to think everyone who opposes abortion in Ireland should read this?

(95 Posts)
skylerwhite Wed 31-Jul-13 19:06:37

I had tears in my eyes reading this heart-rending story. This is a man writing about the experience he and his wife had when they were told that their much-wanted pregnancy was 'incompatible with life' due to a fatal foetal abnormality, and the grief and pain they went through as a result of having to travel to England to terminate the pregnancy.

And the bill which was just signed into law won't make a blind bit of difference to women in similar awful situations. Those with money will travel; those without are just left to put up with it. It's so frustrating and so upsetting, it makes me so fucking ANGRY.

PollyIndia Thu 01-Aug-13 08:28:39

That's awful. I don't understand what happens though if you aren't allowed an abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities. Do you just have to carry until you deliver naturally? That is barbaric if so. Lucybabs and tearsofamum, so sorry for your losses sad

skylerwhite Thu 01-Aug-13 09:03:53

Yes Polly - women have to carry to term and deliver a baby that they know won't survive. My aunt is a midwife and a few times a year deals with a situation like this.

I think it's perfectly legitimate for British citizens to criticise Irish and Northern Irish abortion laws, by the way, given that the problem is overwhelmingly 'exported' to England.

bumbleymummy Thu 01-Aug-13 09:08:07

Ireland apparently has the highest rate of neural tube defects. I wonder why that is and what can be done do reduce it.

skylerwhite Thu 01-Aug-13 09:17:06

What can be done to reduce it? Abortion, bumbleymummy. The rate of neural tube defects is counted per live birth. That's why the rate is lower in other countries.

Bruthastortoise Thu 01-Aug-13 09:29:59

People in Northern Ireland are British citizens though so do you not think before we criticise other countries we should try and ensure the rights of our own citizens are being upheld first?

bumbleymummy Thu 01-Aug-13 09:31:21

I was talking about how it could be prevented in the first place, skyler. (As I'm sure you know) I'm pretty sure those mums would prefer a live, healthy baby if they had the choice hmm

skylerwhite Thu 01-Aug-13 09:48:05

Unless you know of a way to completely eradicate ntds, this situation will arise for some pregnant women every year. The fact that even one woman might have to travel to terminate a pregnancy due to an ntd is barbaric and cruel IMO.

Bruthas - I see the point you're making, but to my mind its not a case of criticising one or the other. Besides, abortion laws in Ireland north and south are the product of the same historical processes which led to the creation of insular, conservative, patriarchal and ultra religious governments and societies for much of the twentieth century. Society has changed now for the most part - thankfully - but the governing elite are way behind.

bumbleymummy Thu 01-Aug-13 09:54:29

Well I think it's a good goal to work towards skyler. No woman should have to be told that her baby is incompatible with life.

Bruthastortoise Thu 01-Aug-13 18:33:52

the thing is though that the women in Northern Ireland, despite being British citizens, are denied the rights other British women take for granted and have been doing so for decades. The Catholic Church has never had anything like the same level of influence in Northernn Ireland and prior to the Good Friday Agreement we were ruled directly from Westminister so we had the same governing elite as English women but they decided to treat Northern Irish women as lesser beings.

ApocalypseThen Thu 01-Aug-13 18:40:26

Sorry, the mainland??

France, probably.

skylerwhite Thu 01-Aug-13 18:43:26

I broadly agree with you, Bruthas. But I think devolution across the UK has complicated this matter somewhat.

It's also pretty clear the failure to extend abortion provision to Northern Irish women was down to the religious influence across both communities: the relatively evangelical nature of NI Protestantism (as compared to say English Protestantism), as well as the vocal fundamentalist strain represented by Paisley et al. And while the Catholic Church in NI was not formally influential at the governing level like in the south, it was afforded a great deal of space by the government to essentially provide a parallel set of social services - especially in healthcare.

Bruthastortoise Thu 01-Aug-13 18:48:23

I agree re. devolution skyler, if Northern Irish women were ever going to gain equal abortion rights it needed to be before devolution. There isn't a hope in hell now.

