am I missing something or should these articles reflect the results in the other state?

    Ah, Project Choice finally.

    These results beat the pants off the California results.

    Of course, this group included women.

    I did read near the end that “We thank Dr. Kathryn Kost and the staff of the Guttmacher Institute for providing us with data from unpublished tabulations of sexually experienced U.S. teens and guidance regarding the calculation of teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates.” I believe I’ve seen that name “Guttmacher Institute” somewhere before.

    I assume you looked at the supplementary material and noted that the study was funded by the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, set up and funded by Warren Buffett to advance his views, including a strong belief in population control.

    Also Bayer Pharmaceuticals, a major manufacturer of the birth control devices used, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, also a major manufacturer of the birth control devices used, funded the study.

    Well, let me see what I find, hopefully not funded such as to create conflicts of interest.

  • There is a natural disaster coming Damien; the murder of their future countrymen for the next thousand years.

  • Ben, I’m confused as to how you can equate murder of the unborn with obedience to the church. Is that what it comes down to for you? – you don’t like the church, so you don’t like their “rules”; so you’re pleased that innocents can be killed?

  • Acting on the direction of a Church in which only men make any decisions and tell the rest of us what is right and what we must do, unless we want to end up in hell.

  • If you can’t figure out that killing innocents is wrong; then maybe you do need a man to tell you what to do.

  • It’s RC with most folks that I know as a writing shortcut, whether they are members of the Roman church or not. Especially among theologs in seminary.

    And Catholics could be referring to any number of folks who belong to various Catholic churches.

    I’m guessing that the RC to which you refer is the RC Cola folks, aka Royal Crown Cola. It’s likely a part of the beverage conglomerate.

  • God does not seem to mind killing about 10,000 children a day from malnutrition, cancer and disease.

    If you are a believer, then take up that killing of millions of innocents with God….and spare us the unborn life guilt trip — a fetus is not a human.

  • I’m not sure that I get your point regarding abstinence-only education.

    A-O Ed is basically leaving kids stupid regarding sex ed. Of course it doesn’t work.

    A-O Ed isn’t comprehensive sex ed. Although, some states require that it be covered in the more comprehensive approach to sex ed.

  • God doesn’t kill. Man kills. And the sin of man is responsible for the evil in the world.
    A fetus will become human if you don’t kill it. Stop hiding behind arbitrary definitions.
    If you feel guilty than you know you are wrong.

  • This is another repudiation of the disaster that has been the RC hierarchy in Ireland – too many abused kids, too many skeletons of orphans.

  • Ever read about Noah’s Ark and god’s drowning of the whole world? How about the murder of the 1st born children of Egypt?

  • That is utterly sick. You don’t value the woman for anything except her breeding ability.

  • Why do you hate the fact that women have the right to choose when and if to bear children?

  • Yep. Keep moving the line back far enough until you can rationalize your actions.
    If it’s not viable, why do you need an abortion? Oh yeah, because eventually it becomes a child.

  • It is also not the “Roman” church.

    Generally when the term “Catholic” is used it denotes the one whose pontiff is in Rome, but yes “Roman Catholic” rules out the Anglican Catholic, the Old Catholic, the Polish National Catholic, and the other denominations who use “Catholic” in their names.

  • The authority and competence of men and women is completely contingent on the individuals and the context.

  • I had been under the impression that the article was offered in support of comprehensive sex education, not in simply suggesting that A-O Ed is ineffective.

  • If this isn’t a threat, it’s definitely a craven effort to exact total capitulation through fear tactics.

  • Bon Secours nuns under the warped auspices of the church.
    Tuam, County Galway
    Reports show that the confiscated babies suffered malnutrition and neglect, which caused the deaths of many, while others died of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.
    Church. Sanctioned. Murder.

  • What are you talking about? Who’s making threats?
    Damien implied that God will punish Ireland based upon the outcome of the vote. All I am saying is that if any “disaster” occurs, it is the self inflicted killing of its population. Please explain where the threat is.

  • Not true. I value ALL life. I know it’s against human nature but I always hope that one is willing to sacrifice for another.

  • Ok Leyla, here’s my last post on this topic – I don’t hate anybody’s choice, I hate the conscious decision to end life; especially if that life has no say in the matter. How do I get there?
    I have had the “privilege” to see what men do to one another on the battlefield. To see bombs dropped, men burned to death, etc. Those men – while they may have chosen to be there – had their lives taken – and thus will never walk the earth again. Think about that for a moment – gone forever. Once a man is dead, there is nothing that can be done to bring him back. Can you imagine? So to me, all life is sacred. I did not create it, therefore I do not take it.
    The choice crowd likes to use the horrible examples of rape, incest, death of the mother, etc. as valid reasons to destroy. I agree, all of those are horrific situations and experiences that cause physical and mental damage (Always left out are those that use abortion as contraception). However, can we not sacrifice a bit of ourselves for the innocent life to be? I know, that’s horrible – carry to term something that was created in such a horrible manner. Cannot any good come from it? Before we go down the path that no woman should have to suffer/sacrifice; etc. I go back to the scene above where men willingly sacrifice their lives for each other. Think about that – think about what goes through a man’s mind the moments before they willingly end their life for that of another; almost sounds Christ-like; don’t you think?
    So that’s it in the simplistic way I see the world: 1) life is sacred and 2) I’m willing to sacrifice my life for yours.

  • Also, God was, by far, the preeminent abortionist throughout history until, no thanks to God, humans finally developed modern medical science which reduced the number of miscarriages and deaths of children.

  • At the very time that news breaks showing us that children are being ripped from the arms of parents by U.S. officials and then “lost,” it’s rich — in the extreme — to see American “pro-life” Christians claiming the right to wag the finger at others about concern for children.

    Imagine, with the “pro-life” legacy U.S. Christians are building by their support of this president, the chutzpah of those Christians thinking they have the right to preach to a traditionally Catholic nation about what it means to be “pro-life.”

    So very easy to love those zygotes in the womb that we cannot see, which make no claim at all on our lives — while we cheer the removal of real-life, already born children from their parents’ arms. And then we dare to call ourselves “pro-life” Christians with a mission to spread our “pro-life” “good news” to the rest of the world!

  • Since his aim is usually so bad when he’s out a smitin’— maybe a divine oculist would be the solution. Otherwise, he might punish Ireland by smitin’ Nigeria with sectarian violence. Or an eruption in Hawaii! there’s the ticket! Island! Ireland! What the hell!

