Image Credit: via Oceanfm.ie
In the lead up to a referendum surrounding such a complex issue as the repealing of the 8th Amendment it is imperative that those in the public eye endeavour to provide their electorate with information as accurate and objective as possible so that voters can formulate their own opinions around the topic.
This is clearly a philosophy that Independent Cllr Des Guckian of Leitrim abides by. He would only like those who elected him to office to be informed of the facts around abortion, stripped away from the sensationalist hyperbole that can all too easily enter such debates.
In an email he sent around to his constituents, imploring them to 'Vote No', he kept a level head while discussing what would happen were the 8th Amendment repealed.
"Hitler would be very happy to abolish the 8th," says Cllr Des Guckian.
Hitler. Remember him? Sure you do. Hitler, the guy who successfully rose to power 80 years ago, having lobbied on a platform of repealing an as yet unimplemented amendment to the constitution of an entirely separate country. Now, aside from actually taking Cllr Des Guckian here at face value, and looking at the Nazi party's rather complex and, unsurprisingly, racially-motivated attitudes around abortion, it's good to see that Cllr Des Guckian is keeping a balanced sense of perspective with his rhetoric.
— Jamie Murphy (@Jamiecm81) May 6, 2018
"If the repealers win," Cllr Des Guckian bleats in the closing stages of the second paragraph, "girls will be expected to have sex on demand. Sex slavery will be normalised."
I don't want to cast aspersions here. Far be it from me to make assumptions about what information Cllr Des Guckian has access to - perhaps it is also due to the fact that I am not a lawyer who specialises in constitutional legislation - but I find it difficult to see how removing a misguided clause equating the life of an unborn child to that of the mother from the Irish constitution will suddenly cause society to devolve into some sexually-haunting dystopia. Des Guckian, by this point in his argument in the sprawling second paragraph of his electronic missive, has utterly lost sight of the shore. Des Guckian's argument is akin to saying that were his county council to change their bin collections times then cat-murder would be legalised.
He goes on to say that he views the referendum as 'a distraction' from the true issues that blight this country, some of which are fair in considering them plights of equal severity which similarly effect the lives of people throughout Ireland, before very quickly devolving into equating that potholes are as direct a threat to women's bodily autonomy and health as draconian abortion legislation.
Cllr Des Guckian came on to Ocean FM to talk about the views he expressed in his email, needless to say, contrition or moderation was far from his mind.