Stalling on abortion law reform North and South

Let me try to offer some context on abortion law, with the health warning that I’m not a lawyer. The law on abortion in both parts of Ireland is in question because of a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights  almost two years ago which I among others drew attention to at the time. Does that ruling compel the Republic and the North to legalise abortion on demand up to 24 weeks or anything like it ? No it does not. Domestic law is supreme.  All signatories to the HR Convention are pledged to abide by it but the Convention and Court recognise wide national latitude. In this case the Wikipedia entry seems a fair interpretation of the December 2010 judgment A.B and C v Ireland

The Court held that “Article 8 cannot… be interpreted as conferring a right to abortion”.[5] It nevertheless considered that Ireland had violated article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights with regard to the third applicant, C. because it was uncertain and unclear whether she could have access to abortion in a situation where she believed that her pregnancy was life threatening

Contrary to the hopes or fears of various campaign groups that the case might become a pan-European clone of the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the case Roe v Wade,[13] the European Court of Human Rights emphasised there is no straightforward right to an abortion under the Convention, and that member states have a broad margin of appreciation to prohibit abortion.[14] However, given the violation of applicant C’s right to privacy, the result is that Ireland may have to further clarify whether and under which circumstances an abortion may be performed to save the life of a pregnant woman.

We are still waiting for a “September” report by a “committee of experts” appointed by the Irish minister of Health ( correction)  to examine the implications of the finding, that C’s rights had been breached by a failure to allow abortion when her life was threatened. Nor was  it clear where she could find out what her rights were. As an Irish Times leader says, the situation in the North is a little more permissive.

The law allows abortion in the North where the mother’s life is at risk or where there is a long-term or permanent risk to her physical or mental health. It is a slightly more permissive situation than the Republic where the mother’s life, rather than just health, must be shown to be threatened. But the South is soon likely to face the same challenge. Will politicians behave differently?

Unsuprisingly the usual suspects are opposed to change and  the Dail parties are clearly divided even on abortion where life is threatened.

How does the 2010 ECHR judgment apply to the North? A nice question and one which I assume is unresolved at least until the guidelines are restored. Will the Assembly parties step up? And what will happen in the Republic?  The stalling can’t go on for ever, can it?

 

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  • mollymooly

    Clarification: it’s not an “ECHR committee of experts”, it’s an “Expert Group on the A, B and C v Ireland judgment of the European Court of Human Rights“. That is, it was not set up by the ECHR, but rather by the minister for health. Which obviously makes a big difference as to its likely recommendations.

  • Brian Walker

    Yes of course molloymooly.Thanks. Correction acknowledged

  • terence patrick hewett

    Brian: opposition to abortion is a very deeply felt position held by millions in Ireland and your patronising appellation of the “usual suspects” is insulting and does not carry the debate forward in any respect whatsoever.

  • The Raven

    Terence: Support for pro-choice may be a very deeply felt position held by millions in Ireland and the appellation of “usual suspects” correctly identifies one of the main stumbling blocks to carrying the debate forward in any respect whatsoever.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Raven: No it is not; the term “usual suspects” is smug, patronising and insulting. If you mean Catholics and Catholic Church please have the courage to say so

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    terence,

    Did the Christian “God” personally appoint you his (?) assistant in matters of women’s health or did you just assume that role by yourself?

  • babyface finlayson

    My guess is it suits the main parties to move at a glacial pace on this issue. since they detect no support in their base for any change.
    It must be more of a problem for Sinn Fein as they try to square their left wing credentials with a right wing stance on abortion.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    But glaciers do move, babyface. Meanwhile, N.I. politicians just ignore an order from a High Court Justice and move not at all.
    I guess people get what they pay for, or, in this case, what they vote for (and paying for no work at all).

  • Comrade Stalin

    Brian: opposition to abortion is a very deeply felt position held by millions in Ireland

    Things change, Terence. Divorce and contraception bans were dispensed with not long ago. It may take a couple of decades but abortion will be next.

