How to Vote? A difficult decision.

In less than four weeks time we will be faced with a vote to decide if we will keep or repeal the 8th amendment to the Constitution. In 1983 I voted against putting it into the constitution, mainly following the advice of Peter Sunderland. Now I am undecided as to how I will vote this time.

I believe that as an elder male, who was never married, neither myself or any of my siblings having had children, leaving me with no close experience of pregnancy or birth, I am in a particularly unsuitable position to be making any statement on the question before us. But I still feel an obligation, as a citizen, to cast my vote, and I will do so.
Having spent a great part of my life as a member of the clerical system in a church that discriminates against women, and has blocked them from participation in any form of decision making, it will be difficult for me to cast a vote for retention of an amendment that restricts the freedom of choice and action of women.
And I know that if the eight is retained women will continue to go to England and other countries to have abortions, and some will also get the abortion pill on line and take it at home without medical supervision. I am very aware of the hypocrisy of exporting our problem.

But I also know that, if the eight is repealed, and abortion becomes more freely available in this country, more unborn children will be aborted.
And that by repealing the eight we are taking a fundamental right, the right to life, from one particularly vulnerable section of humanity.
I was amazed when the citizens assembly came up with the proposal that abortion should be freely available for the first twelve weeks. Since then I have studied the issue as best I could, and can see why they came to that conclusion. But I find it very hard to accept or justify.

I hate the argument, used by some campaigners, that says we cannot trust our legislators. There is great cynicism among some about politics and politicians.
If we lose trust in those we democratically choose to govern the country, then we undermine the democratic form of government, and, as we have seen in other countries, leave ourselves open to the rise of populist demagogues.

So I have four weeks to make up my mind. I will do so, and I will vote.
But I am sure of this: that whichever way I end up casting that vote, I will not be happy walking out of the polling booth. And, whichever way the result goes, if the amendment is retained or repealed, I will take no pleasure in the result.