  • As always in Bobworld, you’re absolutely wrong while insisting you’re right. I guess it goes with living there. Comprehensive sex education is not the same thing as abstinence only education, which simply does not work. The idea that comprehensive sex education promotes sexual activity is absolute nonsense, Yet another right wing claim to infallibility in the face of the evidence.. You claim it is the duty of the parents And ot the schools to teach sex education. Clearly, it isn’t working, and I’m not referring to the schools.

  • As always with First Name: Ben Last Name: In Oakland land he shoots first and aims later.

    The first article led to this comment:

    “Our analysis adds to the overwhelming evidence indicating that abstinence-only education does not reduce teen pregnancy rates.”

    which was the study conclusion.

    and so on.

    In your own state folks with outlooks not substantially different than your own have used “comprehensive sex education” to push particular moral viewpoints, advocate, and in fact brainwash impressionable children.

    I doubt that very many parents outside the Bay Area would want their children to adopt your perspectives for their lifetimes.

    The focus on one and one only outcome – pregnancy – is what creates issues for both some of the so-called “comprehensive” programs and the “abstinence” programs.

    Sex has health, moral, legal, and civil perspectives and parents have the primary right to control what their children are taught.

  • So, in short, abstinence only education, which has been shown to be just about useless, is not the same thing as comprehensive sex education.
    which is what I said.
    so, one more time, in bobworld, when one asks the most holy bob a question, I am wrong even though I am right.
    Ok. I can live with that.
    Your stalking, err, umm, concern, is most touching. But please, don’t touch me.

  • I do not believe that the equivalence of “abstinence only” and “comprehensive” was suggested or the topic.

    So, one more time, in First Name:Ben Last Name: In Oakland land, making a comment that’s off topic or non-responsive is A-OK.

    Btw, this “stalking” nonsense is just that.

    You’re in a public discussion.

    Grow up and get used to it.

  • Get used to gay people having rights, and stop killing innocent children for nothing, you bigot.

  • Since the meaning of the word “Christian” has been completely neutered, these two lesbians could have called themselves c.hristians……but I do not know. I do know that they were Social Justice Warrior Lesbians who decided to kill their adoptive children.

  • By definition, god can’t commit murder, even when he does, because their particular, peculiar version of god can do whatever it wants to. That’s how they get out of that, demonstrating clearly that there are no absolutes in morality, even coming form the fount of morality, and especially coming from the people who claim they are moral absolutists..

  • And you assume that it’s because they were lesbians? What’s Wendell Melton’s excuse for killing his son in cold blood?

  • Only pointing out that homosexuality has dysfunctional people too. the way the media portrays homosexuality; you’d think it was the most virtuous thing to do.

  • Accepting people’s sexuality is the virtuous thing to do. Persecuting and killing gay people is not.

  • Here’s hoping the corrupt and criminal Catholic Church is finally on its way out, not just of Ireland, but worldwide. They have no reputation left to ruin.

  • In another funny-but-sad bit of irony, Pres. Trump just condemned that very practice on splitting up kids from their parents… apparently without realizing it’s his own administration’s new policy, implemented (with his approval) by his own Attorney General Sessions.

  • God doesn’t kill? Really — maybe I didn’t hear right…but as a young Catholic school kid, I learned something about God sending his son down here for a bizarre Roman bronze age torture killing. Real nice! Frankly, it would have been easier if Mary just had an abortion for our sins, right?

    Read the Old Testament — of Yahweh’s horror stories before pointing you fingers at others for our lack of the idolatry of embryo and fetus worship.

  • The ones found in an apparent septic tank on the grounds of a former orphanage/home for unwed mothers, for starters. The Irish Church is elbow deep in the blood of children.

  • The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation is a judicial commission of investigation, established in 2015 by an order of the Irish government. It was set up in the wake of claims that the bodies of up to 800 babies and children may have been interred in an unmarked mass grave in the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home, located in Tuam, County Galway.

    The Commission ordered excavations of the suspected burial site in Tuam to be carried out. On March 3, 2017, the Commission announced that multiple human remains had been found during excavations carried out between November, 2016, and February, 2017, at the site. Tests indicated they had been aged between 35 weeks and 2–3 years.

    The remains were found in an “underground structure divided into 20 chambers.” The Commission said it had not yet determined what the purpose of this structure was.

    The number of remains was not released. Except for the remains tested, they remain in situ.

    Catherine Corless, a local “historian” who first claimed bodies were at the site, told the Irish Times, “I never used that word ‘dumped’. I never said to anyone that 800 bodies were dumped in a septic tank.”

    There has been no finding that the Bon Secours sisters were in any way involved in the burials.

    But to folks like yourself, an accusation is as good or better than a fact.

  • You really think the “probably not a septic tank” part outweighs the “large unmarked grave containing a whole lot of baby and preschooler bodies” part? What kind of moral monster are you?

  • Yes, and in the process, he told yet another of his colossal lies, claiming that the policy he and Beauregard Sessions III implemented was put into place by Democrats.

  • What kind of moral monster are YOU to rely on sensationalist unsupported claptrap in your rush to anti-Catholic judgment?

    ‘Round these parts we wait for the trial before we hang’em.

  • Another step in recognizing that a pregnant woman is not a cow. Good for Ireland.

    The article includes this statement, which is mightily offensive: “Ireland’s referendum represented a battle for the very soul of a traditionally conservative nation that has seen a wave of liberalization in recent years.”

    This vote reflects the very humanity of females, of women throwing off the yoke of being passive “helpmates” and taking responsibility for their lives, their health, their bodies, AND their souls. I applaud the men of Ireland who supported this vote and the rights of women.

  • Unsupported? There were, in fact, a large number of tiny bodies from the early-mid 20th century in that unmarked grave on the Sisters’ property. We can either believe some third party serial killer stuck them there without alerting the people occupying the property, or that at least some of the unaccounted for small children living in what were known to be horendous conditions were buried there. In short, we can choose a wildly fantastical story, or the probable truth.

  • Looks like Parker12 was merely responding to somebody’s fallacious position that the phrase “disaster has not happened to us yet”, is somehow equivalent to the phrase “disaster will never happen to us.”

  • Institutional Catholic religious leaders can blame themselves for the outcome. I condemn abortion unless necessary to save a mother’s life, but this vote represented the Irish people largely directing their middle finger toward the hierarchs.

  • 1 – There has been no release of the evidence that these bodies were from the “early-mid 20th century”.

    2 – There has been no release of the number of bodies, although 800 has been retracted, and “a large number” at this point is unsupported.

