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There's a very good article in today's Observer on abortion debates in Mississipi. But look at this:
It seems amazing that the richest, most powerful nation on earth could pass a law that would put its women's reproductive health choices on a par with those in Bangladesh, Nigeria and Haiti.

You know, there's a country missing from that list. A country that's not a million miles away from the one in which this article was printed. And it's the hypocritical sanctimonious country that hides abortion under the carpet, because no (white, Irish) women die from illegal abortions when they can get a ferry to Wales and get one there. And I firmly believe that if we didn't have Britain there to take care of our problems, we'd have legislated for abortion long ago.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
tenderhooligan
Apr. 2nd, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
I agree. Even up North, where we're governed by the 1967 (1971?) Abortion Act, a significant number of women - most of them young of course - go to England for abortions. So there's no need to rock the boat, as you say.
tenderhooligan
Apr. 3rd, 2006 10:46 am (UTC)
I do apologise - I've been reading up on this again, and it appears that NI is not governed by the '67 Abortion Act after all. I could have sworn it was, but with several limitations (which is why so many NIers still have to travel). Interesting. An another example of rules applying only when it suits, perhaps?
birdsflying
Apr. 2nd, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC)
I actually had to walk away from the computer after reading the bit with the pro-lifer who kept referencing the Holocaust because the urge to throw up was so great.

I can't even articulate how furious this whole situation makes me. Not without wanting to just scream.
jofetus
Apr. 2nd, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
Where are all the coat hanger abortions?
We're assured by the feminist crowd that if abortion is made illegal, women will die of coat hanger abortions.

If that's the case, why don't Irish women do that? Are you telling me that all Irish women who want abortions get them in Wales?

It seems to me that if abortion bans were so deadly to women, there'd be more dead Irish women.
stellanova
Apr. 2nd, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Where are all the coat hanger abortions?
Are you telling me that all Irish women who want abortions get them in Wales?

You obviously know nothing about the abortion situation in Ireland (or the ease and low cost of traveling from there to Britain either). In 2004 (the last year for which statistics are available) 6214 women went to the UK for abortions. And those are just the ones who gave Irish addresses rather than the addresses of friends or relatives in the UK.
stellanova
Apr. 2nd, 2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Where are all the coat hanger abortions?
Also, since the increase in the numbers of asylum seekers resident in Ireland, who are legally unable to leave the country while their applications are being processed, there has indeed been a booming illegal abortion industry, and several asylum-seeking women have died, incidents which attracted a lot of publicity in Ireland. While about 100 women have received temporary travel papers allowing them to go to the UK for an abortion, many have been reduced to the backstreet amateur abortionists. So there may not be any dead Irish women as a result of back street abortions here, but there sure as hell are some dead poverty-stricken African ones.
jofetus
Apr. 2nd, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
How come...
The poor Irish pregnant women are smart enough not to use a coat hanger, then? Aren't there are any too poor to not pay an illegal abortionist?




stellanova
Apr. 2nd, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
Re: How come...
Much as I'd love to engage in a conversation with someone whose entry-less LJ and snappy little username seems like a vehicle for trolling and whose sentences are so full of double negatives that they don't make much sense, I really don't have the time. Nor do I want to be patronised about my own country's abortion situation by someone who quite obviously doesn't know a thing about it. And as for what Irish women do who can't get abortions in England (cheaper than an illegal abortion, by the way, which is why the women who have died here are, as I pointed out, asylum seekers who can't leave the country and who are borrowing money from illegal money-lenders to pay for the terminations), well, in several famous cases over the last two decades they had babies in graveyards and left them there to die, or they had babies and left them on beaches, or they tried to kill themselves (the C Case (1998), the X Case (1992)), or they succeeded. And yes, some of them had babies against their will. Hurrah!

I note that you're in Canada. When I start making inaccurate statements about your abortion laws, you're welcome to make more about those of my country.
stellanova
Apr. 2nd, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
Re: How come...
Apologies for my hasty mistake - you didn't mention our abortion laws, but our general abortion situation and the number of Irish women who travel to Britain. Still ignorant and patronising, of course.
hfnuala
Apr. 2nd, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
Most people in the UK don't realise that 1) there is a part of the UK where you can't get an abortion (NI, as someone else pointed out) and 2) there is no 'right' to an abortion in the UK, it's at the discretion of the doctors. The fear of an abortion debate leads to an attitude of shut up and accept what we've got. Which, if you ask me, isn't so wonderful we can consider this a problem solved.

However, I think you're totally right about Ireland. Talking to women who were politically active in the UK when abortion was legalised, they say it was the doctors who swung the argument - they saw the affects of illegal abortion in hospital everyday and came around to the idea that it had to be stopped. Irish doctors as a group have never had to do this, because backstreet abortion is so rare.
jane_the_23rd
Apr. 3rd, 2006 07:11 am (UTC)
I went to a talk a couple of years ago by a doctor from Doctors for Choice, who pointed this out, too. She said that what had to happen in Ireland was probably what happened in England. Rather than lobbying for legalisation, it would need to be a number of people calling for a change, which would show doctors that they would have public support for performing abortions. Then, it would be up to doctors to start performing them, and then take it to court, not the other way around.

Until then, Ireland will just export the whole issue, which is very sad. And while I'm not a poverty-stricken African woman, it makes me even sadder that it is, at its most extreme, illegal for me to have sex, given the risk, and given the now strict laws surrounding foreign women's bodies. For one, if I have a child in Ireland, I am no longer entitled to anything. My child could not be a citizen. I would be breaking all kinds of laws if I stayed, and if I went back to the US, I would be equally ineligible for anything.

If I got pregnant and chose to have an abortion, I would have to flee the country like a criminal in order to do it. In other words: foreign women are whores, but need to be controlled even more than the already-unruly Irish woman. Ok, this is looking at it at its most extreme, but any time my period has been late, it's freaked me out that no matter what I do, being pregnant, as a foreign woman living in Ireland, involves illegality or illegitimacy of some kind. Foreign women in Ireland have nothing resembling a choice, even with the option of going to England.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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