The Abortion Aircoach


Members {carrying wheelie cases with British airport tags] of the Perform for Choice Collective engaged at the Airport Bus Stop at Busaras, Dublin, earlier to “highlight the burden of travel imposed on 150,000 women seeking abortion services in Great Britian since 1980”. The March for Choice takes place in Dublin on Saturday in support of Decriminalisation of Abortion Global Action Day.

(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

135 thoughts on “The Abortion Aircoach

  1. Bebhinn

    Such a powerful image. Every single day AT LEAST 12 women have to travel overseas to get an abortion. This country needs to provide reproductive rights for it’s women AT HOME. Our system is archaic and inhumane, and we are the embarrassment of Europe. I am ashamed of this country. Because this is NOT going to stop (Restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. (APA – Sedgh, G., Singh, S., Shah, I. H., Åhman, E., Henshaw, S. K., & Bankole, A. (2012). Induced abortion: Incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008. The Lancet, 379(9816), 625-632.)

    March for choice, Saturday at 2pm, the Spire, Dublin 1.

    1. Wayne.F

      I was thinking the same thing the red clothes stand out on a dull Dublin day and it is an excellent example of how some people lobbying for fundamental rights and access to things do it right.

      Some of the other current campaigns could learn a lot from this very evocative, simple and effective action.

      1. Mani

        I hope the red clothes thing isn’t too effective. I don’t want to be thinking about abortion every time I see Santy.

      2. Sharrow

        When volunteers from Abortion support Network meet women who are forced to travel in airports and ports in the UK they wear a red coat to make it easier to be spotted.

        It is also to high light that with at least 10 women from Ireland a week traveling to the UK it means everyone knows someone who has had an abortion and we pass many other people who have also had an abortion ever day.

        1. Evelyn

          Should you really be telling all and sundry that ASN volunteers wear red coats when meeting women coming for abortions?

          Privacy, whut.

          1. Lounsey

            What are the pro-lifers gonna do? Harass every woman they see around a ferry port or airport in a red coat on the off chance that she’s there to meet a woman procuring and abortion?

    2. Mike Hall

      The maternal mortality rate in Ireland is among the lowest in the world,despite the fact that we don’t have abortion, and is in fact half the rate of that of the UK, where abortion is widely available The infant mortality rate in Ireland is the lowest in Europe again despite the lack of abortion, so we are far from being the “embarrassment of Europe”. This is one of the most humane and safe countries in the world for both the mother and infant.
      The World Bank stats 2007-2011 (Maternal mortality ratio(modeled estimate per 1000 live births).

      1. Sharrow

        Easy to say that when most of the cases where there is a high risk to the woman she ends up traveling abroad for treatments which under the X case High Court ruling she should be able to have here.

      2. Captain Logic

        Niger and Afghanistan have the same laws as Ireland regarding abortion, yet they have the worst maternal mortality rate in the world. Claiming that not having abortion is somehow ‘better’ for maternal health is nonsensical.

        In any case, we export our ‘hard cases’ to Britain at the rate of 12 a day, as these women are highlighting today, which allows self righteous hypocrites such as yourself to declare Ireland a shining light of moral superiority.

        1. Mike Hall

          You got the point in reverse my dear Captain. We were being misinformed for years that our lack of abortion facilities, in this country, would result in unnecessary fatalities for both the mother and child. The reality couldn’t be more different.

          Your reference to Niger and Afghanistan is a crude red herring. Where is your evidence that the 12 a day we “export” are “hard cases”. Finally I just pointed out the available statistics, I didn’t make any moral judgement so cool down and take a cold shower or something.

          1. well

            Infant mortality rate has nothing to do with abortion. Aborted fetus are not part of the statistic.

            All your statistic says is that we have good prenatal and antenatal care for mothers that CHOOSE to bring their pregnancy to term.

      3. Wayne.F

        Does that include the cases where the child has no chance of surviving outside of the womb and the women involved have to make a long trek to the UK to have a procedure that should be available to them here?

        I am not arguing with the world bank stats above just saying that a % of women are not cared for properly in this country. The cause of this failure of care is some quasi –misguided religious intolerance of other people’s rights to choose what is best for them, or to receive the best medical treatment as advised by professionals.