    3 – We can believe a lot of things. We can believe that local abortionists used the place for a dumping ground. We can believe that the very poor knew a place where they could bury a child who died from one of the many illnesses that afflicted childhood.

    Or we can join you in an anti-Catholic rant.

    4 – The records of every institution – civil or religious – in the 20th century are abysmal. The Commission, therefore, has to date been unable to account for a vast number of children, most of whom were probably alive when they left the institutions.

    5 – The property was not occupied. It was adjacent to the Bon Secours Home, but they did not use it for anything, and children played in the field for decades.

    So, there you are.

  • “I always hope that one is willing to sacrifice for another.”

    Are you male or female?

  • Hi Bob,

    The facts are not as cut and dried as you have suggested. This can be seen in the Wikipedia articles on the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home.

    I don’t know enough to pass judgment on what happened, but obviously terrible things were happening to young children in Ireland and these matters needed investigation.

  • The word according to Bob is in his usual mode, changing the subject from the evidence at hand to questioning the evidence at hand, because any questions in the other direction are an act of ranting anti Catholicism.

    Personally, if a number of small bodies were found in front of the orphanage that is on my property, I would be at great pains to establish as quickly as possible the appropriate answers to the questions found in the Holy Boble. I wouldn’t be waiting three years, with no report, or even the one year since the first bodies were announced. But strangely enough, NO ONE HAS DONE THAT, according to the Holy boble.

    It’s almost as if there is no one questioning the obvious conclusion about the provenance of the bodies.

    But hey, it’s Bob. So I am dead wrong.

  • There you go again, ranting An anti catholic rant at the poor, persecuted Catholic sisters who were probably just as surprised at anyone about the number of children’s bodies found buried on the grounds of the orphanage they were running.

    For myself, I’m perfectly willing to see the evidence that runs contrary to the obviously most likely scenario. Bob certainly doesn’t seem to have any, merely the questions he wants to raise to cast doubt on the evidence that actually IS there.

  • Not going there with you.

    I did not suggest that they are “cut and dry”.

    I suggested the contrary.

  • To say that “if people go against the will of God they will be punished” is a threat. It’s the same as a child saying “If you don’t do as I ask, my parents will punish you.” Seems like a threat to me.

  • I never said that.
    Remove God from the equation.
    The people of Ireland voted to abort/kill their own children.
    To me, that is a man-made disaster.
    No threats. Just the consequences of their vote.

  • Many of those men who die on the battlefield have in turn taken lives. I agree that militarism and war are evil.

    There is a large difference between killing in the military, or killing as a citizen who supports the military, and abortion.

    The horrible thing for a person who is killed is the loss of their conscious life. They loose all of their relationships, all of their dreams and plans. They suffer, knowing that their loved ones will suffer. They often must endure much physical pain.

    Abortion doesn’t kill a person. The fetus is not and has never been conscious and until the very end of term has no consciousness which means it is impossible to have any awareness of loss or to feel pain or anything else.

    In my opinion the most responsible act that a pregnant woman who truly doesn’t want or can’t support a child in her present circumstances is to have a safe abortion. Children should be born to capable and welcoming parents.

  • Bob, I’ll have to respectfully disagree on where the line is. If you read my other post you will note that I believe that life begins at the nanosecond of conception. You can call it a zygote, embryo, fetus, etc. All I know is that if you leave it alone and it gets the proper nutrition that it needs, eventually it will turn into a child.

  • Sorry, I was under the impression that like many Christians you considered a natural disaster an act of God.

    The people of Ireland voted not to prevent women from choosing abortion. There is no killing of a sentient being involved. It seems that will mean that the Irish children that are born will have welcoming parents. How would the consequences of this lead to disaster?

  • I understand what your saying, but I still disagree on where the line is drawn.
    I truly wish that all who are born are wanted. I also wish that those who are unwanted can also be born.

  • You must also add the”if” that it is born into a safe and nurturing environment. It can not be left alone. Many women want to eventually have children. That doesn’t mean they necessarily want to go through pregnancy. They do when they decide to have a child that is genetically theirs. If they end a pregnancy that occurs at an inappropriate time, they often have one later. If the first fetus is aborted but another is brought to term later why should the existence of the first be privileged?

    Your belief about the beginning of live is irrelevant and should not be used as an argument for legally stopping abortions.

  • In a nutshell this is why evangelicals voted and continue to support the Tangerine Palatine the way they did and do. It’s a commonality of narcs and authoritarians and religious conservatives, that their ends will always justify their means. Hell is for other people. They deserve it, and less for them is more for me. If I condemn them, my chances of salvation go up. Zero-sum mentality.

  • I’m at a loss for words – to destroy for convenience. It must be nice to live without conscience.
    What about accepting the consequences of your actions?

  • American men love abortion too. That way you don’t have to pay Child Support when you get tired of your woman and leave her.

  • There is essentially zero evidence to this point, and I recapped it.

    Of course you needed no evidence – you work the other direction.

  • A number of small bodies were not found “in front of the orphanage”. The property is adjacent.

    Generally in the USA we actually have investigations before grabbing a rope, a victim, and finding a tree.

    But were you in the majority, I doubt that would happen, the conclusion being obvious.

    And in Ireland if there were a smoking gun, the inquest would have said that.

    So far nada. But that does not stop First Name: Ben Last Name: In Oakland.

    In fact, it is though First Name: Ben Last Name: In Oakland and facts exist in separate planes.

  • Since murder by definition is the wrongful and willful of another’s life, and a deity is not subject to a higher law, you are correct that a deity cannot commit murder.

  • Or to put it another way, your belief about the beginning of live is irrelevant and should not be used as an argument for legalizing abortions.

  • The benefits suggested have not inured in other countries where abortion has been legalized.

    In the USA child abuse went up.

  • Unlike children, theoretically a deity has the capacity to make you very very sorry for a very very long time.

  • Are the American ” ‘pro-life’ Christians ” the same ones “ripp(ing) (children) from the arms of parents … and then (making them) ‘lost”?

  • Gosh, I’m sorry that news of the results of this latest Pew Forum study failed to reach you: “The group least likely to think the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees? Evangelicals.”

    “No group agrees less with the idea that the United States has a responsibility to accept refugees than white evangelical Protestants.”

    You may also not have gotten the news that white “pro-life” Christians voted overwhelmingly for the man in the White House who has implemented the policy of taking children from their parents, to the tune of 80% among white evangelicals and 60% among white Catholics and Mormons.

