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To feel glad/relieved Ireland is voting through Abortion Bill

(672 Posts)
ARealDame Tue 16-Jul-13 10:17:02

Its only a bare minimum - in the case of a woman's life being threatened - but it is also a massive sea change, on this sensitive issue. The vote in the Lower House was 127:31.

(Mary Kenny wrote very interestingly in the Times about it - saying that although the Church has played a role, much of the opposition was to do with Ireland's fear of "depopulation". Partly because of Ireland's history - famine, mass emigration. But also due to a rural pro-natalist mindset. In agricultural communities another child is "another pair of hands". In cities, another child is "another mouth to feed".)

oreocookiez Tue 16-Jul-13 19:30:34

What a woman does with the contents of her womb is HER business, not the government or any other small minded people. Children are born with awful disabilities who spend every waking moment in pain and die a few months old. Why would any parent want to put a child or themselves through that? If a women does not want to have a baby NO ONE should be able to force her. Thankfully I live in a country (UK) where we are not so barbaric. I lived in northern ireland when my husband was posted there in the army in the early 1990's and hated the bloody place... hated every minute of living there and wouldnt take my son out after 5pm. I could not get home fast enough and all the rest of the army wives felt just the same. Women are not given the same rights as men. This is the 21st Century !

KobayashiMaru Tue 16-Jul-13 19:33:40

Depends on the circles. I'm pro-choice, and most people I know well are too, though to differing levels (few to my extreme viewpoint). I think you'd be surprised how much its changed recently though, did you see how big the marches and vigils for Savita were?

Also great to see some of the nasty lying propaganda posters from YD et al being torn down and destroyed though its a bitch getting black spray paint out of your hair

oreocookiez Tue 16-Jul-13 19:48:11

A lady at a toddler group I used to go to when DS2 was little had an termination at 28 weeks pregnant. It was only being in the womb that was keeping it alive They had picked up that it had only half of its brain developed, loads of other abnormalities and that it wouldnt survive when it was born. Her husband and her decided to terminate and the amount of small minded stick up there arses people who gave them a hard time was terrible. She had to travel to London from Hampshire and they injected something into the heart of the foetus to end its life. She still had to go through labour and give birth poor girl. It was badly deformed as she asked to hold it and she knew she had done the right thing. She had a healthy boy a year later thankfully. In Ireland they would have had to go through to the end and then wait for it to die when born.... not even worth thinking about.

Sadly I have another friend who decided to go ahead with her downs pregnancy which was advised against by the drs as he had so many things wrong with him. He lived for just over 3 months, was in pain, had to be fed through a tube, cried all the time. Worst 3 months of my friends life, her and her hubby were devastated to have to watch him suffer and basically wait for him to die. He had heart defects, split palate, stomach problems, bowel problems, his skin was scaly and red, infection after infection bless him. She said if she could go back she would have had an abortion as putting herself through that was a nightmare. She hardly got to hold him as he just screamed and cried. Never smiled or recognised them.

HildaOgden Tue 16-Jul-13 20:20:59

As most of you are residing in a country where abortion has been freely available for years,(I'm in Ireland),can you give me a rough idea of how many abortions you personally know of where the mother has been suicidal,or where either she or the unborn child were facing certain death if the pregnancy progressed?.Genuine curiosity...and I think that some people in my country look at countries like yours,with high abortion rates,with some incredulity.I believe there is a fear that if abortion on demand is introduced,it leads to people thinking 'ah feck contraception,sure if I get knocked up I will just abort'.

I personally believe it should be available at home for genuine medical/mental health reasons (and obviously rape)....but I don't want our society to change to one where the unborn foetus is considered as a disposable nuisance.

Because you know what happens?The women who pre-pregnancy were cavalier about getting an abortion if they had an unwanted pregnancy very often change their minds when they are actually pregnant.And continue with the pregnancy...even though their situation is every bit as unprepared for raising a child as it was beforehand.

You,in Britain (and I like you,this isn't a personal attack or attack on your country,just an observation!) have had full access to both contraception and unconditional abortion for years.And yet,you have a startingly high number of children born into poverty or families where only one parent is actually parenting that child.

Freely available abortion hasn't decreased the amount of children being born into a situation where at least one parent regrets them being born.And I think that's sad sad

KobayashiMaru Tue 16-Jul-13 20:39:28

of course it has decreased that number! There would obv be many many more unwanted children.
Do you think that all of Irelands children are wanted ones? They aren't. I find that much sadder. Every child should be a wanted child, and every mother should have made the free choice to become one.

