Meanwhile, In Wexford



“So, in a Wallace-controlled Ireland, women could be free to have an abortion in all circumstances if they unexpectedly became pregnant. For example, a woman might be due to go on an exclusive foreign holiday but an unexpected pregnancy could interfere with her plan and how she might look on the beach. Or there could be an unexpected pregnancy in the run up to a family wedding, ruining the chances of fitting into a very expensive dress. Under Mick Wallace’s proposals it could be open to both women in these hypothetical situations to abort their babies.

I’m not for one minute suggesting that many women would want to do this, but under the liberal abortion regime which Mick Wallace would appear to want to see introduced to Ireland, it could be possible.”


Ger Walsh, Wexford People.

Hat tip: Colette Browne and James Bennett

117 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In Wexford

  1. redmum

    WOW, never did I hear of anyone making decision to have abortion because of holiday plans or fitting into an outfit. ‘Hypothetical’ situations is right. What an offensive, insensitive and ignorant column!

    1. cluster

      If a woman did put herself through an abortion for those kind of reasons, I have no desire to force her to raise a child anyway.

    2. TCDstudent

      It’s clearly a hyperbole, illustrating that there would be freedom to an extreme extent. He clearly doesn’t think that it would happen, but is concerned that such a level of freedom could be misused.

      1. MeMe

        I don’t agree – why else would he specify such exact scenarios? One thing is for sure, this man clearly assumes that women must be told exactly what to do regarding their bodies. Sure what would they know about making their own decisions, science tells us they’ve smaller brains that can’t handle much anyway.

    3. Testicals

      Of a woman did want to have an abortion due to holidays and her looks, imagine what a good mother she would be if she didn’t have one

  2. MarkK

    Those silly little wimmin with their dresses and diets and abortions, thank God there are men around to keep them sensible.

      1. Pauric

        this is why some children think rape is ok in some circumstances. what you’re saying is belittling women. Imagine if your daughter was raped, but she was wearing “revealing clothes” and was apparently “asking for it”. Your views are the reason.

  3. Oh...

    That is the most cynical, ignorant view of women I have heard in a long time. Makes me want to put my head through my monitor… but then I’d probably get a scar on my face… and I’ve a wedding to go to next month…

  4. JIMMY J

    I reckon a panel of psychiatrists,
    to determine if the woman should be allowed become
    pregnant in the future is whats called for.

    1. JIMMY J

      Obviously the woman I am referring to is the one who is worried ‘how she might look on the beach’
      Ye old gene pool argument, just tryn to lightn the tone.

      1. JIMMY J

        and also a panel of psychiatrists deciding anything other than the release of murders from mental institutes,
        is a fn’ joke.

        clear as mud.

  5. daimbars

    ‘Liberal abortion regime.’ Fantastic. Even if we get our legislative way we’ll be ruled by a man.

  6. silly wimmin

    world is full of idiots and the country is still screwed. Comment kindly supplied by husband cos I am a silly wimmin needing a mans guidance

  7. Sido

    Really? – Just like foolish and vain wimmin do in that atheist hell that is the U.K.?

    1. Mary

      The abortion law in the UK (well, Great Britain – obviously it doesn’t include NI) isn’t that liberal. You still have to have two doctors’ signatures, and abortion after 24 weeks is still illegal.

      To find a truly benighted country with a genuinely liberal abortion regime, you have to look to Canada, where there is abortion is a medical issue and not a legal one. I know, I can’t believe it either, but when you look at how evil Canadians are it starts to make sense. In wicked Canada, a decision to abort is a purely medical decision between a woman and her doctors, and governed by the same professional practice guidelines as a decision to give antibiotics or insulin or a heart bypass. And you’ll be shocked, SHOCKED to hear that Canada is not full of women having abortions so they’ll look good in their bikinis! Most abortions take place in the first trimester, with a few later abortions between 12 and 20 weeks, and a tiny number of abortions after 20 weeks.

      I mean, it’s almost like an abortion law is actually kind of unnecessary, and women and doctors make pretty sensible decisions around abortion without the threat of a jail sentence hanging over them, just like patients and doctors do in every other medical field. I know, I find it hard to believe too!

  8. Bacchus

    Can anybody write for that paper or do you HAVE to be a complete and utter m**g?
    It’s not journalism, it’s not even an opinion piece it’s just ignorant scare mongering. I suppose it fills column inches… is that the only requirement for copy?

