Thursday, 2 May 2013

Irish abortion legislation - Craggy Island meets Saudi Arabia

A reader recently commented that Ireland was a cross between "Craggy Island and North Korea"...  a very valid observation in my book.    You could also throw a bit of Iran into the mix... or maybe even Saudi Arabia.

Imagine a situation in which a woman  -  raped, pregnant and harbouring desperate and suicidal feelings as a result  -  seeks a termination in the country in which she lives. To have any hope of doing so, she has to appear before a panel of doctors and plead her case..

The doctors, drawn from an inherently insular and socially conservative grouping, say "no".    Now the woman has seven days to "appeal" their decision, and hope the appeal board take a more sympathetic view of her appalling situation.

This is "modern" Ireland, and this is the new legislation dreamt up by our far-seeing political class to take it forward into the 19th century.

Again, Ireland and the Irish will be a laughing stock.

A mad little rock on the edge of Europe, still informed by theology and Official Ireland bollocksology even as its denizens think they are all-so-modern-and-with-it.    A kind of post-theocratic (but still informed by theocratic values) madhouse.

It took Irish politicians - of all brands - 21 years to legislate for the X-Case, when the Irish authorities tried to stop a raped 14-year old from going to Britain for an abortion.  And here it is.

The fact remains that thousands of Irish women go to Britain and elsewhere for abortions every year, despite what Official Ireland - ever expert at denying reality's intrusions -choses to believe.

See previous Gombeen Nation post on the subject (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


Nenad said...

Again, Ireland and the Irish will be a laughing stock in Europe.
Well, I guess it wasn't that funny for Savita Halappanavar and her husband. Did you hear about Peter Mathews comment?

The Gombeen Man said...

I didn't Nenad. I had the day off and was out in the Wicklow Hills, trying to give my head a rest from the place. I made a point of not switching the radio on.

What were his words of wisdom?

Nenad said...

Check it out:

So much for a FG-Deputys opinion about pro-life!

Ella said...

Hi GM, here you go THAT story about Peter Matthews - you just couldn't make it up.

The Gombeen Man said...

I've just read that...

“But shure we’re all going to end up dead anyway” Begob.

What a thick gobshite, and more tellingly, an elected one.

I despair.

John said...

After 21 years of ignoring the Supreme Court this sorry excuse for legislation plods it way on to the statue book. A woman who wants an abortion in cases of incest and rape are still denied their human rights.
In fact, Irish women will have less rights than under Nicolae Ceauşescu's, Romania. He banned abortion to ensure "normal demographic growth", his Decree 770 authorized by Ceauşescu's government, criminalized abortion except in cases like:
1.women whose life would be threatened by carrying to term due to medical complications
2.women who were pregnant through rape or incest.

And we call Ireland a democracy?

Nenad said...

Thanks John! I didn't know that ...

The Gombeen Man said...

John's information puts Ireland's ranking in such matters into perspective, doesn't it?

Nenad said...

John's information puts Ireland's ranking in such matters into perspective, doesn't it?
It does indeed. And it shows something else too: that the EU is a joke! Why didn't they introduce a general EU-Abortion-Law for all members? There are all kinds of (ridiculous) regulations. But there is none for this important matter as far as I know.

The Gombeen Man said...

A good point...

secoro said...

I like the "idea" of your blog but as you criticize the agendas,beliefs and policies of others its apparently clear that you, and those who come on here and applaud you,also have an agenda of your own.On this issue of abortion alone you all seem to think its some trivial matter,akin to having a corn removed,and the Irish people are ignorant and intolerant religious zealots if they don't agree with you.Maybe you should take a minute and read the horror stories coming out in the USA about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.Where living babies had there spines snipped in his clinic although they were alive and maybe could have lived.The inconvenience was too much for the supposed mother to be though,so this was the solution to her problem.There should be a provision in law to protect the life of the mother above all else.Abortion on demand is not the way to go though and its nothing to be proud of to be able to proclaim to the world that such a situation prevails in your own country,no matter where you are from.