  • Framer

    Things do indeed change and technology does more than politicians usually do or can do to change things.

    Once we had the morning after pill and the later up-to-9 weeks pills, the law becomes increasingly irrelevant in the early stages.

    Better for those who are ‘pro-life’ to put all their efforts into reducing the current 24-week limit to something more attuned to post partum survivability.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Mister Joe: Silly me, I thought Sluggers ethos is to play the ball not the man; how naive can a person be. However may I suggest if one engages with the internet wishing to hear nothing but the echo of his own voice I am afraid he is likely to be bitterly disappointed.

    Comrade Stalin: as far as Church Cannon Law is concerned: abortion is a mortler and will remain so.

    For an outline of the Church position see:

    http://www.catholicplanet.com/articles/article78.htm

  • babyface finlayson

    terence patrick hewett
    “…as far as Church Cannon Law is concerned”
    Those boys have a law for everything. Smiley face.

  • terence patrick hewett

    It does indeed Babyface but it should be noted that at the end of the day it all boils down to conscience which is often at odds with law: bit of a conundrum.

  • Newman

    This is about the right of the unborn child which it is entirely rational to have regard to, just as one must the life of the mother. It is reasonable to propose such an argument in the public square and it would be helpful if people responded to the argument rather than using the issue as a forum for the abuse of religion. Lets start with an easy one shall we…does choice mean you can abort because of gender, a ski holiday or a hair lip/club foot…might be helpful if those who propose choice dealt with a few of their own hard cases

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m lost as to why anyone would quote canon law.

    Especially as the church’s opposition to abortion is something like 250 years old. In other words a recent phenomenon in the scheme of things.

    Newman:

    This is about the right of the unborn child which it is entirely rational to have regard to, just as one must the life of the mother.

    No, it is not “entirely rational” to consider a fetus during the early stages of pregnancy to be equivalent to an independent thinking/feeling/existing human being.

    It is reasonable to propose such an argument in the public square and it would be helpful if people responded to the argument rather than using the issue as a forum for the abuse of religion

    I don’t want to talk about religion but people like Terence up there keep bringing it up as if it is somehow relevant.

    Lets start with an easy one shall we…does choice mean you can abort because of gender, a ski holiday or a hair lip/club foot…might be helpful if those who propose choice dealt with a few of their own hard cases

    It means in the early stages of pregnancy a woman can make any choice she wishes. Why is this so hard to get your head around ?

  • terence patrick hewett

    Comrade Stalin: peoples religious beliefs are important: you may not think so, but to us they are. They are not irrelevant but a reality in Ireland as they are in the rest of Christendom. If you wish to see the future in Ireland, contemplate the fate of Britain.

    To fix their broken society requires a Mea Culpa of gigantic proportions by the political classes. It reverses the fundamental ethos of those who describe themselves as progressive and involves admitting that everything they have implemented in the name of social engineering in the last 50 years has been a giant, tragic, cruel and socially damaging mistake: a wicked and traumatic social experiment similar to, and exceeding by many times, that of Apartheid South Africa. The motivation for the implementation of Apartheid by the European settlers of South Africa came from a fear of being over-run by the indigenous black population. Similarly in Britain during the 19th century, there was a pathological fear emanating from the liberal middle classes, of being overrun by the seething masses of the poor. This is amply illustrated by the repulsive Marie Stopes with her policies inspired by Eugenics aimed directly at the extermination of the proletariat. In her book Radiant Motherhood (1920) she called for the “sterilisation of those totally unfit for parenthood (to) be made an immediate possibility, indeed made compulsory.”

    “Crushed by the burden of taxation which they have not the resources to meet and to provide for children also: crushed by the national cost of the too numerous children of those who do not contribute to the public funds by taxation, yet who recklessly bring forth from an inferior stock individuals who are not self-supporting, the middle and superior artisan classes have, without perceiving it, come almost to take the position of that ancient slave population.”