  9. tom

    Lots of anger here over the piece.

    So, should the law prohibit abortions in such cases as mentioned in the piece?

    1. Noooo

      Yes of course, but we have to pretend that it’s all about dire circumstances for a while first.

        1. Sido

          U.K. Population 60,000,000.

          Irish contribution to your abortion figure 5,000

          So that’s 190,000 UK + 5,000 Irish Ccontribution.

          Do the Math – But then you’re the figures man – What percentage would you suggest are for cosmetic purposes?

          1. tom

            They’re nearly all on “mental health” grounds as it happens – pre-signed approval forms and all.

            Do you object to abortion on cosmetic grounds?

          2. Sido

            It’s not really something I would ever have to consider – as I’m a male.

            Though I would argue that a womens right to do what she wants with her body is hers and hers only.

            I suppose it is just as reasonable for me to ask you –
            Do you object to the Pro-Life cause using a plot line out of American Dad to high light their arguments?

        2. d smyth

          250,000 miscarriages in UK every year – where are the voices trying to save these ‘lives’ ?
          = selective life support

    2. Bacchus

      the cases mentioned are extremes and the stuff of fantasy. There may well be a tiny percentage of women who would think like that but you don’t base laws on such extremes. Nor should you base newspaper articles around them..

    3. daimbars

      So you think women will go through the effort of having abortions just to look good in a bikini?! Go back to the 1950s, and take your pr*ck pro ‘life’ friends with you

    4. Ms Piggy

      No, the law should not prohibit abortions in these cases. They’re likely to be very rare, but that doesn’t really matter.

      For as long as a foetus cannot survive outside the woman’s womb, it is not a person, and whether the pregnancy continues is entirely up to her with no call for input from anyone else. It is deeply insulting to assume that women would regularly take decisions on this basis, but actually, if I want to abort a 12 week foetus because it interferes with my holiday plans, then that is nobody’s business but mine.

      1. tom

        Why is it deeply insulting to assume women would make these decisions when all they are doing is exercising a right as you see it? Are some women’s abortions more noble than others?

        1. realPolithicks

          What you are missing here tom, is that it’s none your fu*king business why a woman chooses to have an abortion. She gets to decide, not you or anybody else!

          1. tom

            And what you are missing RP is that abortion isn’t the removal of a wisdom tooth, it’s the deliberate killing of a very young human being. People are entitled to be concerned about such a ‘private’ matter.

          2. Sido

            That’s just about it really Tom – you define human life as being a fetus.

            That’s a bit of a Roman Catholic thing.I’m not trying to knock your faith here.

            You need to consider Descartes or something like that to start getting real.

        2. Ms Piggy

          I don’t think nobility enters into it one way or another. I do think that some abortions are difficult, sad decisions (which this article chooses to forget), whereas some are easy and never regretted for a moment. Because there are a lot of women, living in a lot of different circumstances, and with different world views. But what they all have in common is the right to choose what is best for them.

    5. Mary

      Abortion isn’t legally restricted in Canada, and surprisingly enough “wanting to wear a bikini” is rarely given as a reason. Canada has about the same rates of abortion as the UK and Ireland, except that of course there are more Irish women getting later abortions because of having to travel.

      1. tom

        Irish abortion rates are significantly lower than UK rates. Falsehood to state otherwise.

        1. realPolithicks

          Tom, you are of course entitled to your opinion. But what you are not entitled to, is the imposition of your views on women or anybody else. Live your life as you choose and allow the rest of us to do the same.

          1. tom

            realPolithicks, *checks spelling*, if I’m wrong on this then your description of what I’m doing is accurate. If I’m right then others are imposing a dehumanising view of the unborn to allow for their killing. But your statement begs the question.

          2. d smyth

            Given Ireland has a population of under 4M and the UK a population in excess of 65M, that’s hardly surprising.

            Many Irish women have been glad of the UK in their hour of need because of the small minded judgemental attitudes prevalent in Ireland. Abortion is just the latest in the line for this mindset – Magdalens, Child abuse, now Abortion.

        2. Mary

          I didn’t say they were. Average out the UK and Ireland, and you’ve got Canada.

          Given that a woman died in a Galway hospital for lack of an abortion, I’m not sure that Ireland’s lower figure is something to be proud of.