    Or perhaps you did not know that those groups identify overwhelmingly as “pro-life,” and that many of their adherents cited this as their reason for voting for that man, and for continuing to be his ardent cheerleaders?

    Pro-life, my eye.

  • “There is essentially zero evidence”

    Your defense of Bob’sWorld against the real world is awesome.

  • Of course, institutional Catholic religious leaders invented and perpetrated the secular humanism that has overrun Western Europe.

  • Your inability to provide substantive support and coherent arguments for any of your positions and bon mots is truly characteristic.

    Were it not we’d be reading your evidence in response.

  • So, the Pew Forum study supported the conclusion – which appeared to be what you wrote in your post, that the American ” ‘pro-life’ Christians ” the same ones “ripp(ing) (children) from the arms of parents … and then (making them) ‘lost”?

    Not just holding similar views, but the very same people.

    Or are you simply restating your oft-stated position that everyone you disagree with belongs in the same pot of “those folks”?

    Obviously supporting abortion and same sex relations, as you do, is pro-life.

  • Please provide the citations at your convenience for the following:

    – the “confiscated” babies suffered malnutrition and neglect

    – the bodies have been legally tied to the Bon Secours nuns

    I have found neither of these in my reading on the topic.

  • May I assume that you’re citing the fact that you’re still around as prima facie evidence that ” his aim is usually so bad when he’s out a smitin'”?

  • Read the Word of Bob from his Holy Boble above mine. I couldn’t even begin to point out the complete lack of discernment, the assumptions and suppositions, and the enthronement of moral relativism it represents.

    But I can say that a comment like that is why the last person on the planet I would seek moral advice from would be a bible believing Christian.

  • The “whited sepulcher” kind of monster. There are a lot of them in the Christian right.

  • I’m all for helping the mentally ill. Sadly……..SSRI’S aren’t going to help. They just make the whole problem worse.

  • You couldn’t even begin to point out the complete lack of discernment, the assumptions and suppositions, and the enthronement of moral relativism it represents because to do so would require actually knowing what you’re writing about, and you yourself would have to be able to discern, avoid assumptions and suppositions, and not subscribe to moral relativism.

    Btw, how are you coming on fleshing out an argument for “minority rights” sans natural law, First Name: Ben Last Name: In Oakland?

  • Of course a deity is subjected to a higher law. Why else did your deity “have to” commit suicide and “die” a horrible death to “redeem” mankind? Surely, he had other choices, BEING THE OMNIPOTENT, OMNIOSCIENT, AND OMNIPRESENT RULER AND CREATOR OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING IN IT?

  • Since – assuming a deity is the Author of law, which was Thomas Jefferson’s position – by definition a deity can’t be subject to a higher law – if that deity is subject to a higher law, than Jefferson and I would like to know who the Author of it is.

    Btw, the word you were looking for is “omniscient”:

    as opposed to nihilscient, which you should be quite familiar with.

  • Frances Kelleher, from Killarney said: “I do not believe the smart people of Ireland want this unrestricted, abortion-on-demand bill.”

    Surprise. They do not want what they now have – which is no choice at all and which is very dangerous to women’s health and even their lives, makes no provision for women who are raped, no provision for a young girl impregnated by a member of her own family. From a woman’s point of view, when she becomes pregnant she becomes some else’s cow.

    It was something like 2/3rds wanted a change and only 1/3rd wanted to keep what they had. Yes, the people of Ireland, men and women, are very smart!

    I hope what the Irish government does includes assuring women have access to effective birth control and that young people get good sex education. I hope there is a lot of support for women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy and for poor families trying to live and raise their children to give them a decent chance.

    Maybe more people will choose not to have an abortion if they feel that carrying through with an unplanned pregnancy is possible.

  • After reading your post, I can’t determine whether you agree or disagree with Frances Kelleher from Killarney who said: “I do not believe the smart people of Ireland want this unrestricted, abortion-on-demand bill.”

  • I now have some time. Please understand that you have asked for an explanation. i’m not attacking you, but I will tell you what I see.

    In my view abortion is never a choice a woman wants to make but it’s sometimes a choice she has to make, for her own well-being and her family’s. She’s not a brood cow, not a concept, but an actual human being. Although I think
    abortion is a sad part of the world today, and that nobody wants to be in a position to have an abortion, I 100% agree with pro choice.

    The phrase “murder of the unborn” is a good indication of your mindset and how you see the issue. Is it “murder”? A lot of people– people of faith, people of good will and good conscience–don’t see it that way. The moral jury is till out on that question– perhaps not for you, but nevertheless, for them. The supreme court hinged the answer to that question to the standard of “viability”– can the foetus survive outside the womb? At what point do YOU, or the catholic church, respect their morals, especially if they are not catholic?

    Where I find your position morally offensive is here: ” Is that what it comes down to for you? – you don’t like the church, so you don’t like their “rules”; so you’re pleased that innocents can be killed?” No, I didn’t say that, nor would I. It’s true, I’m not particularly fond of the church, but that’s nothing to do with how I see the abortion issue. Nor am I “pleased” that “innocents” can be “killed”. The quotes are intentional.

    “Pleased” is a vicious slander of which you should repent. Innocents? My niece has had three miscarriages? Who ‘murdered” those innocents? Killed? your assumptions, not mine. Again, lots of people don’t see it that way.

    I don’t say this because I am “pro-abortion”,
    whatever that may mean, but because I am pro-freedom– especially pro-freedom
    from the dominionism of religious conservatives. I doubt anyone “wants” to have an abortion, or is looking forward to it, let alone is PLEASED by it.

    The issue for me is far more complicated than sloganeering– and I’m not someone who has ever had to worry about an abortion; I’ve known only one person in my life that had one. and it was an incredibly difficult decision for her.

    I’ve never been a big fan of abortion, but I would definitely like to see it safe, LEGAL, and rare. But I don’t claim moral certainty on the issue, which is why I say that.

    I’ve never been a big fan of abortion,
    especially abortion because the people who want them didn’t take precautions that any sensible person would take. But there are other issues that enter into this. I am really not a fan at all of people who claim that their religious beliefs ought to give them dominion in the civil laws that govern all of us over the lives and fortunes of people whom they don’t know and know nothing about. I see no reason to believe that people who don’t share your beliefs require the moral and legal supervision of you and others who have proclaimed themselves to be their moral superiors. I am even less thrilled with those religious people who demand religious freedom, however loosely defined, for themselves, yet demand religious dominion over the lives of other people, using the coercive power of the state as their vehicle to assert that dominion. I am beyond less than
    thrilled over people who think that because they believe something, and believe that their god believes it, too, it therefore follows that it is perfectly fine to interfere in the intimate lives, and the familial, medical, religious and financial decisions of other people who don’t share their beliefs. They would– and DO– howl like little babies with a full nappy if the same thing were applied to them.

