The Pro-Life Choice


90306736A Pro-Life demonstration outside Leinster House last Summer

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent of The Guardian reports this evening:

Pregnant women in Ireland could be blocked from having an abortion even if they are at risk of suicide after conceiving as a result of rape or incest, under new guidelines issued to Irish doctors.
Experts warned that the Guidance Document for Health Professionals, which has yet to be made public  but has been obtained by the Guardian, will give power to doctors, obstetricians and psychiatrists to prevent vulnerable women from terminating their pregnancies.

….The 108-page guide does not include provisions for an independent committee to make decisions on treating those with “suicidal intent”, which was a key demand among campaigners for reform…initial referral for women including those with “suicidal intent” begins with her own GP.

If the GP agrees, he or she will refer the woman to three doctors – including one obstetrician and two psychiatrists – who will decide whether there is a real risk to the woman’s life through suicide. If her request is rejected, she will go through an appeal system involving another two psychiatrists and another obstetrician….

Pregnant women face abortion ban in Ireland even if they’re a suicide risk (Henry McDonald, The Guardian)

(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

Thanks Sido

52 thoughts on “The Pro-Life Choice

  1. Samuel

    Does the process take about 9 months?

    Getting fed up with this, would it not just be less hassle to go to London, if that was the choice.

    1. ABM

      Surely you mean *coerced* into going to London?

      I have no doubt that the fate of many an unborn has been decided (sorry, chosen) by a domineering boyfriend/husband/father/sister/mother/friend.

      1. ABM

        I’m surprised no enterprising entrepreneur hasn’t set up a “clinic” at Holyhead at this stage. They can always phone ahead for the ambulance to collect them at Dun Laoighaire and bring them up to St Vincent’s when it all goes wrong.

        1. Odis

          The problem with this sort of thinking, would be that a lot of people fly to England nowadays.

    2. Pale Blue Dot Cotton

      I know someone who went to Liverpool for an abortion. 4 of the 6 in the waiting room were Irish residents.

  2. PJ Hammond

    Why include the provocative religious imagery? I know plenty of pro-life atheists.

    So all 4,000 Irish women who have abortions in the UK are a) suicidal b) rape victims c) incest victims or d) carrying an unviable foetus?

    1. Tom Stewart

      So ultra-intelligent pro-life debating machine is gearing up again:

      “So all 4,000 Irish women who have abortions in the UK are a) suicidal b) rape victims c) incest victims or d) carrying an unviable foetus?”

      The post doesn’t say, or even suggest that.

    2. huppenstop

      No, probably not. I’d say most are grown women denied the right to a safe, legal abortion in their own country.

      1. Barry

        “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” ― Ronald Reagan

          1. Bob

            stop. Bloody phones being too small for my fat fingers to stop me hitting the wrong button *grumble grumble*

          2. Violet

            That’s just one potential use for foetus fingers. We are wasting a huge potential resource, particularly with the release of the new iPhone.

    3. Jay

      I’d really like to meet a prolife atheist some day. I’ve NEVER come across one. When I do find one I’ll nickname them “unicorn”. How is it that they seem to always pop up on threads like this but they don’t seem to exist anywhere else?

      1. PJ Hammond

        The reason you have never encountered one is probably because you stick to your circle of friends who probably have all the same views as you on various social issues. A lot of pro-life people keep their beliefs to themselves as well – primarily because of the personal attacks that often happen when they try and rationalise their position to a pro-choice person.

        1. Jay

          I live in the most liberal part of the country so it’s a probability. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come across plenty of prolifers, but none of them were atheists.

          And of course they get attacked when they try and rationalise their position, it’s generally (though not always) based on their belief in religion, some form of pseudo science/misinformation, or them just being an assh*le.

  3. donkey_kong

    donkey_kong is non religious and pro life.

    by non religious donkey_kong means he isn’t atheist either cos some of them appear to have a religion. The religion of bashing the religious.

    anyway non religious , pro lifer . donkey_kong. me

    1. Gav D


      Can someone point me in the direction of a pro-life atheist who isn’t a muppet who talks about themselves in the third person?

  4. Zynks

    Could we get the UNHRC to propose the doctor guidelines? There is no process free of incompetence and undue influence in this country.

  5. The Old Boy

    Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the position of allowing an abortion where the mother’s life is endangered by virtue of her being at risk of suicide, the mechanics were never going to work in Ireland.
    The pool of specialists is so small that it becomes almost impossible to get one to say that another is wrong.