    H G Wells went even further: Wells advocated a level of Eugenics even more extreme than Hitler’s. The weak should be killed by the strong, having no pity and less benevolence. The diseased, deformed and insane, together with those swarms of blacks, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people … will have to go in order to create a scientific utopia; to exterminate the congenital invalids, closely followed by the idiots, drunkards, criminals, and lunatics, since they would spoil the world for others; the precursor of Hitler’s useless mouths. It is from these perverted seeds that modern Britain has grown. Abortion has turned them into a nation of old people, whom they now wish to, and sometimes do, kill off in extremis; Euthanasia justified by a spurious ethic of care; Destruction of working communities, justified by a casuistic ethic of equality.

    It has been a profound and violent attack upon the very nature of Western Society. Christianity is at the very heart of the development, structure and institutions of the West. Tertullian posed the question, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem:” and the answer is a great deal. It recognised implicitly that individualism is hard-wired into western societies by the Christian concept of the infinite value of the individual soul. Buttressed by Roman Law it became the great reforming force of western civilisation.

    Loss of social cohesion has been brought about by the relaxation of the adherence to precise moral ideals; it is this relaxation and the concurrent attacks upon all religions and religious education that has contributed so much damage to the fabric of society. Moral ideals are exactly what religious education provides and what parents overwhelmingly value.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    And so it’s simply not true that Christian missionaries teamed up with the conquistadors to murder hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of those heathen indigenous folks who refused to accept Christ as their god and saviour.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Terence,

    I asked why you are quoting canon law. It’s a joke. Sexual abuse and other depravity is presumably illegal under canon law but I’ve not heard of a single priest or bishop being prosecuted therein despite the Catholic Church in Ireland operating what at times amounted to a paedophile ring across the country.

    And you didn’t address the problem whereby the church only decided that abortion was wrong 250 years ago.

    The sort of pious pseudo-intellectual seminary twaddle you are disgorging above is the language of a cold, hard, devout, bitter, and thankfully increasingly distant past. The country is far better off without it.

  • babyface finlayson

    terence
    Actually I was making a little joke over your spelling mistake, but you rose above it majestically.
    I have to say that although I am pro choice, (or pro abortion as I think is more honest) I don’t like to see those like yourself who are anti abortion being ridiculed.
    If you believe there is life present even at the early stages of pregnancy then of course you must feel strongly about that.
    For myself, I don’t think there is anything to suggest consciousness in the early stages..
    Late abortions are thankfully rare as that is where the grey area lies for me.And as foetus viability is inevitably pushed back it becomes a harder task to rationalise.
    The bottom line for me is society cannot force women to continue with pregnancies against their will, therefore alternatives must be found.
    So better contraception and easy access to early abortion makes sense to me.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    babyface,

    Late stage abortions are not only rare but are illegal in most jurisdictions where abortion is provided for by law unless there is a very real threat to the health of the mother, meaning a risk of death.
    Canon Law, thankfully, has no place in a democracy. Terence can abide by it as an individual if he so wishes but it’s a shame that the Christian sect that he appears to belong to does not enforce it on those of its priests who breach it so foully.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Don’t worry tph……..Armageddon is just around the corner.
    You religious fuckwits will be in ‘heaven’ then ? :-(

  • The Raven

    Terence – apologies for the late return – so here it is:

    I’m happy to say *some Catholics* and the Catholic Church. I’m equally happy to pin the tail on any other denominational donkey who interferes in secular matters. Oh and their political front men too. And let’s just add in anyone else who brings interpreted religion into a moral, legislative and scientific debate. This includes the happy handclappers who stand in front of a legitimate and legal business and berate anyone who wishes to use its services.

    Happy to have clarified. Shame you had to bring in a sectarian overtone.

  • babyface finlayson

    The Raven
    “And let’s just add in anyone else who brings interpreted religion into a moral, legislative and scientific debate”
    I don’t see how you can close down debate by telling people they cannot have an opinion.
    Like it or not anti abortion people have votes too and you need to win the argument not just deride those making it.