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Tue 16-Jul-13 20:48:33

Hi Hilda, have just been on another thread about this, so forgive me if you've already seen this! Just to say wedon't have unconditional abortion in the UK: the current legal grounds for abortion in the England, Wales and Scotland (but not in NI) are (s1 of the Abortion Act 1967 (amended):

" if two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith:
(a) that the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family; or
(b) that the termination of the pregnancy is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; or
(c) that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated; or
(d) that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped."

So 2 "medical practitioners" have to be convinced of the above: which means referral is not automatic; in effect the "medical practitioners" have to give their consent to the procedure.

Secondly, your comment that "freely available abortion hasn't decreased the amount of children being born into a situation where at least one parent regrets them being born." Who ever said it would? There's no legislation that can make someone want a child if they don't want one, there never has been. If you are saying that it's easier for some parents to get out of the responsibilities of to their kids and the other parent if than before, then that's another thread - it's got nothing to do with abortion.

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Tue 16-Jul-13 20:49:15

KobayashiMaru - quite!

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 16-Jul-13 21:04:38

Hilda you are writing as though the UK is an alien planet to us but the reality is approximately one in ten Irish pregnancies ends in an abortion in the UK. You know TONS of women who have had them - you just don't know you do.

Irish women have abortion on demand. It's very expensive and emotionally punishing but we have it. Whatever you're afraid of, it's here. The only Irish women forced to be pregnant are children, victims of domestic abuse, or very poor.

ll31 Tue 16-Jul-13 21:11:27

Onlikely, the conditions are however essentially abortion on demand up to 24 wks. Referral is essentially automatic to 24 wks

KobayashiMaru Tue 16-Jul-13 21:12:38

We just have a far worse version of abortion on demand than the UK does. Later, far costlier, and much much harder. But its not an argument that sways pro-lifers/anti-choicers because you get the impression they think you're only getting what you deserve if you make that choice.

ComposHat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:13:51

but clause c) pretty much makes it a legal right as it is always more risky to the woman's life to continue a pregnancy than not.

The stance of anti choice campaigners in general and the Irosh state and the Catholic Church might not stick on the throat so much if they actually gave a shite about the scores of unwanted children born ratjer than tubthumping about embryoes.

Neither body has a grest record when it comes to caring for women or unwanted infants. but thst would require action and humanity rather than empty moralising

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:37:45

The point I am making though, a woman does not legally have the right to have an "abortion on demand" in the UK - she needs the consent of 2 other people. It's them that are allowed to interpret the law as they see fit, not her.

And regarding clause c), legally, it doesn't cover all pregnant women: only the those who have a pregnancy related condition or one made worse by pregnancy. The possibility of risk is not considered: the risk has to be actually real for that particular woman.

I'm with you ComposHat - every child has a right to be wanted.

HildaOgden Tue 16-Jul-13 21:42:18

In 1969 (the first full year records are available for legal abortions in England/Wales) there were 54,000 abortions carried out.By 2011,that figure had risen to 196,000 abortions.

196,OOO abortions.

I believe that quite a lot of people in my country (and this thread is about my country,and why the abortion issue is so on-going here) believe that the introduction of it leads to a de-sensitisation of it.We have seen it in your country.Some may believe that's a good thing,others don't.And,as we are living in a democracy,each persons opinion is counted as valid

My point about women who had decided,before getting pregnant,that they would abort if they found themselves pregnant,but then changing their mind once it's a reality has been conveniently overlooked.If abortion was not so freely available (and yes,I know the conditions attached....you all also know that it is relatively easy to get a doctor to sign those forms)....then the 'desensitisation' would not happen.People wanting to avoid having a baby would be a damn sight more careful with their contraception if they didn't have 'plan b' in the back of their minds.When 'disaster' hits...and no reliable contraception is used and a pregnancy results...then suddenly,abortion and it's grim reality doesn't actually seem so easy.And so,the pregnancy continues...and a baby is born into a situation that it otherwise wouldn't have been,if contraception was the only way to avoid it.

There is no easy answer to this if you are living in a country like mine.We have not had the 40-odd years of desensitisation.Abortion is not,to the average woman,considered to be a realistic plan B for unwanted pregnancies in this country,purely because we have not had it as part of our culture.It is part of yours,and has been for more than 40 years.

I may be coming across as a Holy Catholic Rosaries-on-my -ovaries lunatic here.Nothing could be further from the truth(on every level!!).I just honestly believe that easily accessible abortion actually doesn't help women,or children,as a group.I think the availability of it makes people (both men and women) believe that recklessness with contraception is fine,plan B (abortion) will sort it if needed.The reality...if you are faced with an unwanted pregnancy ..is very different.And far too often,a woman is left raising a child alone in quite dire circumstances.You only have to read the threads on here ...'we weren't planning a baby,but I couldn't get rid of it....no,we weren't being careful..'