I also agree with you about the religious influence and I think that's one of the main reasons I get a bit annoyed when British people write about how awful the Irish government is for pandering to the religious right(which they are!) - but omit the fact that the British government did it for decades in Northern Ireland and it has been to the detriment of 1000s of British women.

sashh Thu 01-Aug-13 19:19:21

That's awful. I don't understand what happens though if you aren't allowed an abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities. Do you just have to carry until you deliver naturally? That is barbaric if so.

Yes it s barbaric, but that is what happens. There are plenty of people who will pray for a miracle for you.

Do you know what is more barbaric? If the pregnancy continuing to full term will leave you infertile you still have to go through it.

You can be a 12 year old victim of rape carrying a foetus with a fatal abnormality, you still have to carry to term and give birth unless your family/friends can get enough money together to get you to England or another EU state.

And yes the abortion act should be extended to NI.

PollyIndia Thu 01-Aug-13 19:25:18

I had no idea sad How utterly awful.

bumbleymummy Thu 01-Aug-13 20:54:13

Why do thirteen year old rape victims who have gotten pregnant always come into abortion discussions? Kind of equivalent to the 'women who use abortion as contraception and have had 17 terminations to date' at the other end of the spectrum.

skylerwhite Thu 01-Aug-13 20:57:49

Wow. Have you forgotten the X Case, bumbley? Pretty relevant to the abortion debate in Ireland. Granted, she was fourteen, not thirteen. But a rape victim nonetheless.

bumbleymummy Thu 01-Aug-13 21:04:08

No, I haven't forgotten her. hmm

bumbleymummy Thu 01-Aug-13 21:08:26

Should have said 12yo in my last post anyway - I was referring to Sassh's post.

skylerwhite Thu 01-Aug-13 21:20:24

It's equally deplorable to me if a 22 or 32 year old victim of rape is forced to go ahead with an unwanted pregnancy.

Chunderella Thu 01-Aug-13 21:22:48

Fuck that, bruthastortoise. I shall criticise immoral abortion laws in any country I choose. The situation in ROI is relevant to British people anyway, because Irish women come here to have abortions. In their thousands. Indeed, the current Irish law is only able to exist because the geographical closeness of Britain and the abortion laws here. That makes it a British concern too. On a personal level, I imagine a very high percentage of British people have friends and/or relatives in ROI, so of course we're going to be concerned.

And while I don't think much of the situation in NI, it is a great deal better than ROI. If ROI were to allow abortions before 8 weeks, that would be significant and wonderful progress. it would be even better if they allowed abortion until 24 weeks in an area containing 95% of the population and until 8 weeks in an area containing 5%, as the UK does.

Bruthastortoise Fri 02-Aug-13 08:11:11

Chunderella you have misunderstood me, you can criticise whatever you want but as a British person I think it's wrong to condemn unreservedly another nation's government and omit the fact that our own government was/is doing the same. And the situation isn't that much better in NI, abortion prior to 8 weeks is practically impossible to obtain so you have British women, who are entitled to NHS care, having to "get the boat" to England to pay for private treatment. But as you say we only account for 5% of the British population so that's ok I suppose, as long as most British women have access to safe, legal and in many cases free abortions up to 24 weeks the rest of us can just keep quiet.

Here's the big problem, you ask any one of my peers what side of the abortion debate they stand on, they'll tell you they're in favour of abortion on demand. But a substantial number of said peers don't even live here and can't vote here. The ones keeping this bill from being passed are the same people who are keeping our backwards thinking male dominated political parties in power, the middle aged and elderly voters. Its almost like we have to wait for them to die to get any real progress done.

sashh Fri 02-Aug-13 09:19:22

Why do thirteen year old rape victims who have gotten pregnant always come into abortion discussions?

Because many people who identify as pro life make exceptions for rape and children. Or they don't think about all the possible circumstances and because whilst rape is abhorrent in all forms we often feel more sympathy for a child.

bumbleymummy Fri 02-Aug-13 10:01:47

It's at the extreme end of the spectrum though. We were talking about anencephaly and abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities, why do we need to bring 12 year old pregnant rape victims into the discussion?

bumbleymummy Fri 02-Aug-13 10:02:46

I don't know anyone in Ireland/ NI in favour of abortion on demand. Abortion on demand isn't even the law in the UK.

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