    And I am sick to death of the hypocrisy of these people. Every life is precious, right? Then why do religious conservatives oppose universal health care, or immigration, or children coming to our shores? The polls and the newspapers show this consistently. But what do they do? They fight against abortion, rather than actually DOING anything about it. It’s hypocrisy and moral blindness of the first order. Instead of spending millions or billions on politicians and scamming political organizations who have promised to do
    something about abortion for 45 years, but have only succeeded in doing absolutely nothing and getting rich in the process: why aren’t you supporting comprehensive sex education and easy, cheap access to birth control so that pregnancies can be avoided. Instead, you attack Planned Parenthood.

    Why aren’t you providing, at surely a fraction of
    the cost of giving money to religious and political scammers, the financial incentives for women to carry their fetuses to term– pre-natal care, post-natal care, familial support, health insurance?

    If every life is precious, and every innocent deserves a home, why are there tens of thousands of children waiting to be adopted by good Christians, such as yourselves, since you (generic you, not necessarily you personally) so strongly believe that every child deserves whatever it is you think they deserve? Why do you fight so strongly against gay people adopting those children that you are so happy to have born and live in institutions for their entire childhood?

    Your moral choices are far from the easy black-and-white choices that you are willing to insist other people make. Your own choices indicate you are far from resolved.

    I am not pro-abortion, I am pro-choice. You’re wrong when you insist there is no difference, but that is moral arrogance speaking. What pro-choice people object to is the forced birth lobby trying to force their value system on others. What pro-choice people want is for people to have the freedom to make the
    healthcare and familial choice that is right for them. That freedom would probably have
    saved Savita Halappanavar’s life, the focus of the Irish vote, and enabled her to have the children that she and her husband wanted.

    If abortion is outlawed, it will never stop people from having them– same as the conservative argument against gun control. Poor women will have dangerous back alley abortions, or children that they don’t want and probably can’t support. Who is going to support them? You? Rich women will of course to continue to have abortions– safe, medically sound ones. Shades of DesJarlais and Murphy and a bunch of other pious, anti-abortion, pro family hypocrites.

    I am a happy, out, legally married gay man. I’ve been listening to these people, who claim to be god’s BFFF and my moral, intellectual, and human superiors, my entire life. The stench of this hypocrisy is appalling. I don’t need (a generic) you or any other so called “person of faith” telling me what your version of god demands of me.

    Here’s an idea which will garner the support of heterosexual men everywhere. The only way the Government can criminalize abortion is if they also criminalize the man responsible for the dangerous/unwanted/potentially-life- shattering pregnancy. If Governments made a law which said that all men who have been
    sexually involved with the woman would have to go to prison for at least as long as the woman would, then we would no longer hear the demands for punishing women AND their children and families. It would make it
    defensible in some sense. It would be horrible public-policy, but it would at least not be exclusively abusive towards women.

    An abortion is a serious thing. Like divorce, abortion is a highly personal, terrible choice which some people are forced to consider because of their circumstances. Nobody enjoys it. But to go from there to calling people
    faced with this terrible choice “baby-killers” is disgraceful.

    The so-called “pro-life” political organization is morally indefensible and cruel. They don’t have a point, and they’re not interested in
    women, children or anybody other human being. They’re interested in exactly one
    thing – political power. Nothing else. And they’re willing to abuse people to
    acquire this political power.

    So, it’s not about not liking the church, or being pleased about abortion. Neither is the case.

  • Imagine being presented with additional ways to look at the issue and factors that could make a difference in women making a choice about a pregnancy. Imagine a woman facing a dangerous pregnancy making a decision about how much risk she is willing to face. Remember Savita Halappanava , a victim of an attitude that killed her.

  • “”After reading your post, I can’t determine whether you agree or disagree with Frances Kelleher from Killarney who said: ‘I do not believe the smart people of Ireland want this unrestricted, abortion-on-demand bill.’”“

    “Imagine being presented with additional ways to look at the issue and factors that could make a difference in women making a choice about a pregnancy. Imagine a woman facing a dangerous pregnancy making a decision about how much risk she is willing to face. Remember Savita Halappanava , a victim of an attitude that killed her.”

    Savita Halappanava was NOT a victim of an attitude that killed her. We had this conversation some months ago.

    The coroner’s inquest concluded that her death was the result of a misdiagnosis, “medical misadventure”:

    After reading your latest post, I still can’t determine whether you agree or disagree with Frances Kelleher from Killarney who said: “I do not believe the smart people of Ireland want this unrestricted, abortion-on-demand bill.”

  • If murder outlawed, it will never stop people from committing murder.

    Legalize murder.


    And, of course, we get the usual accoutrement of universal health care, immigration, comprehensive sex education, birth control, adoption, and other check boxes from the Democratic Party Platform to obfuscate the issue being discussed.

    There are good reasons why reasonable people can oppose abortion and not adopt the Democratic Party Platform on the issues you bring up, but you know that already.

  • A very good read Ben…good insights. Although for some, no amount of reason will prevail !!

  • Anti-abortionists are not actually “pro-life.” Many of them don’t care one bit what happens to the resulting newborn once the pregnancy comes to full term and ends in live childbirth. Many of the same people resent every penny spent on pre-natal care and/or postpartum baby-wellness care. Only people who care about the health of pregnant women and of newborn babies can be termed “pro-life” and that never includes social conservatives.

  • Obviously, you are not just not a Catholic, but you don’t know the official Catholic stand on contraception. Simply put, using contraceptives is a sin, kust as abortion is. So the joining of opposition to both contraceptives and abortion is extremely well attested. Once again, Bob, you show that you are full of crap.

  • Ben, I can’t understand why you reacted the way you did. I said that the facts were not as cut and dried as Bob Arnzen had suggested. (He appeared to want to dismiss all the evidence against the nuns.) I specifically referred to the article on the home in Wikipedia. Here is the direct link:

    Stating, as I did, that I don’t know enough to pass judgment is not to attack or defend anyone.

  • Again, if you happen – and it would apparently be by chance – to post something substantive, I will consider responding to it.

    Personal assessment and name-calling. e.g.

    “you are not just not a Catholic”

    “you don’t know the official Catholic stand on contraception”

    “you are full of crap”

    are not substantive.