    I have worked for many years in a field that often requires me to have experts of various stripes look over matters that I know relatively little about, and I invariably end up having to go to the UK in cases in which an Irish professional was involved in the first instance. You just wont get psychologist A (address: Dublin 4) to say that psychologist B (address: Dublin 6) was talking through their hoop.

    1. Caroline

      This. Anyone involved in PI litigation, never mind obstetric negligence, would have recognised this problem. And every specialist, consultant and expert involved in the debate must have known it.

  6. donnchup

    I think you need yo select a more extreme photo of your opponent. It will help bolster your case.

    1. PJ Hammond

      You must be joking. A number of prime pro-life activists are very vocal about it on Facebook [Palestinian flags, constantly signing petitions, posting articles condemning Israel etc].

      The stereotype that pro-life people are only concerned with the unborn is pretty lazy too. Lots of people of my parents’ generation are involved in various charities [Lions Club, St Vincent de Paul, Meals on Wheels, Focus Ireland etc]. The vast majority of them are anti-abortion.

  7. PJ Hammond

    Sorry for upsetting people but I just don’t see what’s good, positive or progressive about abortion.
    You can make all the arguments for the “hard cases” but even if they were permitted the reality is that the majority of abortions do not happen for those reasons.

    Surely it’s better to have improved sex education so that the issue of unplanned pregnancy does not arise? Make people take responsibility for contraception and their own actions.

    1. Jay

      I’d imagine most abortions happen because they would inflict increased levels of poverty due to children actually costing money. Which is fine by me. If you can’t afford children it’s irresponsible to have them.

    2. Anne

      I take it you’re a man PJ.
      Why don’t you mind your own business as to what women do with their bodies?

      Sex education and contraception will not prevent unwanted pregnancies.
      There is no contraception that’s 100% effective.

      No one says abortion is good.

      1. PJ Hammond

        Yes I am a man.
        The reason people like me want to get involved is simple. It’s not about controlling or hating women. It’s because we know that abortion ends a life and we believe that such an action is wrong. The argument “don’t have one then” is easy for you to say but not easy for pro-life people to accept. Why? Because going along it means adopting a passive position, turning a blind eye and not stepping up to the mark to try and protest against abortion.
        I agree – I am trying to impose my moral compass on other people but that is because I believe in the cause.

        On the other hand if you agree with abortion in certain circumstances but not others then you could say that as a pro-choice person you are imposing your moral compass on other people [i.e. giving them a choice if it fits certain criteria but not all situations].

        1. Anne

          PJ, personally I’m pro-life, however politically I’m pro-choice as I think women should have the right to choose what happens with their bodies. It’s as simple as that.

          There are a myriad of reasons why a woman would want an abortion.. I don’t believe anyone has the right to force a woman ‘take responsibility’ as you put it, particularly not men in my opinion.

          You should be passive on it, as it’s not your body/ not your business.
          We don’t live in a utopia, abortion is necessary for some women and forcing them to travel is not how a grown up country should treat it’s citizens in my opinion.

          You cannot be concerned for the living, while putting priority for the unborn over that of women and their lives.

          1. ABM

            Ah yes, concern for the dead…

            Plenty an Irish Times journo turns a blind eye to the rampant sex abuse that occurs in “we’ve made it” Modern Ireland by focusing on the failings of institutions of 2/3/4/5 generations ago. Sure it’s morally wrong to be apathetic of past wrong-doings; however it’s a greater moral ill to use the abuse suffered by dead victims to further ideological, political and spiritual ambitions. When Irish Times journos have managed to eradicate child abuse in the Ireland of 2014 (which they pledge their allegiance to), maybe then they can start casting stones.

            The sooner said journos are on the dole and have to work for a living, the sooner Ireland might actually benefit. Please God the advertising revenue to dry up and the readership plummets even further. The sooner the Tara Street pimple is removed from modern Irish society the better.

    3. Ms Piggy

      it’s interesting I think the way an unwanted pregnancy is discussed in terms of ‘taking responsibility for your actions’. Contraception fails sometimes, and people make mistakes. But this is true of many other medical conditions besides pregnancy – several cancers, liver disease and diabetes (to name just the obvious ones) often have their root causes in some of the patient’s behaviours. But we don’t tell diabetes patients that they shouldn’t have had those chocolate bars, and now they can’t have medical treatment, do we?

      There’s a very old-fashioned sense of sex-should-be-punished about that kind of statement PJ.

    4. Karl Monaghan

      Why are you implying that being pro-abortion is somehow being against proper sex education and the availability of contraception?

