Horror and anger, pain and compassion erupted across our islands at the news of yet another road death: a youngster unnecessarily deprived of life, her loved ones devastated. What can be done to prevent such tragedies?
It was encouraging to hear so many voices clamouring to prevent deaths whenever possible.
We had experts telling us how roads could be planned to discourage dangerous speeding as well as how speeding drivers could be caught. We have also had people in government calling for stiffer punishment by the courts.
And who knows how many other people, often in private conversations, have been doing their bit to persuade individuals to be more sensible while driving.
The promoters of life may appear in the form of friends who help create an atmosphere where the ‘harmless’ lure of alcohol before driving home is not allowed to slip in and court disaster; where any rebellious spirit against restriction is reserved to where it is just and safe; where the responsibility towards self and others acts as a wise brake.
Groups of friends can make a world of difference as to whether they choose to promote safety and life, or invite danger and death. The same applies to members of the public, voters, experts, public authorities: they can exercise wisdom and foresight, responsibility and truthfulness, to achieve results in preventing carnage and death on the road.
The same applies to any efforts to ensure a society marked by the insight, truthfulness and foresight needed to save from hurt, harm and death.
There were societies in the past that had a way of life that was thought to be unsustainable without slavery. It took very determined collective effort for this abuse to be abolished and for us to have a way of life that does not rest on such harm to others. We are, however, now witnessing efforts to reverse this progress in various ways.
The efforts to remove the legal protection of the life of unborn people is such a case. Allowing such life to be cut short to save the life of the mother seems to be a reasonable balance of rights. Any lighter excuse would bring in the injustice, imbalance of rights and lack of foresight that would be inviting in death, first in a trickle, later in full deluge.
Those who are on the side of allowing child death for weaker reasons should look at what happened in various countries, such as UK and US.
We can prevent womb deaths by promoting sexual practices that show reproductive responsibility- Charles Pace
In 1967, it was hoped that the introduction of abortion would flush out a few dangerous backstreet abortions. Then, after that backlog had been cleared up, people would be well-enough served by contraception, making abortion unnecessary.
Now, half a century later, a quarter of babies conceived in Britain, totalling 200,000 a year, are legally aborted. Besides, abortion has been imposed by London on an unwilling Northern Ireland, and Scottish politicians want to legalise abortion till birth. And some states in the US even want to prolong this right to end a baby’s life even into the first month after birth.
Creating a climate where harm to the unborn, and depriving them of the right to have a life, is seen as if it were a harmless and right-less matter, can addict us to insensitivity and blind us to truth in our reasoning.
The very people who said legal protection does not reduce abortions are now up in arms because some US state laws against abortion have done just that, saving thousands. We can’t build a future on elastic truth nor on disappearing rights.
Much better to invest in foresight, integrity, inclusiveness, and consistent ethical principles.
By taking action and demanding the same from our political leaders, we can prevent not only road deaths.
We can equally prevent womb deaths, such as by promoting, in every way, sexual practices that show reproductive responsibility; by defending the legal protection of the life of the unborn; and by offering heaps of understanding and help, practical, psychological and moral, to mothers and families with challenging pregnancies, supporting them in allowing their children to keep their life.
Charles Pace is a policy specialist.