Wednesday, 26 May 2010

12 women travel to UK for abortions every day. We need abortion rights in Ireland

And what about the rights of the unborn”, I hear them say. “And what if YOU had been aborted”, is another refrain I hear in my mind’s ear.  Well, in answer to the first question I’d say I care more about the rights of the born. To the second I can only say, sure, I wouldn’t be here - but nor would those asking the stupid questions. And given a few of the Youth Defence specimens I’ve seen over the years, maybe that would not be a bad thing?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not in favour of using abortion as contraception. Contraceptives are available all over Ireland now, I hope, so there is no excuse in that regard. Unlike in the not-too-distant-past.

But as mentioned in an earlier post of about a year ago, there will always be crisis pregnancies because of economic/emotional circumstances, medical anomalies or complications, incest and rape. What’s more, as a man, I will never be faced with the dilemma, and will never have the State dictating what I should do with my body. But a woman should have choice.

The stark fact too, is that the longer Irish women are denied abortion rights, the more the chances their abortions (when they eventually arrange and procure them) will be later-term ones.

This topic is up again due to figures (Metro, 26th May) indicating that 12 women a day travel to Britain for an abortion, with 4,422 patients giving an Irish address to UK clinics last year. Neil Behan, head of the Irish Family Planning Association, is quoted as saying that at least 142,060 women travelled to Britain for an abortion since 1980.

Remember too, that these figures only account for those who gave Irish addresses. Many will give UK addresses if they have Britain-based friends or relations who are assisting them through what is already a very distressing situation.

There is a great Irish tradition of ignoring reality, I know. But ignoring reality does not make it go away. It’s time that the Irish authorities faced up to this one, and allowed Irish women the abortion rights most of their European counterparts are entitled to.

See also:

The Story of Paul and Mandy

The above map originated from a BBC article of 12 February, 2007

Back to Gombeen Nation main page


anna said...

Sure ignoring reality doesn’t make it go away; I often read these stats : Ireland has a higher abortion rate than the Netherlands, tho abortion is illegal here, Why? Netherlands has early and constant sex education thru school cycle + free contraception- as do most EU countries. All women in UK/NI can get totally free GP visits + free contraceptives ( inc condoms). Contraceptives are even Exempt of the nominal and very low ( about 5 pound) prescription charge- totally free. UK also has totally free family planning clinics for men and women, for contraception, sexual health checks etc.
My white south Africa friend, Jade, used to get her sister to send her packets of the pill. I’m not totally sure whether family planning was totally free to all in SA,( and I gather many developing countries DO offer it as a way forward for the people) or whether Jade’s white family could easily access paid medical care- but it was Still cheaper than seeing a GP in Ireland.
Appallingly Many catholic counties ( notably in south America, esp Brazil) have Far higher abortion rates than in countries where abortion is illegal. The cruel hypocrisy of the Catholic church in Brazil makes me seethe- many die in illegal abortions- yet they have blocked every government effort to provide contraception. And Ireland? Well free contraception should be provided Immediately. Another great reason to ban the church from our schools is early sex education should be provided- with no gaps in provision…I gather sex education is haphazard with religious nut/ teacher/ IT writer Breda O’Brien saying it should be totally left to parents(!! We’ve seen how that works). And what about childcare in Dublin being the cost of a second mortgage? State crèches/ Free contraception./ an effective school sex education curriculum/ would only cost a few million - and relieve misery. And then maybe we could start tackling our high abortion stats- stats that are higher than the Netherlands.

Ella said...

Hi GM, those figures don't reflect the true picture at all. When I lived in London I had a few Irish women come stay with me to have an abortion and in each and every case, they gave a false name and my London address. I would not be surprised if the figure of 12 women a day, are 12 women who happen to know nobody in London, because those who do seem to use a UK address.

Bjorn said...

maybe slightly off topic - but its just another example of how well the catholic church has mastered the art of hypocrisy.
In short - an nun working as a nurse gets excommunicated after she had to decide for an abortion because both the mothers and the childs life were in danger. Without her both would have died. And instead of support she gets a kick in the butt. Isn't that nice?

Priests abusing children only got sent to Alaska.
Its sickening reading material - sorry about that - but the truth sometimes hurts.

Ella said...

@ Bjorn, thanks for those 2 very interesting reads, well worth the read.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Anna. Good point about the Netherlands - says it all really.

@ Ella. Yes, it's one of those things that does not turn up in figures. I'd day the real numbers are significantly higher, though it's impossible to put a figure on it.

@ Bjorn. Thanks for that info.