Panti Urges Repealers To Be Calm, Chaos Ensues

“You won’t change a mind that believes abortion is murder,” Panti says, urging Repeal the 8th proponents to keep level-headed.

 

One of Time Magazine’s most influential people of the year in 2016, Panti Bliss has called for Repeal the 8th campaigners to be inclusive in a “national conversation” on abortion.

“It’s very easy for passion to become anger, but that puts people off,” the LGBT rights activist and drag performer said. “There is a time and a place for righteous anger – and I am not saying everyone should be meek – but you need to think strategically when it comes to referendums.

“Sometimes you might want to stand up and scream your head off but not when you are trying to speak to the middle ground.

“When it comes to abortion, it’s sometimes forgotten that you can give someone all the facts as you see them but you won’t change a mind that believes abortion is murder. They are not misogynists or monsters for that.”

“Those two sides (pro and anti) will never reach a consensus. What I would like to see in the public sphere is a grey-area view. That view should be given a platform to work out the issues.

“The vast majority are somewhere in between and we need to make a concerted effort to hear those middle-ground voices,” Panti said.

The Irish drag queen also forewarned that a Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum would not guarantee a vote to Repeal the 8th Amendment.

“You can be a gay communist and still believe life begins at conception.”

 

Backlash

Despite the fact that Panti has been a Repeal the 8th ally, the internet did not respond kindly to the Queen of Ireland’s message of tolerance and inclusion.

One Twitter user indicated that Panti is a member of the oppressive patriarchy, saying: “Sometimes the patriarchy wears a dress. Thanks for the solidarity”.

Another person highlighted the less than tolerant attitude that Panti had in the Marriage Referendum in comparison with what she is advocating for Repeal the 8th campaigners.

However, Panti’s collaborator and friend Philly McMahon has come to the drag queen’s defence to remind pro choice campaigners that Panti is “not the enemy,” before sharing pictures of the international celebrity supporting the Repeal campaign to illustrate it.

Terminology

On Sunday another meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly took place to discuss the issue of the 8th Amendment.

Members of the Catholic clergy and the Pro Life campaign criticised some of the wording in the agenda for the Citizens’ Assembly.

The term “fatal foetal abnormality” is the phrase these Pro Life groups took exception to, indicating that the language used depersonalised the foetus and intended to “normalise abortion”.

To remove this linguistic possibility to sway Assembly members, the Pro Life lobby proffered the term “life-limiting conditions” instead.

The Assembly Chair Justice Mary Laffoy told the 99 volunteers that correct terminology is something that has been causing difficulty already.

“The correct use of terminology in this debate is and issue which has been causing both myself and the secretariat some difficulty in settling our minds to.

“It is a contentious aspect to the arguments around the topic we are discussing. It is argued, for example, that the term ‘fatal foetal abnormalities’ desensitises what is a very difficult and traumatic diagnosis for a woman and her baby.

“Many medical practitioners tell us that this is a term they do not use when speaking to a woman about a diagnosis.”

“Nonetheless, the term is widely used and is very much in common parlance – to exclude its usage at the Assembly would therefore, in my view, be inappropriate. It will therefore be used and will continue to be used.”

© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News Ireland). All rights reserved.

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