      4. Nick

        Those stats also ignore women who commit suicide as well as women like cancer survivors who do not directly die of pregnancy. And as it’s clear that suicidal women and cancer survivors are the primary examples of women who cannot obtain medically necessary abortions, those stats are meaningless.

          1. well

            You mean Extreme cases such as considering an embryo with only a few hundred cells equivalent to a fully formed human?

      5. David Hartery

        sorry, that is simply not true, those statistics you cite are in fact derived from a 2008 WHO report, and are in fact an outlier. Ireland is in fact in 21st place, behind numerous countries where abortion is legal. What is a better indicator of maternal/infant mortality is in fact the presence or absence of socialised medicine, with countries with a higher private involvement in the medical sector generally protecting women and children less well than the alternative, so we can look forward to slipping further down the rankings.

        What is interesting is that Ireland, when we take into account the numbers of abortions undertaken by Irish citizens abroad, actually places smack bang on the average number of abortions per capita. So we have in reality a normal attitude to abortion here, we just ship the poor women abroad so we can continue handwringing.

      6. EdinburghEye

        Actually, Mike, Ireland’s famously low rating for maternal mortality may be the result of underreporting.

        We’ll know in 2013 when a more detailed report is due out.

        In point of fact, Ireland has an abortion rate normal for a country its size in Europe. It’s just that all legal Irish abortions are outsourced to the UK, at the expense of the individual women concerned.

      7. Lee

        So women should be forced to go through with pregnancies against their wishes because it’s safe to do so?

        It’d be safe for me to dress like a fairy every day and shave my head, but I wouldn’t want to do that either.

        1. lou

          And it’s not even that safe! Gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, post-natal depression, post-natal psychosis, tearing, incontinence, vaginal numbness . . And that’s just off the top of my head. Never mind the pain, discomfort and fear that come with even the smoothest pregnancy and birth.

    3. Parp

      Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with abortion (which I won’t be commenting on one way or the other), does the fact that “Every single day AT LEAST 12 women have to travel overseas to get an abortion.” not say more about the blatant disregard for contraception and safe-sex in this country than anything else? We’re not a 3rd World country, we know better.

  2. Brionic

    I travelled with a girl once for an abortion in Essex. So many couples/girls on the plane, at the clinic, and back on the same plane home that evening. Was an eye opener alright.

    1. Lounsey

      Thanks for sharing your story. People need to speak up and speak out. MANY women have had abortions, but the silence keeps it all obscured so our government can pretend like we don’t need it and keep exporting our problems to the UK

      (How all the nationalist aren’t up in absolute *arms* over this whole thing is beyond me… are they not mortified that 150,000 of our women needed to leave the country for England to get the medical care they needed since 1980? I’m scarleh for my country letting women down this way, honestly)

      1. Anne

        Non consensual sex has a solution its called morning after pill.

        Claiming durex broke or pill didn’t work is a sad cop out.

        What % of those seeking abortions are blaming defective contraception v no contraception.

        1. Jules

          “Non consensual sex has a solution its called morning after pill.”

          That has to be the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard, wow. “Oh, you got raped? Sure you can just take the morning after pill, all your problems are now sorted! Apart from the crippling psychological damage, but you were probably asking for it by dressing like a slut anyway.” Yeah?

          Neither the pill, condoms nor the morning after pill are 100%, there’s a chance with any of them that you can still get pregnant. I don’t condone using abortion as a primary means of preventing pregnancy and I’m sure most people who are pro choice agree, but I imagine there are very few women who say “Ah sure forget the condom, I can just get an abortion!”

        2. Lounsey

          You heard it here first, folks, the medical fact that contraception isn’t 100% safe is simply a cop out.

          If only we could all stop ridin’ we wouldn’t have any of these problems, wha.

        3. Frilly Keane

          Here Anne
          ’tis none of your business,( or mine ) what contraceptive or not a couple use.

          So fúck off

        4. Matthew

          Who cares? If you’re anti-abortion, that shouldn’t change based on whether the pregnancy was the result of faulty contraception or just carelessness.

          For the record, I’m pro-choice. It’s not my place to decide whose ‘fault’ a pregnancy is or who should be allowed to terminate. That choice should be left to the women in question.