  • The Raven

    …the point being, babyface, that so many others have been derided and denied a proper say and indeed debate, by these very same people. To say that any of the elected parties – lets remove the religion for a moment – have an imperative to deny those who may wish to partake of this service, based on their ‘mandate’ is frankly disingenuous. Especially with 48% of voters no longer turning out. To say that the same service is denied, on the basis of religious belief or perceived issues of religious conscience, is furthermore just embarrassing. It ranks up there with Causeway Creationism.

    Having experienced firsthand the second class citizenship offered to women in this country by making them “take the boat”, I’m frankly aghast that this is still an issue on the grounds that it was 20 years ago.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Agree, Raven. Terence has told us that he paid for an abortion once but now regrets that. Well, I’m sorry for him feeling whatever it is that he feels but now he’s saying that it was ok for him to do that but, since he feels guilty, nobody else should be allowed to follow his example. And he seems to be basing that on some Christian religious belief. Sorry terence, but Christians aren’t the only ones allowed to have a say.

  • Jimmy McGurk

    Ah, I thought it was Joe himself who introduced religion into the comments! Or did I read that wrong?

    There are opinions being expressed above that should make both sides of the atheist/religious binary wince.

    Anyway, this debate is always so divisive. Doesn’t it all boil down to when you believe a foetus comes “alive” or not? At conception or a few weeks in? I’m not sure of the latest science on this but I didn’t think it was clear yet. It might depend on how one defines “alive” or “conscious” or whatever.

    I can’t say I’m too comfortable with the idea of abortion, but then I’m not comfortable with the idea of women risking their lives in backyard abortions either.

    I was struck by Hilary Clinton’s comment saying that it should be safe, legal and rare. Maybe we should be putting more effort into trying to create a society where unwanted pregnancies are minimised first and then worry about exactly when consciousness arises. Maybe minimisation is common ground that both Pro-life and Pro-choice camps could work together on?

  • terence patrick hewett

    Just to cheer everybody up this morning before I go to work: To re-iterate; Ireland only has to look at England to see the future: forty-five years after the inception of the 1967 Abortion Act have only produced one thing; that after 7.5 million abortions, they are a nation of old people who have to make up the numbers by migration. Compare this situation with that in the Republic of Ireland. They had no abortion to any extent and the result is that the Irish are a nation of young people. The median age of Ireland is 34.6 years. 40 percent of the population is under 25 years. Ireland has a future. Britain’s future is being disposed of as medical waste, a socially corrupting human sacrifice, offered up on the altar of selfishness and hedonism and justified by the self-delusional concept of self-fulfilment. And this is the reason that Ireland will not legalise abortion; because they want to survive as a nation; because they can see all too clearly the murderous, vice ridden hell that has been created in England. Because it is wrong in Christian terms, in philosophical terms, in human terms and in terms of self interest.

  • Jimmy McGurk

    Terence, what about all the Irish women who take the boat to GB every year?

  • BarneyT

    I suspect there are many other reasons in Britain for the changing population, without wishing to discount entirely the point Terrance makes.

    The NHS and perhaps the abstemious life that many led post WWII is contributing to longevity
    The breakdown of industry, particularly manufacturing has forced many into the service industry and this forced them to gravitate to the main cities, such as London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham
    The support that once existed is no longer present as communities are now more dispersed.
    Folks are getting married later in life or not at all
    Women are choosing a career over family (which is their right) as needs must
    Housing is less affordable so the 25 something’s who traditionally would be considering marriage, mortgage and children and remaining with their parents. Gone are the days when a degree is an opening to a job and a job an assurance of a mortgage and home.
    If I look at my own extended family, I can see a similar trend. Many of my younger cousins (in the 30’s) are in work, but don’t have a mortgage, remain unmarried and have not reproduced or are showing signs of doing so. Just a generation earlier, this was not the case.
    Perhaps with the advent of cheap travel, the younger generation is taking time out to live and see a bit of the world.
    I’m sure a demographics analyst can provide more insight here, but the abortion factor in Britain is a red herring I suspect.

