I realise the abortion debate – both within my own country and worldwide – is not clear cut. No situation is black and white, if they were cases would never even reach court, disputes or incidents would be solved in milliseconds. But they are not, despite the government at home and abroad projecting that idea when it comes to terminations. Abortion is not considered under any grounds; unless you are willing to go as far as to kill yourself, which you must somehow ‘prove’ to a panel of doctors, only the fact that you are willing to go so far as to kill the both of you, is the very thing that saves your life. It’s curious how abortion is viewed as very black and white yet criminal cases our not. In a court of law, every detail is poured over, allowing every aspect of your life both the good and the bad parts to stand to you. “Oh he had a hard upbringing”…..”Why, he’s the managing director of [insert company here]” “What might have driven him to this point?”…..Situations, motives, moods are studied in great detail. The answer is not just he did it or not after two moments of thought. He is allowed to argue his case to present evidence.
In the case of abortion, there is just one verdict ,”guilty”. A young woman from Northern Ireland who procured pills from England due to not being able to afford the flight overseas to get a termination, was arrested and given a suspended sentence after what she had done was discovered sadly in her outdoor bin out of fear of being caught. There was no way she could go to the hospital after taking the pills even if the situation became dangerous. No cared that she potentially could have lost her life due to an archaic law. They came out in force to condemn buying risky pills over the internet, but didn’t discuss why she had done it or challenged the law that forced her to do it. They merely arrested her, she had breached the law, she wasn’t able to plead her case, or explain her motive. For those who enforced such a law she was guilty without a moment’s hesitation.
In America, it’s easier to buy a gun than to get an abortion in certain states. Yet there is little doubt that guns certainly kill more people. Lack of abortion clinics mean that a woman is forced to carry around and raise a child that she may not be financially, mentally or physically able for. She may not love the child but see it as a constant reminder of something she would rather not remember. The government still expect her to carry it in Ireland even when it is the result of rape or will not survive birth. But the government will not support her after she has the child. They may support her somewhat financially after she has it but not as much as she needs and certainly not emotionally. Thus a vicious circle starts. A child grows up unwanted, unloved and the inevitably ensues or doesn’t survive past infancy and the mother is left with the scars outwardly and internally of having a child she would never see smile.
Some argue though “Yes, but there are other avenues, adoption for instance? The child shouldn’t die because it is unwanted by the mother, someone will want it”…”What about the father?” These are a fair points, should the child suffer? It didn’t chose to be born. There comes part of the grey area we step into. No one takes the decision of abortion easily; it is not a snap decision, especially not for the mother who has to live with that decision the rest of her life even with having the abortion there can be complications. But again, you cannot force a person to carry a child they do not want to carry. If they decide to put up the child for adoption than so be it, but to force a woman to go against her wishes is wrong. What if tomorrow every country decided that alcohol would be banned to ensure the health of its populace? Certainly in Ireland people would be up in arms. “They’re taking away our personal freedom!”…..”What a nanny state!”. But with abortion it is seen as just to have absolute control over women.
A verdict was passed a few days ago in Ireland that defeated a bill to allow women to have abortions in the case of foetal abnormalities or rape/incest. It was beaten by a significant majority. I wondered how they would have voted if they had had personal experience of themselves or a close family member having to carry an unwanted pregnancy? People who have no experience of these matters are the ones defeating the bill and keeping these country they think they are protecting in the dark ages at the expense of its women and populace as a whole. They are making decisions that they never see the harsh outcome of.
In my opinion, whether the government likes it or not women will continue to have abortions by any means necessary if they want them. So why throw our heads into the sand and pretend it’s not taking place regardless, albeit in more dangerous forms? Why not provide a safe & sound alternative. It will not be to the ruination of our society. Give women all the options without bias or judgment and let them make an informed decision that is theirs.