Ronan Lyons Profile picture
Apr 24, 2018 14 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
"Abortion is murder." Except it's not. On the day #men4yes has taken off, a thread about probably the key issue at the heart of the debate on the #8thAmendment and effectively the only argument #VoteNo have: that abortion is murder.
In particular, this thread is an attempt to reach out to those who either are going to #voteno or those who are leaning that way, because - if in doubt about whether abortion is murder - it may seem safer to err on the side of caution.
I think it's useful to note that I was, as a teenager, a relatively devout Catholic so I would have been "pro life" - this lasted for a few years even after I left religion, largely because, on the face of it, the "life is sacred" argument seemed so clear-cut.
But here's the thing, it's not clear-cut. At all. Interacting with a #voteno supporter on Twitter, he gave the analogy of turning off life support for a baby - in his eyes, this was a killer argument.
But abortion is only akin to randomly turning off life-support for a baby if you believe that women are merely incubators or life support machines, to whom you owe nothing but energy. Once you recognise that they have rights too, everything changes.
A far better analogy is mandatory organ donation from parents to children. Suppose you could keep a child alive - *your child alive* - but only with a complicated 9-month procedure that would change your own life forever.
In fact, this medical procedure could even end your life. It would not only certainly and irrevocably alter your body forever but change also your career, income, and therefore how you care for your existing family.
There is no country in the world where such a medical procedure is *legally mandatory* for parents. I doubt there is even a single individual out there who thinks that it should be mandatory.
And yet, this is what those who oppose abortion (read, in Ireland's case: want to ensure Irish abortions happen elsewhere) are effectively saying: women must - regardless of the costs to them - be life support machines.
This is, by the way, completely different to arguing that we would hope, wherever possible, that a parent *would* undergo such a complicated medical procedure to keep their child alive. We would all hope so - but we would leave it to them to make that decision.
And if they were not in a position to make that decision, we would - I'm sure - respect that they made that decision only because it was the least-worst option available to them and realise that they almost certainly bear the weight of that decision most heavily.
Above, I have assumed that a foetus is equivalent to a (post-birth) child. But of course, even though it is not at all central to the pro-choice argument, it is hard for many people to believe that a 10-week foetus is the same as a child, which weakens the pro-life case further.
On top of this, there are the heart-wrenching stories shared by @InHerIrishShoes - of parents who really did want a child but were denied not only that (unavoidably) but also (completely avoidably) the appropriate medical treatment... and with it, the opportunity to grieve.
The campaign so far has thrown up so many reasons to #VoteYes. Meanwhile, and I'm sure they view it as a strength, #votenotoabortion is based on just one: that "abortion is murder". Except it's not. If you don't support mandatory organ donation, you are pro-choice.

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More from @ronanlyons

Aug 14, 2018
On Sunday, I was the focus of a small group of not-very-bright racists (NVBRs), who decided housing was going to be their new angle for their anti-foreigner bile. It gave me a window into Twitter mobs and their strategies and also into how they think. (A thread)
In total, there were about 20-25 different accounts over the course of the day (and a trickle since) but it is reasonable to conclude from their behaviour that there is a mix of paid trolls (Clintons! Soros!), sock puppets and perhaps a small handful of real people.
It is clear that they coordinate. A random account posting on my timeline on a Sunday morning would never normally generate much follow-up. The coordination (and sock-puppetry) allow them to seem like a much larger group than they are, key to their bullying.
Read 19 tweets

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