        3. Peter

          196,000 abortions in the UK in 2011. It seems to be generally accepted that roughly 5,000 of these were Irish. UK therefore is 191,000 of a 62 million population, while Ireland has 5,000 of a 4.6 million population. UK rate is .125% while Ireland’s is .108%.

          Not a huge difference at all really. It seems as though we are not offering a health service to certain people in our society, which is wrong.

          1. John E. Bravo

            Difference in percentage will be accounted for those who live in ireland and can’t afford a flight, but if living in England could afford a bus.

  10. Russell Steed

    Wow. That’s Kevin Myers level trolling right there, albeit a lot less eloquent.

    (To be clear, it’s the level of trolling I’m comparing with Myers, and not the level of sexism.)

    1. deliverusalready

      Not sure he’s trollin’ to be honest, he may in fact be a fundamentalist. I know people who talk like this. Salt-of-the-earth and all that.
      Myers was a different class, an old-school ball-hopper, but he’s just demented now and may actually believe his own b*llshit.
      And now he’s joined The Sun … day Times.

    2. Starfishmonster

      Agreed. Proper old school “stop the presses” news print trolling. I therefore choose not to be offended or hysterical. Although I would like to burn some papers.

  11. IDB

    In all fairness, in a “Wallace-controlled Ireland”, abortion would be the LEAST of our worries!!

  12. Matthew

    I still don’t get how a fetus without a brain can be a person any more than a person without a head can be a person.

    1. Srsly

      So you favour abortion in the very cases of anencephaly. Fine. Do you oppose the abortion of healthy foetuses?

      Didn’t think so.

      1. Matthew

        I don’t think you realize that a fetus doesn’t pop into existence as a tiny human complete with all attached organs. It lacks anything resembling a brain for quite a while, and lacks the equipment for any kind of higher brain function for at least 20-24 weeks.

        So no, I don’t particularly care about healthy fetuses being aborted before that period.

  13. WexfordWally

    He has form:

    “During 1997 racist and anti-refugee sentiments were sometimes disseminated in the media, often in reports suggesting that refugees cost the Irish economy substantially more than any other group in welfare and housing.

    In response to a some 250 Romanian refugees – mostly Roma – being smuggled illegally into the port of Rosslare, Wexford (south-east Ireland) in July and August 1998, an editorial in the Wexford People described the refugees as wearing designer clothes, eating in restaurants and living in posh flats courtesy of the Irish taxpayer. It said that the ‘latest influx of asylum seekers has brought public services to breaking point’ and that there was evidence of racial tension nearing boiling point. The paper’s editor Ger Walsh rejected accusations that the editorial incited racial hatred, claiming that it merely reflected how people felt. Nonetheless, the editorial’s accusations were denied by the Garda superintendent in Wexford as well as by the press office of the health board, which has responsibility for administering social welfare support for asylum-seekers.”

    Oh and this gem which I can’t access as its an older Wexford People, but what a headline:
    Article rank 8 Jan 2013 Wexford People
    Ger Walsh, in consulation with the mystic Pikeman at The Bullring in Wexford and the TV3 ‘Psychics Live’, continues to look ahead to what 2013 might bring

    1. deliverusalready

      Thanks for the detail… suspected this kind of genius had form.
      Lot’s of people think like this and want to read stuff that affirms their hostile view of humanity. Me, I like facts and stuff, sh*t we can measure and that. I’m a delight at soirées.

  14. Michelle

    This is so insulting and shows no comprehension of the reality of abortion. About 95% of abortions are preformed before a woman would have even have a visible bump. This journalist is the definition of a misogynist, who thinks women who have had an abortion are shallow, amoral sluts.

  15. tom

    Sido, that’s getting to the core of it alright. Except that defining the unborn as a human being isn’t the preserve of RCism. It’s basic science and has been known in science since the mid-19th century. Every major embryology text book affirms this.

    Descartes was a dualist. He supposed that mind and body were totally separate. His brand of dualism has been forcefully attacked by many non RCers, like Putnam for instance (e.g. – if they are entirely divorced realities how do they interact so closely). A holistic view of mind and body is more philosophically sound, and is a view that can accommodate the personhood of the unborn as an integrated human entity.

    1. Matthew

      As a general rule, embryology textbooks shy away from issues like “What defines a human being?” towards more concrete issues, like cellular and anatomical processes at different stages of gestation.

      I’m open to correction here, so if I’m wrong, please cite some embryology textbook(s) to back up your claim. Until then, I’m going to assume you haven’t actually read any.