        5. well

          According to a lot of Prolifers the morning after pill is an abortion pill which should be banned.

          If they’re right then you are up shit creek. If they’re wrong you need to consider what else they are likely to be wrong about.

        6. Nigel

          Who cares what they blame? Who cares what they should or shouldn’t have done or used or thought of? Still their bodies, their choice.

    1. Nej

      It’s not quite as simple as that.

      Condoms have a terrible success rate overall. Coupled with the fact that the pill is also not 100% effective.

      Hell, assume that condoms are 92% effective (They’re not), and there are 10,000 couples having sex in Ireland using condoms, then it stands to reason that 200 couples are at risk.


      More: .

    2. lou

      FFS, are we not capable of allowing women to make mistakes or bad choices without making them pay for it for the rest of their lives?

      1. Kevin

        Well said. Imagine if we assessed every other medical treatment on the basis of whether the patient “deserved it” or not.

        1. B Bop

          Excellent analogy lads.
          Is truly pitiful we’re still discussing it all – I adore this country…but it’s literally breaking a human right here by denying women this option.

      1. well

        There’s a reason the catholic church and many other christian denominations/sects advocate the NLP method and that’s because it doesn’t work.

  3. misskate

    Ah Mames Jurran, trying to change your username by a few letters in order to disguise your bigotry? Anyone would recognise that sneering from a mile off.

    1. Mames Jurran

      Hi Kate

      You must have me confused with some other guy, I am the ultimate evolution in counter-trollery, the Wind Up Merchant, or WUM.

      James, the misogynist dickhead will be back soon, once he completes the kilo-decade of rosaries for thinking about that lovely young man behind the counter at the Mace.

      1. James Murran

        Wow… Just wow… Well at you’re demonstrating what us pro-lifers are dealing with. A nasty piece of work.

        1. Captain Logic

          ‘pro-forced birth’ you mean, unless of course you are willing to financially support the families of children you insist must go through with pregnancies at all costs. But hey, it must be worth it sleeping soundly knowing you’re doing the lord’s work right :)

          1. James Murran

            There are families queuing up to adopt children. I have no problem with such families getting child benefit. Now, what was your point again?

        2. Mames Jurran

          Hi James

          Don’t get wound up now, or I’ve won. Now that you’ve finished fisking the entire comment thread with your ill-thought out women-hating rhetoric, here I am. I see you can recognise a nasty piece of work when you see it, perhaps as a similarly nasty piece of work, you were the prolifer behind the misleading ‘wrc’ clinic on Dorset Street which took advantage of women in crisis, or perhaps you were the prolifer in charge of the misleading use of pictures of foetuses that were claimed to be the result of abortions… I can go on.

          btw, do you lot have a GIYUS style “megaphone” type tool whereby you notify your fellow dark-ages friends to come and defend the indefensible on broadsheet and other comment threads?

        3. Grainne Gillespie

          “There are families queuing up to adopt children”

          Except pregnant women aren’t broodmares for the infertile

      2. misskate

        Ah! There he is below, knew he’d pop up at some point with his miserable wretched misogyny. You are clearly a fantastic WUM if you had anyone’s suspicions. Hats off to you lovely sir. I shall now quote a chat-up line incredibly popular in Limerick I believe, and I imagine one the pure-of-heart holy-joe pro-lifers probably think all we dirty hoors use, just so we can get up the duff just to have an abortion. Because we all love them so much.
        “Fancy going halves on a bastard?”

  4. Just Sayin

    I don’t get it. Is there a group rate if they all go together?

    Also wouldn’t a couple of 7 seater taxis get them to the airport cheaper than paying for a dozen aircoach tickets.

    1. Mani

      When I saw the heading ‘Abortion Bus’ I thought it meant that the bus never arrived, and the passengers were not carried to term(inal).

  5. Tom

    its 2012, Jesus doesnt exist and he doesnt care! Irish people should realise by now how unfair it is to imply that its wrong to get an abortion. If you dont have the means to support a child there is no point ruining so many lives over it. Just wait until the time is right. The fact the church has any say in anything to do with politics, schools or medical procedures is disgusting,

    1. James Murran

      “Don’t have the means to support a child” – what a great excuse for murder. Last time I checked, we had one of the most generous social welfare systems in the world. I suppose you’re into eugenics and sex-selective abortion too?