  • No, institutional Catholic religious leaders, thanks to JPII and B16 bishops, maintained the pre-Vatican II clerical culture that “turned off” modern-day laity.

  • In your extremely humble opinion, of course.

    The fact that ultra-liberal Protestant sects like the Episcopal Church in the United States, the United Church of Christ, and others have lost half their members – making the Catholic Church look like a flaming success – goes right past you.

  • My apologies! certainly NOT NOT NOT what I was getting at. I thought my sarcasm was obvious! I was being Bob on BobWorld, echoing his complaint that everyone who says anything is anti catholic, and agreeing with you about a bunch of bodies being at least a tad suspicious. .

  • Of course, First Name: Ben Last Name: In Oakland I have never registered a “complaint that everyone who says anything is anti catholic” while your long diatribes along the lines of everyone is against you and your friends are legendary.

    Would you care for an example?

  • This I know. They are anti abortion and pro birth. Afterthat, you are on your own.

  • There is a wide range of both opinions and actions after that, unlike your simplistic and knowingly erroneous assertion insuates.

    But you can’t exercise any rights, Mr. Minority Rights, if you are never born.

  • What is your evidence supporting your assertion that making abortion legal increases the abortion rate. Can’t find anything that holds that is true over time. Actual number of abortions varies according to the number of child bearing age but on a per capita basis, the US abortion rate is at its lowest since 1973 Nor could I find any evidence that it also increases rates of child abuse.

    The US has a very high rate of unintended pregnancies compared to other Western countries. It seems to me that one would look at how to reduce that rate to reduce abortions arising from an unintended pregnancy. Presumably that would entail fertile women who are or intend to be sexually active have the knowledge and resources to access the most appropriate level of contraception. A little less than 30% of these prgancies will result in a live birth.

  • Thanks for the thoughtful response. I don’t agree with all but respect your thoughts. FYI –

  • “If murder outlawed, it will never stop people from committing murder.

    “Legalize murder.”

    The State can outlaw murder and pursue and try the murderer.

    Outlaw abortion?

    It likely wouldn’t work.

    A law not enforced (or capable of being enforced) is not worth enactment.

  • I know what your dot points suggested: that the whole scandal was a stitched up attack on the Catholic Church. Tragically, that was not so. The Wikipedia article shows that terrible things went on at the Bon Secours home.

    This was acknowledged by the Catholic Bishops of Ireland.

    ‘The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference apologised for the hurt caused by its part in the system, which they said also involved adoptions. They also urged parishes to ensure that the burial sites of former residents are appropriately marked, and said that “the appalling story of life, death and adoptions related to the Mother and Baby Homes has shocked everyone in Ireland and beyond.”‘

    Catherine Corless, who did the original research that uncovered the scandal won the Bar Council of Ireland’s Human Rights Award in October 2017.

    This is part of what she said at her presentation:

    “I couldn’t get my mind around how the sisters could leave that home in 1961, close the gates when it closed down, with 796 children buried beneath in the tunnels in coffins, a lot of them in the sewage tank area as we now know. What kind of mentality would leave that place without acknowledging that so many burials were there, so many precious lives were lost? The ideal would be to exhume those little bodies and just show them some dignity and reverence and to perhaps reinter them in the main Tuam graveyard which is only across the road. Hopefully the commission of inquiry will give them [the survivors] justice. All they want is an apology and an acknowledgment of what happened to them and their mothers. My work campaigning on behalf of the survivors of mother and baby homes continues and I hope that this special award will give even more survivors the strength to come forward to tell their story. With each and every testimony, the truth is uncovered further and our campaign for justice to prevail is strengthened. I share this award with the all survivors – this is for them.”

    All of this and more can be read in the Wikipedia article.

    It is worth reading. Click here:

  • To gain some sense of the level of gullibility that can arise when someone want to believe the worst, in

    “with 796 children buried beneath in the tunnels in coffins, a lot of them in the sewage tank area as we now know”

    there are zero facts.

    796 skeletons have not been retrieved.

    796 coffins have not been found.

    It is still not clear what the purpose of the construction was – it has been determined it was not being used for a septic tank.

    A connection between the Bon Secour sisters and the burials has yet to be made. Exactly what happened is still being determined.

    But don’t wait for the facts. Doing so will simply delay the fun.

  • Since I did not assert that making abortion legal increases the abortion rate, your question seems to indicate some issues with following the discussion.

    The USA has a very high rate of a number of undesirable characteristics – murders, infant mortality, and so on.

    Oddly when a dozen or so of the largest American cities are removed from the statistics, it looks much like the best of Western Europe.

    That seems to indicate we’re looking at the wrong issues.

    The fixation on abortion rates, which should be zero, represents an effort on the part of the pro-abortion camp to change the topic.

  • You can’t abort a 2 year old, Bob. And we know when they cone from, their ages, and that there were a lot from the facts and circumstances.

  • Hello Bob,

    I notice that your response is a citation-free zone.

    It takes a certain level of gullibility to expect to find 796 coffins and 796 skeletons, but let’s not go there.

    I admit to taking seriously the apology from the Catholic Bishops Conference. If that’s being gullible, then so are the Catholic bishops of Ireland.

    I admit to taking seriously the Bar Council of Ireland’s Human Rights Award in October 2017 to Catherine Corless for her investigation of the scandal. If that’s being gullible then so is the Bar Council of Ireland.

    Yes, we don’t know exactly what happened. In this case, the guilty didn’t leave a trail of evidence to lead back to them. Nevertheless, there has been enough evidence to shake good people to the core.

    Of course, I don’t know all the facts, Bob. Perhaps you have more information. In the mean time I’ll go with the opinions of the Catholic bishops and the Bar Council of Ireland.

  • I see that your comment was citation-free.

    Catherine Corless has already publicly admitted to getting many of her “facts” wrong.

  • Citation, please, Bob.

    As for my citation, I have already referred to the Wikipedia article and provided you with a link to check it out. Here is that citation again, Bob:

    One of their citations was a report in the Irish Times. See

    I’ve given you citations, Bob. Now it’s your turn.

    Where is your citation to justify your “fact” that Catherine Corless has already admitted to getting many of her facts wrong?

    Make sure it’s a good one, Bob.

  • Catherine Corless

    And now we return to your Wikipedia article:

    “In 2014, a local amateur historian, Catherine Corless, published an article documenting the deaths of 796 babies and toddlers at the Home during its decades of operation. The report noted that the most commonly recorded causes of death among the infants were congenital debilities, infectious diseases and malnutrition (including marasmus-related malnutrition). The article claimed that the bodies were buried in a site at the Home and that there was a high death rate of its residents. Her research led her to conclude that almost all had been buried in an unmarked and unregistered site at the Home.”