        1. Matthew

          I… don’t think these quotes say what you think they say. They say nothing about the humanity or moral status of the embryo, for one.

          If by ‘the unborn is a human being’ you mean that embryos are self-replicating organisms that contain human DNA, then yes, that is correct, and that is what those quotes say. But calling something a ‘human being’ carries connotations of an individual personality, which those quotes do not support.

          Think about this for a moment: Which of the following is a ‘human being’?

          A) An anencephalic fetus
          B) A brain-dead human
          C) A normal adult human
          D) A human tumour biopsy growing in a petri dish.

          Under that definition of ‘human being’, the answer would be “all of the above”.

          So basically, there are two possibilities: Either you meant ‘human being’ in the narrow, connotative sense, in which case you’re wrong, or you meant it in the broad, ‘any living thing with human DNA’ sense, in which case you’re correct but the statement is ethically irrelevant.

          God, the whole abortion debate is such a linguistic minefield.

        2. cluster

          Tom, looks like you’re going to need to go back and do s bit more reading. You’ve been schooled here.

    2. Sido

      It was a suggestion Tom. Not something you should consider literally. Use it for guidance if you will. It might help.
      You a deriving your morality from the Roman Catholic Church.
      And this might work for you.

      I would have difficulty with any morality derived from this institution as I have found its forcefully expressed opinions to be alien to my own moral values.
      In, for instance, its attitudes to the buggery of children by certain of its priests and the attempts to cover up this crime by claiming to work on a different parallel legal system.

      And more recently, in what appears to be the enslavement of women in the Madelene Laundries. Though should we be surprised by this, given what appears to be a completely sexist rationale.

      1. tom

        Not remotely fair Sido, those examples you cite are condemned by Church teaching from year 0 to now. Church practice has diverged from Church teaching on occasion, that’s part of human weakness – no one is immune from it.

        I’m a believer in Christ and his message, sure. But I can offer independent reasons for moral positions I hold and not just rely on various encyclicals or other forms of teaching (as illuminating as they often are).

        1. Sido

          It’s not been remotely fair on the victims of the churches perverted and sordid morality either, so I don’t understand your first point.

          Yes Tom – I’m sure you can offer independent moral reasons.
          The pro-life movement has used the notion that they think independently from church dogma since the start of the debate.
          The most remarkable being the Iona Institute who floated this defense a while back.
          They have now gone back to their position of being a Roman Catholic “Think Tank”. Because at the end of the day spinning out of the box is tricky.

          1. tom

            Yes Cluster, in a word.

            The only question was at what stage the unborn ‘entity’ assumed a status at which it had a ‘right to life’ (anachronistic term there). The Church has always been consistent : if science indicated that the entity was a human being, the Church supported the human being’s right to life. For centuries the best science in the area was broadly Aristotelian, so the Church posited the right to life as beginning at a stage later then what we now understand as conception.

            When the science radically developed in the 19th century, the Church’s position adopted the new scientific info. So by the late 19th century both Church and many of the medical and legal experts in the area accepted the ‘right to life’ of the human being from conception. The medical and legal experts shifted position somewhat by mid 20th century, not due to any new embryological discovery but rather due to prevailing social and intellectual mores.

          2. Friday

            @tom, that’s not true. Church teaching on abortion has oscillated wildly over the years. Your description implies an ordered progression from ignorance to knowledge, when what we see is a range of different opinions, some gaining more traction than others at different times.

            In Aristotelian times, it was thought that sperm contained tiny humans (homunculi) just waiting to grow in the fertile environment of a womb. Nevertheless, Church teaching maintained that abortion was alright until quickening (when the foetus can be felt moving in the womb) until the 14th to 19th centuries, depending on what popes you listen to.

            It was thought that quickening was the point at which the soul was created and the foetus became human. Gregory XIII (16th century) felt it was fine to abort a foetus before 40 days, but his successor Sixtus V felt abortion was always homicide. HIS successor told the faithful to ignore Sixtus’ decrees. 300 years later Pius IX declared all abortion to be homicide again.

            Re the 40 days above: St Thomas Aquinas claimed that a foetus was not human until 40 days after conception for the male and 80-90 days for the female. Female foetuses were formed from defective seed, and took longer to become human. In one document, St Augustine claimed that abortion was not a sin as the foetus could not sense anything. In another he claimed that abortion was always a sin, but a worse sin after ensoulment.