      1. Lounsey

        > Last time I checked, we had one of the most generous social welfare systems in the world

        You can tell you didn’t come from a family that relied on welfare to live.

      2. Tom

        hahahahahhahahahahahhahahahaahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahah you get one chance at life dont f**k it up for everyone because you believe in certain things, life is all about options.

        1. shalala

          @James Murran: Even if our social welfare system is adequate( very arguable): Should I pay my taxes to support a child that was not wanted in the first place?

          Should I pay my taxes to support the child of a drug addict who’s child is statistically more likely to become a drug addict/criminal themselves? Thereby becoming a bigger burden on society.

          Should I pay for these children to go into foster care because their parents can’t/won’t look after them properly?

          Link between drop in crime rates and legalization of abortion?

          It is easy for you to preach James- when you will NEVER be the one who needs to make that choice. And it should be a choice.

    2. Parp

      And you should realise some people a lot of people who disagree with abortion have no interest or belief in religion whatsoever.

  6. Lee

    Caitlin Moran was on Today FM earlier and she was talking about a chapter out of one of her books. She spoke about the example of women having abortions because they made a mistake when they were drunk. And that the situation is comparable to a man getting wild drunk and placing a bet in a casino to be greeted by a 23 year old man the following day who was now his responsibility forever, and he has no choice in the matter. I don’t care how flawed that is I like that example.

    We don’t force any other category of society to do anything with their bodies, you don’t even have to vaccinate your children, but we burden women with problem that if they have sex and an unwanted pregnancy arises they are fecked.

    The solution to this, it seems, is that people only have sex when they are prepared to have a child. Which is unrealistic in 2012 and I don’t believe is a practice that much of the youthful pro-life campaigners carry out.

  7. James Murran

    The “red” is a perfect colour to choose – the colour of blood. When are going to have a bit of balance and post a pro-life story? Oh wait… Abortion isn’t funny.

    1. Lazslo


      Maybe they’re already balanced James. If you are indeed an actual person, and not some wierd collective of crazed comedians/movie-style-bad-guys intent on performance art and subsequent pandemonium, then I would be perfectly happy to call you the unbalanced one.

      150,000 abortions in the last 30 odd years? That means a large amount of people you care about have had abortions, whether you know which ones they are or not. This isn’t an easy choice, make no mistake, and they won’t have done it unless they really felt they had to. You know that. People you care wouldn’t do this otherwise.

      Good luck to you.

      1. James Murran

        I agree it’s “not an easy choice”. Ever stopped to consider why this is the case? Something in the depths of your consciousness crying out to you. No wonder there’s such high demand for post-abortion counselling.

        Abortion is one of modern society’s greatest evils. The vast majority of abortions in the UK are for contraceptive purposes and in the US, being a black baby is particularly dangerous.

        1. lou

          ‘Contraceptive’? A contraceptive abortion would be a bit premature. If you mean birth control’, then yeah, that’s kind of the point of them. And are you suggesting that black women are having abortions due to some sort of internalised racism?

        2. Rosemary

          The race issue is really not all that relevant, since being black in the US is more dangerous than being white – you’re more likely to be convicted of a crime, more likely to go into the army, more likely to end up in prison etc etc. Society is out to get you, not just the evil abortion-merchants.

          Also, the above commenter rightly brought up Caitlin Moran, who might be the first woman to come out in public and go, “you know what? I had an abortion, and I feel fine”. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but it’s easier to record instances of post-abortion depression than it is to record instances of post-abortion getting-on-with-ones-life. I’d also like to know how depressed these women would be if they were saddled with a baby they didn’t want / plan for. Got figures for that?

        3. Lazslo

          James I’m sure we can agree on large parts of this. I’ve never been involved in any kind of tough decisions like this, and like most sensible people I would hope I’d set a very high threshold about what circumstances would be acceptable to me as to when they would be acceptable. I accept much of this is likely to remain hypothetical as I am likely to remain a man.

          And there are very clear reasons as to why people would want to avoid having abortions. Many of them are the ones you’re talking about.