  • Brian Walker

    Terence and others, There is simply no meeting of minds possible between the absolutist position on abortion and any qualification of it. To enter the argument by taking an offence at my description of the bishops as the usual suspects is an irrelevance. I don’t regard it as a mortal insult anyway, just an expression of weariness at yet another lack of pastoral insight. Plenty of priests take a more compassionate view.

    The absolutists’ position has it own intergrity and logic of course. That’s easily conceded. It’s just that it doesn’t accord with most people’s developing attitude to life.(Whaddya mean ” most people”?).

    Well I suspect that the Republic wil eventually concede early abortion where is a threat to the mother’s life and will have to explain the options including abortion to others. I don’t expect more than that and respect the majority opinion. I wish it were otherwise.

    Much of the Irish problem will continue to be exported but I would like to think with increasing compassion and greater understanding. .

    The anti-abortion opinion that works in a democracy is that while someone may oppose it, s/he nonetheless recognises the integrity of others who favour abortion as an always,unpleasant and frequently traumatic choice.

    A shrill moral tone achieves nothing except alienation all round and moral superiority is emphatically not conceded.

  • jthree

    Barney, for an excellent summary of demographic trends in the UK I can recommend Danny Dorling’s ‘So You Think You Know About Britain.’

    It’s a wee bit more nuanced than terence’s ‘Alive!’ editorial.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Maybe we should be putting more effort into trying to create a society where unwanted pregnancies are minimised first ..

    Jimmy,
    That’s a primary aim of Marie Stopes’ clinics around the world.

  • Jimmy McGurk

    Agreed Joe, Marie Stopes is far more than just an abortion clinic. Good family planning and availability of contraception should be widespread and is part of a robust solution.

    However, is it the only part? If we were to drive towards a goal of abortion being safe, legal and rare, then obviously the pollies need to pull their fingers out and get appropriate legislation in place. I suspect however, that even with clinics like Marie Stopes and appropriate legislation in place abortion would still be far from being rare.

    I’d be interested to know what else should change to drive it towards being rare, in a non-punitive way that as Brian mentions above recognises the frequent trauma of such situations.

  • BluesJazz

    C’mon Jimmy

    You never had a ‘chance encounter’ in Lavery’s back alleyway and through caution to the wind?

  • Jimmy McGurk

    Haha, I’m going to keep my answer to that under wraps, BluesJazz. :P

    However, it used to be, not so long ago, that a child outside of marriage was a source of deep shame. It also used to be that having a child meant that a woman had to give up her job as a teacher or a nurse, etc. We’ve come a long way from that as a society. I’m interested in how much further we can go in removing reasons why someone may wish to terminate a pregnancy.

    I’m not sure what the ideal solution is. However, I do think that any government which allows the exporting of abortions to avoid dealing with an issue at home is failing in their duty.

  • BluesJazz

    Well, some people think its all divine intervention:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/1024/breaking28.html?via=mr

  • Comrade Stalin

    Terence,

    It takes some bizarre lunacy to think that Ireland’s low immigration is anything to do with abortion (given that Irish women can easily travel to England to have it done) rather than the chronic economic circumstances that have caused significant emigration continuously since the founding of the state (and before) which only really began to slow recently during the Celtic Tiger years.

    High immigration into the UK reflects its status since the second world war as a world leading economy (one which took significant damage in the war, in human as well as economic terms) and an industrial and manufacturing power. Comparing the two on their abortion policy is plainly ridiculous.

    People like you are far more damaging to the pro-life cause than anyone else. People like you are why people think the pro-life cause is discredited due to being dominated by complete fruit-loops.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    The present situation is a disgrace. Medical staff have no effective guidelines to allow them to determine whether or not they are acting legally if they take part in an abortion.
    This affects poor women disproportionately. Richer folks, like the wives or girlfriends of well paid MLAs, can easily afford a quick plane ride across to the rest of the UK to get medical treatment there.