      The main opponent to abortion in Ireland (i.e. the Catholic Church) also opposes contraception and proper sex education. Their complete wrong headedness in this area shows how little they actually care about women’s health.

      Also, explain to me how a woman who finds out she’s carrying an unviable foetus should ‘take responsibility’? Blame herself for bad genetics? Or her partner?

    5. Lorcan Nagle

      The primary issue with Abortion legislation in Ireland isn’t Abortion on request/demand (delete as applicable), but when it’s necessary for the health of the mother. At present, a woman can only obtain an abortion in Ireland when her life is provably in jeopardy. And now, thanks to the Protection of life during pregnancy act, if you can’t prove that to the satisfaction of an inquest, the doctor who performed the Abortion is liable for a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

      Similarly, women who order the so-called abortion pill online and take it at home are liable for that 15 year sentence, as is anyone who facilitated them in obtaining the pills.

      A woman in Ireland can’t get an abortion in the case of a fatal foetal abnormailty or other valid medical reasons, if she’s been raped or is the victim of incest. These are all situations where the health of a woman will almost certainly be improved by providing an abortion. It’s not good, but it is necessary.

      This country has a horrible tendency to blame the victim when something goes wrong, and to impose guilt and shame. Women who travel to obtain an abortion are made to feel like pariahs no matter the reason they traveled, even when it’s a vital, normal medical procedure that they’ve been denied at home.

    6. scottser

      it’s morally reprehensible then, to deny a procedure to a ‘hard case’ on the grounds that it may not, in your opinion, be a valid one. who are you to deny medical treatment to another human being?

  8. Dubloony

    PJ, the reasons women have abortions are as varied as the women themselves.
    Absolutely agree that there needs to be better relationship education, a more mature attitude to taking responsibility for both men and women.
    Would also give free contraception to people aged 18-25, the largest single age group of Irish women who have abortions in UK.
    There needs to be better support for childcare, maternal poverty, disability assistance, domestic violence, sexual violence and other root causes that go into a woman making a decision to have an abortion. Not that there is any real research done in that area. I

    And when all of that is done, also have safe, legal, free abortion available in Irish maternity hospitals.

    You may not see it as positive, you don’t have to.
    It doesn’t matter.
    12 Women are packing their bag tonight anyway.

  9. ABM

    Seems to be a lot of feigned suicidal mothers since the 1967 Abortion Act was brought into being in the UK… Or maybe that’s the “stigma” and “guilt” that those evil Christians reminded these so-called mothers of. Imagine that – people killing themselves because they couldn’t live with themselves.

    It won’t be long before we will look back with great shame at the feminist folly that civilised and righteous society was subjected to.

    1. Odis

      Just what are you whining about ABM?
      Kenny said at the start of his term in office, he was putting abortion on the long finger, And O.K., this plan was slightly upset by the incompetence of Galway University Hospital.

      The reality is nothing in Ireland has changed.

  10. R

    ‘feminist folly’. as opposed to the Christian folly of Tuam, Goldenbridge, Kincora, …. yeah. very pro-life they were.

  11. Drogg

    OK here it goes, firstly abortion does not end a life, it expels cells that could grow into a person, the important word there is could. The biggest issue in the world right now is global warming and this is most likely the issue that will wipe out us, the human race, as people are morons and won’t face up to the fact that we are f**ked. Research has said that the ever increasing population of the planet is the biggest contributing factor in global warming i.e. more people need to consume more energy and products increasing the damage to our environment. Abortions for unwanted pregnancies would help curb that also stoping people having enormous families would help to. This would require a much better sex education system more investment and tax reduction in contraceptives and free safe abortions. I know many people will think this is a horrible insane idea but I’m just saying this from a total logical standpoint, I also think old people need to not be artificially kept alive for so long, the average human body is not meant to live to 100 but through medical treatments more and more people are living to their centenary. This is not a viable way to function as a species we are allowing old people to live 30 plus years after retirement, be a major body of voters in a world most of them don’t understand and burden our medical system for years while contributing massively to the over population of the planet.

    I know this is a bit off subject apologies.

    1. wbean

      You’re not wrong, and not off subject at all.

      You made a great point; “abortion does not end a life, it expels cells that could grow into a person, the important word there is could” which I’ve never heard before. Also, your point about elderly folk.

      I feel like a lot of the pro-lifers see pro-choicers as pro-abortioners. Just because some people would personally try to avoid abortions, doesn’t mean they can’t support other peoples choice to have them. There’s no hypocrisy in that.

    2. aubrey

      Booooo! Stop being so reasonable and intelligent. We all came here for an argument with an imbecile.

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