          But despite all of this, a hundred odd women a week are going all the way to England (and assumedly further afield) to go through with it. They have assumedly decided that they really need to have one. They’re not just after going “Ah feck it, won’t bother with contraception; feck it, won’t bother with morning after pill; feck it I’ll just have a nice trip to Essex for the day”. These are real people, likely in real turmoil, and they have no access to non judgemental counselling before or afterwards. If the rates of depression were higher among these groups (as is claimed by the “pro life” [who in god’s name is anti life] advertising) then it would hardly be surprising. That said all the research seems to point to the fact that depression isn’t higher. These people have to make an extremely tough choice, but on balance, most must have made the right one for them. And likely for society.

          This ‘women and their bodies’ thing doesn’t register with me as much as it would be likely to with, eh, women. But if people really think they really need this, it’s not my right or yours to stop them. At least in my book. If they must do it, let them do it humanely. For one very human reason or another this is the least worst option to them.

          We may not ultimately agree. And I better do some work today rather than spending the day getting upset on broadsheet. But try and see the human side of this.

          1. lou

            Wait, are we both communist and fascist? Or does red have some other meaning here? I need to know exactly how I should be oppressing the menfolk.

        1. Jimbo

          Great. So I assume you don’t worry over the fact that I shouldn’t have to pay for a child I don’t want should you decide not to abort?
          No easy solution but men have no rights which is conveniently ignored because it suits. Hardly equal, is it?

          1. Lounsey

            Not even remotely the same. The first (abortion) is about the body integrity of the mother…. it can only be her choice, because the fetus grows in *her body*.

            After a child has been born, it is entitled to support from both parents, regardless of the circumstances surrounding its birth.

      1. well

        While i would advocate for fathers rights, Bodily autonomy for the pregnant carries a a higher priority, so until/if the child is born, i don’t care what the father thinks, And that’s speaking as Male and definitely not a “Red”.

        1. Jimbo

          So keep your legs closed and take that pill would be a similar attitude women should take?

          Anyway Grainne, thanks for fudging the issue. I don’t actually recall saying that I wouldn’t pay child support so why bring it up? Wouldn’t be that fathers have no rights when it comes to ‘medical procedures’, eh? Have a look at this again if you wouldn’t mind but the views of Professor Crown don’t suit either I suppose. Whilst I certainly do not support the rights of fuckwits like Youth Defence I do not and will never support anyones right to abortion on demand. Sorry if that doesn’t suit your agenda. Actually, I’m not sorry that I don’t support something that in my opinion is nothing other than infanticide.

          1. Lounsey

            > in my opinion is nothing other than infanticide.

            Do you think the 150,000 women who have traveled to England for an abortion since 1980 should be imprisoned for infanticide?

          2. lou

            -so I assume you don’t worry about the fact that I shouldn’t have to pay for a child I don’t want

            Yeah, stop fudging. He didn’t mention child support! Oh wait…

        1. Jimbo

          Clearly there is little common ground here on this one. On the one hand you have the abortionistas who want abortion on demand up to birth and on the other hand you have people who want a bunch of cells to have the same rights as the rest of us. I would like to think I’m somewhere in the middle and not at either extreme. Would I put 150,000 women in jail for terminating a pregnancy, no is the answer. But I would jail those for partaking in partial birth late term abortions which is as close to infanticide that the medical profession allows or practices. That is all, thank you.

    1. Mani

      To be fair, if she has an abortion your not a father, so you have no rights. Unless you want to take the foetus on the weekends or something.

    2. Sharrow

      Often it is couples who make the trip together or the fathers are staying at home to mind the other kids while his partner travels.

    3. Matthew

      Men frequently do have a say in these personal decisions, but enshrining it in law would be immensely problematic. Do you really want to live in a country where men can legally compel women to remain pregnant simply because they are the one who got them pregnant in the first place?

      1. Matthew

        Though admittedly, we currently live in a country where men who had nothing whatsoever to do with the pregnancy can compel women to remain pregnant…

      2. Nick

        Yeah, I find it incredibly ironic when people bang on about fathers rights without any sense of the fact that men who decide, with their partner, to have an abortion are denied that option.