  • Jimmy McGurk

    You’re right Joe, there is a class dimension to this. I’m reminded of the Mike Leigh movie Vera Drake. It thoughtfully juxtaposes the experiences of working class and upper class women in relation to abortion in an English regulatory environment where abortion was only available for medical reasons.

    The working class women risked their lives in backyard operations, while the upper class women knew how to manipulate the system to get an abortion performed safely and discreetly.

  • abucs

    Hi Comrade.

    Just a historical note, the Didache (apostles teaching) is an early Catholic document which speaks against abortion.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04779a.htm

    The question i have is whether the state will force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions in their own hospitals. (killing in Catholic eyes)

    and also whether the state will dictate to Catholic schools what can/should be taught regarding views on abortion?

    such as in Canada.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/10/canadian-official-catholic-schools-cannot-teach-that-abortion-is-wrong/

    Also we have to remember that change is well … change.
    Making abortion legal doesn’t set that in stone for all time. It will continue to divide us.

    The atheist Socialist Russian state was the first to introduce state abortion until they realised their population demographics were “not helpful to the state” and abolished it.

    The socialist Nazi’s then became the next to introduce abortion and euthanesia as state policy.

    In my opinion it takes such ruthless violators of human rights to dream up and implement such a thing as abortion.

    To call it now a human right is shameful and an indication of the moral inversion our socialist apologetic universities and media have been relentless in pursuing.

    If we are at least going to have a difference of opinion on this and allow it in law, can we agree the state should not dictate to Churches what they should do/think/teach regarding abortion in their own institutions?

    Socialist dictating to the religious about life and death didn’t have such a good outcome last century.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Reasonable people can find reasonable arguments against some abortions but I think it is extremely offensive to try to draw parallels between women who wish to have full control over their own medical needs and two of the most prolific mass murdering despots who ever lived.

  • Comrade Stalin

    abucs,

    Just a historical note, the Didache (apostles teaching) is an early Catholic document which speaks against abortion.

    I am not a bible scholar, but I dutifully looked for the word “abortion” in that link and did not find it. I’m sure you can find some sort of tenuous reference to it, but the fact is that the church did not seriously begin taking up this issue until a couple of centuries ago.

    The question i have is whether the state will force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions in their own hospitals. (killing in Catholic eyes)

    I don’t think we have any Catholic hospitals in Northern Ireland.

    In terms of the principle, of course the state should not compel hospitals to carry out any procedure for their moral reasons. Of course, the state should ensure that such organizations do not receive any direct government funding and that citizens have the choice/opportunity to avail of non-church hospitals.

    and also whether the state will dictate to Catholic schools what can/should be taught regarding views on abortion?

    Catholic schools are free to teach whatever they want. Nobody is proposing to change that.

    Of course, they are not free to expect state funding to do so.

    Also we have to remember that change is well … change.
    Making abortion legal doesn’t set that in stone for all time. It will continue to divide us.

    Abortion in the first trimester is available universally in all European countries – some go further – and there are no serious attempts anywhere to have it made illegal. Abortion policy does not divide people in most countries (with the exception of the USA) and it is not a topic that comes up to any serious extent during elections. Ireland is relatively exceptional.

    I’ll just skip past all the tired old wank about socialism and nazis thankyou.

  • abucs

    You can skip over the wank as you say comrade. Many from a socialist background do. That’s the danger.

    Regarding the Didache :

    Text as follows – http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Didache-text.html
    (Chapter 2 second paragraph).

    The philosophy against abortion was a philosophy of the early Church. In this weeks Catholic Answers radio program (about 35 mins in think) the speaker talks about the pagan world reluctantly accepting the Christian morality of non-abortion beginning around A.D. 203 because it was a superior moral system.

