I spent far too much time on social media yesterday, to the neglect of my duties in the home, following the proceedings of the Citizens’ Assembly as it debated whether I should continue to remain equal to a zygote. I had a sneaky feeling that I’d probably underestimated the ability of normal people to deal with what’s actually not a very complicated issue at all, namely whether we trust women and, if we don’t, why don’t we?
My mood lifted throughout the day and finally, on a windy beach not far from my house, my dodgy 4G worked and I read the amazing news on twitter than I am, in fact, part of The Middle Ground. I am not a radical, I am not part of fringe elements, I am not a weird outlier. There are many other people who think like me, who trust women and who think the current legal and constitutional situation is untenable.
I bet if more people informed themselves, they’d realise they too are The Middle Ground. They’d probably realise their wife shouldn’t be exactly equal to a foetus and have her maternity care stymied by a mad law from 1983. They’d probably realise their daughter is happy with the number of children she has and doesn’t want any more, and shouldn’t be forced to scrape money and time together to have control over her reproductive choices. They’d probably realise their friend shouldn’t have to suffer the additional agony created by the eighth if a scan during pregnancy shows up something awful.
They’d probably realise they really don’t need to know why me or anyone else continues or ends a pregnancy. They’d probably realise that life is indeed messy, complicated and sometimes unfair. They’d probably think they don’t like it when women make certain choices, but that’s really none of their business because no one is telling them what to do and they’re really quite fair minded in many ways.
If you’re not sure whether you’re also The Middle Ground, have a read of the Citizens’ Assembly website. Read up on how the eighth amendment affects maternity care. Have a look at why those who don’t think choices should be available if you’re unable to travel think the way they do. Inform yourself. I was once The Extreme. Now I’m The Middle Ground, which trusts women and wants the best for them and knows that limiting their rights is in no way the best for anyone.