The Guardian reports today that a new study has shown that chemical abortions can be safely taken at home before the twelfth week of pregnancy.

This is good news for British women. Unfortunately, because of the draconian laws in this country, many Irish women will be unable to avail of it: the tablets have to be administered over the course of a couple days, making it impossible for women to travel over and back on a weekend.

Of course the lack of availability of these medicines won't prevent Irish women having abortions. Over 6,000 of them will continue to go to Britain, and an unknown (because no statistics are kept) number on top of that to Amsterdam, every year. But unless they can take a few days off they will have to make do with the surgical rather than chemical procedure, which I imagine must be quite a bit more unpleasant.

It is not acceptable for women in Ireland to be denied the benefit of medical advances simply on the basis of a moral belief which not all of us share.

Those who oppose the right to abortion, I ask you this: if women are not being prevented from having abortions (which, clearly, they aren't), but are simply having them later - because they have to make travel arrangements, maybe raise a bit of extra money, etc. - what has your side achieved? If a woman is planning to end her pregnancy anyway, isn't it preferable for all concerned (including the foetus if you insist) that she do it as early as possible?

How long do you suppose it will be before mifepristone and misoprostol are available over the internet, or on Moore Street (if they aren't already) and women are administering them themselves, with all the danger that will entail?

At this weekend's Ard Fheis Sinn Féin will be debating a motion calling for us to support the Irish Family Planning Association's Safe and Legal Campaign. I do not hold high hopes that it will be passed - there are still too many moral conservatives in this party, and too much fear (even among those who themselves are pro-choice) of division. But we are gaining ground. I have seen this in internal debates, and I have seen it in the wider society, and I know we will win this battle someday.

6 comments:

Chris Gaskin said...

Wednesday

I oppose abortion/murder but I am not a moral conservative, I am a socialist.

Socialism is about equality and looking out for the most vulnerable in society.

The unborn child is the most vulnerable and must be protected by society.

Wednesday said...

Well see, I utterly reject the notion that a not-fully-formed being inside a woman's body is her equal. Equality only makes sense when you're comparing like with like. Restrictive abortion laws prevent equality between the two sexes of born, fully formed, grown human beings, which is the most important "equality" issue here.

I'm interested in hearing your answer to my question - if women are going to have abortions anyway (and they are) isn't it better that they have them early on?

Chris Gaskin said...

I utterly reject the notion that a not-fully-formed being inside a woman's body is her equal

That is indeed your choice

Equality only makes sense when you're comparing like with like

I am comparing life with life

Restrictive abortion laws prevent equality between the two sexes of born, fully formed, grown human beings, which is the most important "equality" issue here.

I disagree

if women are going to have abortions anyway (and they are) isn't it better that they have them early on?

How do you work that out?

I disagree totally. If one life is saved by our abortion laws then it is a sucess.

Wednesday said...

I am comparing life with life

Are you a vegan? Are you opposed to spermicide? What's your position on those birth control pills that work on already-fertilised eggs?

How do you work that out?

Early abortions are safer for the woman and also prevent there being any chance whatsoever of causing pain to the embryo.

I disagree totally.

And of course you have a right to do so. But you don't have the right to force women to abide by your own beliefs.

Chris Gaskin said...

But you don't have the right to force women to abide by your own beliefs.

Should I be allowed to kill you and get away with it?

Let's stop living in a fantasy land!

That is what politics and society is about, making decisions with the concensus of society that some find unacceptable.

If we make big buisness pay 50% tax they won't like it but they will have to lump it!

It is not just the woman involved, their is an innocent life as well.

Wednesday said...

You didn't answer my questions Chris :) All your points could easily be made by someone opposed to eating meat or using spermicide. Why stop with abortion?

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