    “How Catholicism Shapes our World” – October 19th

    http://www.catholic.com/radio/calendar

    From the Christian perspective it is “here we go again” and the “liberal socialists” are leading us bacwards in the name of modernity.

    Better not to think too much about tha either. Maybe nobody will notice none of this is new, nor liberating.

  • IrelandNorth

    If the respective political administration in Ireland are stalling on the law on abortion north and south (ie Ulster and Munster), is the position any more certain with regard to east and west (ie. Leinster and Connacht)? Granted, abortion is an imponderable conundrum, and one of the few moral perplexities which engenders a paradoxical ecumenism amongst respective Christian franchisees on the island. But are judiciars competent to moderate in matters of ethics and morality, since their training is largely legalistic, linguistic, semantic and semiotic. Professor William Binchy once referred to a poverty of philosophy in debate upon this highly emotive issue. Has the intellectual benchmark been raised significantly in the intervenening years.

  • Eileen Calder

    Newman It IS simple, choice means exactly that – choice. The women of Ireland are perfectly capable in exercising their own moral agency in making those choices. When even the giving of information about abortion was banned in the South our organisation acted as one of the information referral points. Strangely enough the old skiing holiday, so often raised by the anti-choice brigade never came up at all,

    What did was poverty,men not wanting to know, fear of religious families, sexual abuse, rape, physically violent relationships or just being too young or old, tired or ill, or having too many kids already.

    Men have no right to even hold or express an opinion in a matter which has absolutely nothing to do with them, let alone make decisions, laws or spout nonsense on the internet on the intimate and private interior of women’s bodies that they don’t even know.

    Those old ski slopes must be getting pretty crowded now we can get pills of the internet for £80 which will expel a foetus within 24 hours when used in the first six weeks of pregnancy.

  • babyface finlayson

    Eileen Calder
    “Men have no right to even hold or express an opinion”
    So you are saying that a man in a loving relationship may not even express an opinion, if his partner is pregnant, on whether they might together decide to continue with the pregnancy or not?
    That seems harsh.
    It worries me when someone says I do not even have the right to hold an opinion.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    babyface,

    Men do not get pregnant so they do not continue with a pregnancy. It’s quite simple to understand. I believe that they teach such facts in Primary School these days.

  • babyface finlayson

    Mister_Joe
    Unnecessary sarcasm.
    Are there no circumstances where 2 people in a relationship might discuss such a situation before coming to a decision.
    Is it not possible that a woman might take her partner’s opinion into account in reaching a decision?
    Or is that verbotten? Consorting with the enemy?

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    babyface,

    I wasn’t being sarcastic (I think – although i do admit to being ornery sometimes).
    The type of discussion you describe obviously does take place, frequently I imagine. My beef, for what it’s worth, is with people who would deny women their choice in every case. I don’t believe that a husband or boyfriend can make the decision. It’s not their body.

  • babyface finlayson

    Mister_Joe
    Fair enough. I just don’t accept the assertion that men should not express or even hold an opinion on this issue, as stated by Eileen Calder.
    That is simply trying to shut down debate.

  • Jimmy McGurk

    “Men have no right…”
    What an extreme view! Although you’re on the right blog for extreme views.

    I would have thought that the issue around how society deals and legislates or doesn’t legislate around abortion, was one for society to deal with as a whole.

    Surely most reasonable people would acknowledge that abortion is an incredibly difficult and multi-faceted issue to deal with. It seems to me that the only options we have as a society are choices between different evils. Which is the lesser is the question we have to ask of ourselves.

    Anytime someone comes down with a black and white statement such as it’s got nothing to do with men (extreme pro-choice), or women should be forced to carry their babies to full-term (extreme pro-life) I think they’re just being intellectually lazy, not making the effort to see or understand the many shades of grey, and definitely not being compassionate to the many people that are affected by any unwanted pregnancy, not least the unborn child itself.

    They are examples of fundamentalist thinking. Fundamentalism not being solely located within the religious sphere but found wherever someone says, “I have the answer, I know it all”.