What Choice Means



Elly writes:

At the Savita protest at the Dail last night, they opened the microphone to anyone from the crowd who wished to speak – I got up and spoke. It was My first time at any sort of demo. I’m not affiliated with any organisations, political or otherwise.

57 thoughts on “What Choice Means

  1. don

    I applaud the strength of the girl in that story but i do not agree that a woman has the right to kill her child.

    1. ellybabes

      Don that would be your choice. But every person is different, and everyone should be entitled to their own choice. It’s as simple as that. Pro choice does not equal pro abortion.

      1. Don

        Im not suggesting that pro choice is pro abortion. If i decide that you should die is that ok because it is my choice?

          1. Jess

            Pro-choice is supporting the rights of a woman to choose what happens to her when she become pregnant. Whether she chooses to continue the pregnancy or to abort, for whatever reason SHE deems fit, the pro-choice position believes that she should have that choice and nobody should shame her for it.

          2. Blobster

            Don has actually pinpointed the crux of the wider abortion debate NOT the specific Galway case. If (and only if) you see the unborn child as being a human then it has certain humna righs, including the right to life. If you don’t see it as human then I can see why one would be pro-choice and even more than that to be pro-abortion in certain circumstances.

            That’s the crux of it. Is an unborn child human or not. If it is/isn’t, when does it become human…..

          3. Jess

            Whether the foetus is alive, or human, or a person or not isn’t the issue. No being, human, person or animal, should have the inalienable right to live off another person without their explicit consent.

          4. Jess

            Personally I believe that it is both alive(albeit with no consciousness until very late in the pregnancy) and human, but that’s no excuse to deny me my right to bodily integrity.

          5. Don

            In the case where a mothers life is at risk i believe abortion is appropriate. But it is not a mothers right just because shes not ready. The way ellybabes and jess refer to unborn babies gives me the impression they see them as parasites. Because if they were parasites yes of course you have the right to rid yourself of them.
            Im not trolling and as for trying to make people believe my way of thinking, of course i am isnt that why all of us i here.
            Your feminist sense of entitlement should not go so far as killing your children.

          6. Jess

            “Your feminist sense of entitlement should not go so far as killing your children.”

            Nice. So what you’re saying is, I don’t have the right to say what happens to my own body just because I happen to get pregnant?

            You’d have to chain me to a hospital bed for nine months to enforce that one. In fact, you probably would. After all, what am I doing going round thinking I have *rights*? I’m just a woman, what would I know about my own body and my own life? Certainly not as much as Don!

          1. Ellybabes

            Don, you’re a troll that is attempting to force everyone to take your opinion. I’m not going to respond to you any more, because it’s a complete waste of my time, and I have many better things to do.

            You don’t seem to understand the argument, and I don’t think you even listened to my video, as I clearly gave an example of when CHOICE ensured that a baby was not aborted.

            You apparently can’t grasp the simple concept that people should be entitled to their own decisions and choices, whether this is medical or not. If it came down to my life versus anyone else’s (be they a fetus, or a grown adult), my life is the most important thing for me, and I will protect it with everything I’ve got.

            If you think that other people’s lives are more important that your own, I would suggest the army as a career.

          2. Blobster

            @Ellybabes – if you won’t answer Don’s question then can you answer mine? Is an unborn fetus/child a human being? If not when does it become a human being? Thanks

          3. lou

            @blobster, why is that relevant? Does a five year old have the right to demand their mother provide eg. a blood or a kidney transfusion? Why should a foetus have rights to someone else’s body? Or to put it another way, why do you think pregnant women are a special class without the right to bodily autonomy? If you don’t think parents should be compelled to donate blood, bone marrow and organs to their born children, it’s obviously not because you think parents should sacrifice their rights to their own bodies for their child.

          4. Blobster

            @lou Thanks. It’s relevant because, while freedom of choice is entirely fine, if one considers the unborn child to be a human being then ones choice may impact of the right to life of that human being. So no, a parent is not legally obliged to provide a kidney to their 5 year old but neither is a parent legally allowed to end the life of their 5 year old. It works both ways.

            I should add that this conversation is, of course, very much removed from the specific Galway case.

          5. lou

            @Blobster, But in the case of unwanted pregnancy, the foetus (whether you think it is a human being or not) is actively infringing on the mother’s right to bodily autonomy. If a parent isn’t legally obliged to provide the use of their kidney, why are they legally obliged to provide the use of their uterus? Again, it’s putting pregnant women in a special class where their right to decide whether to allow or deny access to their body is rescinded.

          6. Ellybabes

            @Blobster Everyone has their own opinion on that.

            My personal opinion is that viability of life outside the womb starts around 25 weeks, and that before that the fetus has pretty much no chance of surviving a premature birth. That line is a shaky one though, as one person’s 25 week old fetus can be very different in size and maturity of growth than someone else’s.

            My family is no stranger to premature births, my grandmother never carried a baby beyond 6 months, and my own father was a 1-pound sugar bag baby, that was sent home to die in 1920, but miraculously survived.

