This week the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was published. At the heart of this Report lies a recognition that for most of the 20th century, tens of thousands of women and their children, both born and unborn, were treated appallingly and oftentimes subjected to shame and stigma resulting from an unplanned pregnancy.
The impact of this harsh and unjust treatment casts a dark shadow over this period and is felt by many into the present day.
New life should always be a source of celebration rather than of shame and stigma. When a society loses sight of the inherent value and dignity of every human life, born and unborn, terrible things happen.
We should never shy away from the horrors of the past. We must acknowledge what happened and learn from it to ensure nothing like it ever happens again.
The silence and secrecy that operated for the greater part of the last century has been replaced by the way Ireland’s new abortion regime has become shrouded in secrecy.
The way the media and so many politicians dismiss out of hand any discussion about what is happening under the new abortion law is reminiscent of how things were dealt with in the past when silence was the order of the day and very few people in positions of authority were prepared to ask the hard questions or challenge the prevailing views of the time.
Too often, women in Ireland with unplanned pregnancies and their unborn children, are not seen as persons, deserving of our love and the warm hands of our embrace. We continue to fail them when we present the separation of their children through abortion as an act of ‘compassion’ or as being in their best interests.
Let us learn from the terrible mistakes and injustices of the past and commit together to creating a better society where mothers and their children are truly valued, protected, and supported.