            A quote from JPII’s Evangelium Vitae: ‘the texts of Sacred Scripture never address the question of deliberate abortion and so do not directly and specifically condemn it.”

  16. Maire

    I’m so glad that as a woman in Ireland, I’m considered to be an intelligent, contributing member of society.

    Oh no, wait. My mistake. I’m a silly little featherhead whose biggest concerns revolve around fitting into a bikini.

    Thank god I have big strong men around to make all my decisions for me.

    1. Sido

      You seem to have got your pretty little head round that one.
      Now pop off and get us a cuppa will you.

  17. Meredith

    Wexford also has a strong liberal traditional and usually votes for socially liberal politicians – Wallace and Brendan Howlin are both in favour of Abortion Rights.

    This Walsh hack is a real idiot.

    1. Sido

      In truth there’s any number of these journalists, around the country, banging away at a drum, that they believe shares some resonance with their readership.
      And in some cases it does. They have failed to notice that a lot of the people this sort of clap trap would appeal to, are now under the sod.
      Clearly a lot of our politicians think that these journalists might well be “the authentic voice of the masses”.

  18. John D'oh

    His wanton use of “liberal” like he’s a bloody Fox News pundit trying to distract from core issues with emotive little buzzwords is almost as offensive.

  19. Gordon

    Given the arbitrary choice between the current situation and this one only a monster would choose Ireland’s current laws.

  20. Blobster

    It’s been said numerous times by BS commentators that “the only criteria for an abortion should be – does the pregnant woman want one”. So if this was the case, what, apart from the good sense and good will of the pregnant woman, would prevent these “cosmetic abortions” from occuring if a person wanted them?

    The pro-choice position, by it’s very nature would support these choices also. Or else it’s not really pro-choice at all.

    1. Sido

      I think you answered your question there didn’t you?.
      Read through what you wrote again.

      If you want to be an effective pro life commenter – you should try reading the comments of Tom (above). You might learn a bit.

      1. Blobster

        Heh, It’s not a competition here Sido. I’m just thinking out loud.

        So Ger Walsh is correct inwhat he is saying? Pro-choice means pro-all-choices.

        1. well

          ” Pro-choice means pro-all-choices” yes , give women the choice, is that so hard to get?

          Do you think you are uncovering something pro choicers hide?

          Abortion clinics aren’t mind readers , if a woman chooses to have an abortion they won’t know if it was because she wants to fit into a dress, isn’t ready for a child, or was raped.

          They just provide her with a choice.

          1. Blobster

            No. I didn’t think pro-choice people were hiding it, but why all the hate for this guy who’s just stating a fact.

          2. well

            because giving women a choice means we could make up any reason, you could state that giving women a choice would allow them to prevent pregnancies coming to term too close to Christmas or a full moon.

        2. Sido

          @ Blobster. Sorry yes I was a bit harsh there.

          Yes – A womens right to choose – absolutely and for whatever reason. Its her decision and hers only – that would be my own personal view.

          1. Bacchus

            and mine. I might not approve/agree but I have no right whatsoever to object or even voice that view. I’m simply Pro-Choice.

  21. Xiao Liu

    On the bright side, everyone who reads this now knows that Mick Wallace said: “A crisis pregnancy can have an adverse effect on the ability of a woman to enjoy a range of human rights. An adolescent who becomes pregnant is often forced to drop out of school, thus depriving her of the right to education. An unintended pregnancy can endanger a woman’s health, undermine her opportunities to earn a living and trap her, and often her entire family, in a cycle of poverty and exclusion.”

    …which is one of the most concise, value-for-words defences of women’s reproductive rights I’ve read from any politician. And in a county packed with struggling teenage mums, too.

  22. Jo

    Ahhhhhhh, many’s the poor foetus I’ve aborted because of the way pregnancies ruin the line of my swim suit. Us women and our fickle desires for sun holidays, eh? Tss, tss.

  23. Aileen

    People are trying to have a mature and reasoned debate on the subject. Articles like this remind me of the 90s when hysteria, pain and anger meant we couldn’t deal with it, leaving individual women and men to deal with the pain and difficulty of abortion without any statutory or social support. Shame on you for publishing such a weak, unprofessional and short-sighted article which contributes nothing to the current, very sensitive, debate….’I’m not for one minute suggesting women would want to do this…’ Oh but you are Mr Walsh!

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