I would be far,far happier if much more emphasis was put on avoiding unwanted pregnancies in the first place.I repeat my earlier view that if the physical/mental health of the mother/child is at risk,(or rape)then unfortunately yes,abortion is the regretable answer.Using it as a back up to contraception (and 32 per cent of women having an abortion are having their second abortion) just seems wrong to me.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213386/Commentary1.pdf

KobayashiMaru Tue 16-Jul-13 21:50:44

Ok, 54k to 190k.
Hasn't the population increased by more than that, to scale?

KobayashiMaru Tue 16-Jul-13 21:52:24

Oh, and excuse me, but I'm an average Irish woman, please don't speak for me. Of course it was a realistic plan b for me. And has been, for several women I know, plan A.
It's just hidden. You're kidding yourself.

FannyFifer Tue 16-Jul-13 21:54:56

Ireland treats pregnant women like second class citizens. The public maternity system is a disgrace.

I lived & had my first child there, I had a lot of pregnancy complications, my mum begged me to move back to Scotland as she was terrified that the chance of life of the fetus would take precedence over mine.

Unfortunately that proved to be the case for Savita.

This abortion bill is barely an improvement.

You also have the likes of American funded Youth Defence spouting their vile poison. Targeting rape crisis centres with poster lorries parked outside ffs.

It's an utter embarrassment.

KobayashiMaru Tue 16-Jul-13 21:56:37

lots of people have very good experiences with the public maternity system. Lets not confuse the issue entirely.

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:57:51

What were the figures for illegal abortions before 1969 Hilda?

What were the figures who for children who got put into care, because their parent were unwilling or unable to bring them up, before 1969 and after?

What were the figures for children who were put up for adoption, because their parent were unwilling or unable to bring them up, before 1969 and after?

"The reality...if you are faced with an unwanted pregnancy ..is very different.And far too often,a woman is left raising a child alone in quite dire circumstances.You only have to read the threads on here ...'we weren't planning a baby,but I couldn't get rid of it....no,we weren't being careful.." also applies to a woman who can't access abortion if she wants one.

And I'll say it again, men leaving women in the lurch to look after the kids (because that's what you're talking about) has got nothing to do with a woman's right to choose to have an abortion or not.

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:59:22

gosh, typos blush

skylerwhite Tue 16-Jul-13 22:02:00

Another vote for the public maternity service - my sister and many close friends have had nothing but good experiences. I don't think it's accurate to say it is a disgrace hmm

Hilda can you clarify your point about women changing their minds about abortion once they are pregnant? I've read it a few times and still can't quite understand what you mean.

ApocalypseThen Tue 16-Jul-13 22:06:58

Yeah, I'm a bit confused about that remark about Irish maternity hospitals - in general, the results are comparable with any other country in the world and Holles St has an international reputation. German nurses I met when I was there said that they'd come to Ireland to work there because it's a real bonus on a maternity nurses CV.

HildaOgden Tue 16-Jul-13 22:11:51

No,.the population hasn't quadrupled in that time.

I'm not speaking for you,*KobayashiMaru*.Indeed,you can't speak for me either,so lets not get into a debate about who most fits the tag of 'average Irish woman'.And I'm not kidding myself.At the top of my head,I know 3 of my personal friends who have had abortions over the years.(one rape,one cancer patient and one failed contraception...if you want to know).There is quite possibly more people who have had them but not discussed it.On average,4000 Irish women have abortions in the UK per year.

I think I will refrain from posting on this thread again...because it's getting none of us no-where.l have no wish to fight with any woman about this.I wouldn't wish that choice upon any one of you.Equally,I wouldn't wish for a society where it becomes the 'norm' to be lax with contraception because there is a back up plan.

My opinion,my viewpoint.You are equally entitled to yours.

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:15:36

That's good Hilda, because I'm not living in a society where it is the 'norm' to be lax with contraception because abortion is the back up plan. I'd just like to live in a society where it's the woman's right to choose what happens to her body, not someone else's choice for her. And that's what I wish for women everywhere.

KobayashiMaru Tue 16-Jul-13 22:16:04

You are though. you decided to say what the "average Irish woman" thinks about abortion, I did not I only spoke for my own opinion.
You have no right to speak for the average Irish woman, only for yourself. You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to present the opinions of the country at large, which is what you did.

HildaOgden Tue 16-Jul-13 22:29:17

In the most recent Irish Times Poll,*KobayashiMaru*,39 per cent felt that that abortion should be allowed if the woman 'deemed it to be in her best interest'61 per cent believed it should not.You may want to believe that everyone thinks the same as you,but that doesn't mean they do.

There was (rightly,in my opinion) a majority in favour of allowing abortion in cases of rape/incest...physical/mental health danger to mother...no chance of viable life for child etc.

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