    As noted above, all of this appears to be untrue.

    The rest of the Wikipedia article is of similar quality, citing old (2013-14) new media articles and sources such as, which is hardly a reliable news outlet.

    Somewhat more current and less sensational is

    The final report is likely to be much less sensational than the speculations, not facts, you seem to subscribe to.

  • Hmmm. I spent 40 minutes writing that for you, and I get a one line response. If you want a reason why the two sides of this issue are implacably opposed, the refusal to dialog and find common ground may be cited.

  • You sound like you speak from experience. What mental illness do you suffer from, exactly?

  • Odd. Are you in the 3rd grade?
    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius

  • Well, that works both ways…many guys also want women to be their personal baby incubators too.

    In the end the ladies get to decide…either way the men have step back, put the Bible aside, and women get to make the call. Nobody should care if bay Jesus cries!

  • I’m saying that calling it murder is just an inflammatory term. Abortion is a legal medical procedure and does not meet the definition of murder.

  • Everyone in Ireland who voted for the abortion will have the blood of babies on their hands. Put them all in jail for the death that will cause.

  • My mistakes in adding a word to your original comment which still is wrong was “The evidence does not “state” anything. It supports the conclusion that legalizing abortion results in more abortions.” My point was that what really drives the number of abortions is both the number of women who can get pregnant and the number of unintended pregnancies. And that means I think ensuring that all females have access to the tools, knowledge, supports and other resources that they require to make effective reproduction choices. And you have not presented any evidence on how to change the number of unintended pregnancies..

  • What really drives the number of abortions is whether it is legal or illegal.

    Since “how to change the number of unintended pregnancies” is not a legal issue, a moral issue, is usually inserted into a discussion about abortion to change the subject – as it has been into this discussion, and deals with personal choices and behavior, I leave that discussion to others.

  • Pascal’s Wager, which you are diving into, is a pretty poor argument for your particular sky fairy, Bobber.

    You are an often wrong, and very stunned, fella.

  • No, Bob A. Bob Harrison and Ben had it right. AoE is utterly useless.

    You’re just plain wrong, as usual, and you just go on blathering to try to support your plainly wrong side.

  • No, what really drives the number of abortions is the number of people who need abortions. Since you have no uterus of your own to worry about, you should leave the entire discussion about abortion to others.

  • Amen. I think that’s the reason why the pro-life movement seems to be driven by women. Although men who feel strongly about abortion are certainly out there, I’ve actually met very few of them.

  • First, the legality of abortions has no influence on the number of abortions.

    So if it has no impact, then what does making abortions illegal do?

    Globally, illegal abortions have a significant impact on female mortality – health – giving the question of laws a moral /ethical context as well. There appears to be no weighing of competing benefits needed.

    As far as I can see, the only thing laws do is create an underground economy supporting illegal abortionists and allow women with financial resources go elsewhere to obtain a safe abortion.

  • First, the legality of abortions has considerable influence on the number of abortions. Your article from the Lancet covers 1990 to 2014, fully 17 years after abortion was legalized in the USA and decades after it was legalized in Western Europe, which simply avoided that data.

    Nor does it provide per capita data stratified by age. Of course with an aging population as a result of decades of abortion, one would expect abortion rates, and birth rates, to decrease. And they have:

    So, since it has an impact, it is obvious what keeping abortions restricted does.

    No, globally, illegal abortions do not have a significant impact on female mortality, although that was the Guttmacher Institute’s mantra prior to Roe v. Wade in this country.

    I am not sure what article you intended to cite, but your url is a mess and with an edit leads back to your first article.

    What happens is that deaths from abortions increase – slightly – when abortions are restricted. They never rise to a level that constitutes a public health problem, and they didn’t prior to Roe v. Wade.

    More than offsetting that is that at least half the foetuses aborted are females and the increase in post-abortion health issues, including infertility and depression.

    As far as I can see, the only thing liberal abortion laws accomplish is to create business for abortionists, decrease the future population putting stress on old age care (Japan is the perfect example, and China is following closely behind), and increase the rates of STDs and sexual activity among young folks.

  • Somewhat. It got better results than did asking your god to stop killing.

  • A quick search of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website does not reveal any criterion for declaring something a “public health problem”.

    Prior to Roe v Wade the Guttmacher Institute attempted to portray deaths from illegal abortions as “epidemic”, but since they were illegal they were guessing and admitted so years later.

    The best estimates I have seen range from around 100 to 800 per annum.

    That puts it in the range of deaths per annum as occupant of special agricultural vehicles, as occupant of an all-terrain vehicle, falls off ladders, and drowning in bath tubs.

    All of them are certainly a problem for the deceased, and perhaps their families, but hardly constitute a national matter of great concern.

  • You don’t care at all about people dying because they don’t have access to legal, safe health care. THAT is a national matter of great concern.

  • You can oppose abortion all you want. The issue here is whether it should be outlawed.

  • Here or in Ireland?

    As I understand it currently it is legal in both.

    Should it be?

    Probably no, or yes with many restrictions.

  • Bob,

    You are right that the story of 796 dead babies in a septic tank was a beat-up. Please see this report from Media Watch in Australia:

    Your link to the Irish Times explains how this story could have originated. And, yes, one of Catherine Corless’s comments could have fed into the narrative of 796 babies in the septic tank. However, the reporter from the Irish Times also said this about Ms Corless:

    Corless has proved that 796 children died while at St Mary’s in Tuam – a shameful statistic that would not have been known without her years of dedicated work. It seems clear that at least some of these children lie in the small plot of land at the back of the Dublin Road housing estate. Excavation might be the only way to be sure. “Our intention in setting up this committee was not excavation,” she says, “but I would welcome the truth.”

    “Your mother has done an amazing public service by bringing international attention to the deaths of 796 children in the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home. The inquiry that has been subsequently ordered is all down to her tireless, unselfish and admirable work over many years.”

    Catherine Corless mightn’t have got everything right but there were problems in the home.Your quotation showed that some of the children died of malnutrition and marasmus-related malnutrition. That should not have happened.

  • Sorry Ben. I didn’t know we were that close that you would be so offended. 🙂 I wrote a response from my phone but only the first sentence sent. I was gone for the weekend and didn’t follow up. I will respectfully reply.