            My personal opinion is that the life & health of the mother should be paramount in all cases. But again, as I said, that’s my personal opinion, I am only sharing as your asked, and I am not trying to change your opinion in any way.

          7. Blobster

            @Ellybabes. Thanks for sharing your views. For my part, I don’t agree with the “viability” argument. To say that it’s “around 25 weeks” reflects the uncertainty. It either is or it isn’t a human being. Once you say (e.g.) 25 weeks you can reasonable ask – ok but what makes 25 weeks differnt to 23 weeks? And what makes 23 weeks differrent to 19 weeks…and so forth. It’s a minefield……the broader debate that is, if what is reported to have happened in Galway is bourne out by the facts then that is a whole different argument and has little enough to do with the “abortion debate” as we know it.

            Thanks for your views.

          8. Ellybabes

            @Blobster The 25 weeks is a minefield, but is born out somewhat by the statistics, only a tiny number of babies prior to that have survived, and many of them ended up with serious birth defects.

            I think what annoys me most about this case, is that if Savita had been 28 or more weeks along (for example), they would most likely have induced immediately, to try and birth the baby and keep both alive.

            Savita’s waters had broken, and once that happens, you really need to act quickly. Her cervix was open, and infection was a real risk. The foetus/baby couldn’t have been saved, you couldn’t “un-do” what was happening in Savita’s body, the baby/foetus had no hope of being able to survive outside the womb (17 weeks). So in this case, this was not a life that could be saved, so they should have followed best practice and removed the potential source of infection, allowing the cervix to close.

    1. Jess

      Thank you for supporting your daughter. I almost cried with pride when my parents told me how they’d marched against SPUC as students and firmly support a woman’s right to choose – MY right to choose.

  2. helen

    why do people always say i don’t belong to a party. what’s wrong with belonging to one. there is no neutral position.

    1. Tom Red

      Because parties say one thing and vote the other way when it suits?
      Or parties are seen as disingenuous and chasing power, therefore saying whatever they think will get them elected.

    2. Ellybabes

      I agree, there is no neutral position. There is my position, which I believe in, that does not align with any party. There is your position, that you believe in, that may or may not align with a political party, or other group.

      Plus, most of the speakers there on the night were politically affiliated, I just wanted to note that I was not.

      1. jim

        well, you should of said, i’m so and so, i’m left, centre left, right, etc. you voted for someone, declare it, but don’t say i’m not affiliated, no one is neutral, and neutrality is not a virtue.

  3. Anna

    The problem is in the constitution about this pro-life stance – http://www.constitution.ie/reports/ConstitutionofIreland.pdf

    Except from it, page 54 – “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right”. Doesn’t sound good to me!

    There is a campaign to have a secular Irish Constitution on facebook, I hope you join it- https://www.facebook.com/SecularIrishConstitution

  4. Skipper

    I believe in pro choice in a medical or extreme circumstance. We need a clear set of guidelines that is the issue. The unborn child needs a choice and a voice.

    1. Seán C

      “The unborn child needs a choice” and i suppose it’s going to tell us that itself is it?

      Seriously though, you can’t be pro-choice WITH CONDITIONS, because then you aren’t full pro-choice. The choice should be available to the woman no matter what. If she decides to abort simply because she does not want the baby, she should be allowed to do so safely and with the proper treatment.

      1. Blobster

        At 6 months? 9 months? In the birth canal? What about conditions about when this choice can be exercised? Do you believe that a person has the right to abort a child 1 hour before contractions start after 9 months of pregnancy? Surely one can be pro-choice and still have some conditions?

        1. Seán C

          Those conditions are decided by the laws that make abortion legal. Obviously it’s not a simple issue, but what you’re listing are the elements that need to be decided after the issue of abortion has been granted.

          At the moment it’s just outright “NO!”, hence the campaigning for legislation that would decide all that. Clearly there would need to be a certain number of weeks that would be the limit.

          1. Blobster

            So you can be pro-choice with conditions then.

            I’d guess there are as many “no way, never, under any circumstances” people as there are “whenever and however a mother decides – right up until birth” extremeists in the debate. In many ways they both polarise the debate and the venom is awful. Perhaps explains the lack of legislation for 20 years – mistrust and hate of the “other side”.

  5. Colm

    A woman has the choice to become pregnant or not. Thereafter she has to take responsibility for that choice. A baby cannot survive on its own after birth for many months (years?) therefore should we consider it unviable? The viability argument is irrelevant.

    1. Ellybabes

      No, not at all. A baby, once born, is (usually) perfectly viable. It may require medical treatment, will certainly require feeding, changing, shelter, etc – but the difference is that we have a legal framework in place to support that. If a woman gives birth and then feels she cannot cope, the baby can be surrendered to social services. There is no similar legal framework, giving clear instructions (or an escalation path if the case is not clear) in the case of abortions. That is what is needed.

      The difference I have been talking about is viability of life. At 17 weeks, no matter what the doctors do, life is not possible, the baby/foetus would die, due to underdeveloped organs, etc. Therefore, when the baby was not going to survive, no matter what treatment was provided, there is no point in prolonging he life of the baby/foetus, when that puts the mother at risk.

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