    4. Lee

      I think that there’s 4 outcomes:

      Man and woman want pregnancy to go ahead: Man has a fiscal responsibility (as well as you know, being a da) towards the child, regardless of relationship with the mother.

      Man and woman do not want the pregnancy to go ahead: they can (travel abroad) and have an abortion

      Man wants pregnancy to go ahead, woman does not: While the woman should always consult the man it is ultimately the woman’s choice as it is her that has to go through with the procedure/remain pregnant. I think if the two are in a relationship, this would be a very small amount of cases, but there have been a number of cases in the UK courts where a man has tried to present his wife from having an abortion. I tried to find one where the man won the case and was unsuccessful, as it is ultimately the woman’s decision.
      If the two are not in a relationship the woman may not be comfortable bringing a child into the world to be brought up by that guy.

      Man does not want pregnancy to go ahead, woman does: I don’t think the man should be fiscally responsible for the child but then I also think he sacrifices his rights to access to that child.
      (I know it’s a wiki but it the relevant paragraph cites 4 articles)

    5. Lovely Joe

      I always find the “but what about the father’s rights?” arguments a bit odd. Not because I can’t see some of them being valid in certain situations, although I do get a bit of an eye twitch every time a discussion about womens’ rights gets derailed with someone complaining about the way menzfolk are being oppressed now that women can vote and want to be treated like equals and all that jazz. It’s just that I would assume that if a couple are in a loving or long term relationship, the male party would be part of the discussion and decision making process. Getting an abortion is not something a woman decides to do on a whim and frankly, posts claiming that Irish ladies will chose to forgo contraception by the mere virtue of knowing that such a personal invasive medical procedure is an option are pretty appalling. As previous posters (who have been subsequently ignored) have pointed out, couples often make the trip over to the UK together.
      If you’re talking about teen or unplanned pregnancies, I’m going to have to disagree on most cases. There may be rare instances when an adult man, upon finding out that the woman he had a one night stand with or fooled around with a while back is pregnant is ecstatic to find out he is going to be a father and completely supportive. In that case, good luck to him. But if your reservations about abortion are due to moral or religious (and while people claim that there are atheist pro-lifers, I’ve yet to meet one), I hardly see how your personal beliefs should have precedence over what a woman should or shouldn’t do with her body.
      Mens’ rights advocates, often have a less than stellar view of ze females which in this topic seems to have cast women as crafty sluts who go around getting pregnant due to laziness and then callously demanding abortions while their male counterparts, who at no point have had any input (aha) sit back crying salty salty tears over their unborn children. I’m not saying that anyone here holds this opinion, but being aware of it may help peeps understand why female pro choice advocates can get pretty irritated when the issue of the father’s role in decision making is brought up. Men are involved, whether it’s as part of a couple making an extremely difficult decision which will affect both parties or a bunch of old priests who feel the need to dictate what rights women who don’t follow their religion should have.

  8. Stephen

    I bought a house at the height of the boom..turns out this was a terrible mistake. Can I get rid of it? Please?

      1. Lounsey

        Maybe he thought somebody was asking for his autograph and it turned out he actually signed a mortgage agreement or something =P

  9. joe buckley

    tell ya one thing broadsheet is good for – alerting the pro life lobby what the pro choice lobby are up to, its like an abortion pro choice fox news 24/7

    its a fantastic service for pro lifers keep it up.

    1. lou

      The whole point of the performance was for people to see it . . . It’s not like you’ve stumbled upon some Watergate-level conspiracy through your clever reading of BS.

  10. Pete

    Are there any atheists on here that are anti-abortion? Genuinely curious if there’s many non-believers left who still want a complete ban on abortions or whether we’re just left with those who dangerously believe they’re doing good work for the man in the sky.

    1. Lounsey

      There are definitely atheist anti-choice people. Generally (in my experience) they are coming from a place of the inherent value of human life in a secular moralistic sense.

      It’s still a load of bollox, of course, since nobody’s right to life trumps my rights to my own body (which is why we don’t force people do even donate blood against their will)

        1. EyeEdinburgh

          Indeed. Why do anti-choice people not make a fuss about the body that encloses the fetus? I assure you, that body has a heart-beat and fingernails and everything and is generally regarded as a person.

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