  • There is zero evidence at this point that ties any children who apparently were suffering from malnutrition and marasmus-related malnutrition to the home.

    Catherine Corless not only did not get everything right, she appears to have gotten almost nothing right.

    Moving on.

  • Perhaps Halappanavar’s life could have saved had the hospital staff correctly diagnosed her sepsis from the outset. But that doesn’t change the fact that she presented at 17 weeks with an inevitable miscarriage scenario. The gestational sac had protruded into her vagina, almost to the opening of the vagina itself. She asked for an abortion and was told “our hands are tied” because “this is a Catholic country.” While one cannot state that an abortion definitely would have saved her life, it could have at least helped. Instead they had to wait until sepsis had fully developed, which was too late. It is exactly why these decisions should be kept out of church and government hands and solely in those of patients and medical staff — something 2/3rds of the Irish electorate wisely agrees with.

  • Everyone who fights against birth control, family planning, and comprehensive sexeducation is responsible for abortions. Put them all in jail for the death they will cause.

    Everyone that votes Republican and thus supports their insane international war policies will have the blood of babies on their hands. Put them all in jail for the death that will cause.

    Everyone that votes republican and believes that health care is not a basic human right will have the blood of thousands or millions on their hands. Put them all in jail for the death that will cause.

    Everyone that does not follow my theological beliefs tothe letter is responsible for everything that I think is bad and don’t approve of. Put them all in jail for not doing what I tell them to.

    Whoops. Didn’t mean to let that theocratic cat out of the fascist bag.

  • Have you actually read the inquest?

    By the time the medical staff recognized the problem, the game was over.

    I am a strong opponent of placing any final issues of ethics in the hands of medical staff.

    They have no more skill in matters of ethics on average than a person picked at random off the street of any major city.

  • Thank goodness that no one died and made you King. BTW, people who say stupid things like that usually are the ones with the blood on their hands, all too often real blood. Setting yourself up to “Judge for Jeezus” just shows you to be “un-Christian.”

  • Actually, being “pro-life” means supporting the human rights of people currently on the planet, not requiring the bringing of every fetus to term, even when doing so makes you party to rape and incest.

  • Oh, what you mean is YOUR definition of “pro-life” fits YOUR agenda.

    The discussion was more general than your particular views.

  • Everyone who has sex organs and uses them with people of the opposite sex are responsible for abortions.

    That, of course, makes you holier than most adults.

    The rest of your sophistry deserves not even that much notice.

  • She was having a miscarriage, there was nothing that could be done to reverse it, and the fetus was way too early to be delivered alive. It should have been HER hands that made the decision.

  • Exactly. The AGENDA of HUMAN RIGHTS for all human beings is the only moral agenda on the planet. Being part of the “Christian White” is to be a “social Neanderthal.” Time is not on your side.

  • What human rights?

    Where did they come from?

    Oh, the “arc of history” means “time is not on your side” or as Kruschev famously said “We will bury you!”


  • Love the effort to turn the progress of the civilized part of the planet into a massive “conspiracy theory.” Funny how it’s the conspirators who see conspiracy theories in the shade of every tree. And it’s the GOP that has tied its fortune to Kruschev’s heir, Putin, not the progressives. As the Founders stated Human Rights are the product of Natural Law. Natural Law is consistent with the new spiritualism of “Gaia” or that all life on Earth is the soul of the planet collectively. Human Rights are the natural morality of Gaia, not the special favors for obedience to some angry, man-made tribal deity.

  • Love the effort to wrap yourself in the mantle of enlightenment, New Age twaddle like Gaia, and other accoutrements of what you apparently believe to be enlightenment.

  • Your efforts to be dismissive and judgmental are simply praise, given the source. Thank you.

  • There is a difference between number of abortions and abortion rates. Abortion rates are calculated for a specific age range per 1000 women so not sure how an ageing population is a factor that you can argue period.

    The Lancet article concluded that abortion rates have declined significantly since 1990 in the developed world but not in the developing world. Ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health care could help millions of women avoid unintended pregnancies and ensure access to safe abortion. The other linked article that I did mess up cited a 14.5% mortality rate in developing countries where abortion is illegal. A rate that dropped when countries provided access to abortion – South Africa pops as one of the three African countries cited. So 14.5% not exactly chopped liver.

    You might want to consider why Switzerland has such a low rate of abortions and why the rate remained stable post legalization. And given that other countries did not experience such a huge uptake in abortions following legalization, you might want to wonder why as well as well as whet has driven the rate down to the prior status quo

    A whole constellation of factors impact birth/reproduction rates and it would be naive to say that it was due to abortion access. Decline in family size shifted significantly beginning in the 60s with modern birth control and a number of factors have steadily chipped away at what people deem to be ideal family size.

  • There is a difference between number of abortions and abortion rates. Abortion rates are calculated for a specific age range per 1000 women so not sure how an ageing population is a factor that you can argue period.

    The data provided was per annum, not per capita of child-bearing age.

    If the rate per capita of women of child-bearing age remains the same, but the population ages so that they are a smaller percentage of the total population, the per capita rate for the population will decrease.

    But the Lancet article did neither. It simply reported the total abortions per annum.

    That pretty much drives a spike through the article and your point using it.

  • Bob,

    1 There IS firm evidence that children died from malnutrition in the home. Of 796 children who died in the home, 18 died of malnutrition. This is 2.26% of the total. Please see the evidence in this report from Associated Press

    2 If you read this report you will see that most of the errors were made by the media.

    3 The report says that the main causes of death in the home were “flu, measles, pneumonia, tuberculosis and whooping cough.” and that this contradicted the media reports of widespread starvation in the home. However a WHO report on the effects of starvation stated: “Malnutrition is particularly lethal in combination with infectious diseases such as ARLI [pneumonia etc.], malaria, measles, diarrhoeal diseases – the major killer diseases affecting children.” See page 32 for the quotation and page 40 for more details about the effect of malnutrition on measles infections. See page 52 for details about pneumonia and malnutrition.

    3 Catherine Corless was praised for her research and was awarded the Bar Council of Ireland’s Human Rights Award in October 2017 for her investigations. People aren’t given such awards for getting almost everything wrong.

    I hope that this information clarifies the situation.

  • You keep seeing it because you keep doing it. You run away from the conversation and blame me for your cowardice. I have presented arguments, you just have no answer to them.

  • Good-bye, Mr Hobson.

    If you every learn to engage in actual conversation, you may someday actually have one.

  • I can and do. The one refusing meaningful conversation is you, not me. I suspect it’s because your stance is indefensible, and you know it.