Abortion pressure continues slowly, slowly

Two interesting blasts from non-natives in the abortion debate have appeared in – can you guess?  Yes! –  in the Guardian and the Independent. In the Indy, London-based Siobhan Fenton has been combing the statistics just out, to find that  that 828 women who had abortions in England and Wales  last year gave Northern Ireland addresses and 3754  were recorded as coming from the Republic. Almost certainly these figures are an underestimate, the real NI figure being around 2000, according to local estimates. What an enormous figure this is, shamelessly to ignore and export at such a cost in terms  of  trauma and money. However, the reporter accepts the legal status quo under devolution without challenge:

 Of course, the priority of English doctors should be the healthcare and wellbeing of English women, especially as funding cuts put greater strain on services.

This is not quite the obvious point it seems.  It’s true that the “National” Health Service is devolved and so abortions are set to remain illegal in NI except in cases of serious foetal abnormality. But this cuts across the ethic of universal provision that was the service’s founding doctrine. And as we share the same tax base throughout the UK (though rates are set to vary in Scotland), the moral case for charging an NI woman for an abortion in England and Wales is less clear. A local case is going to appeal but I  wouldn’t  bet the house  on radical change being the outcome.

Meanwhile social change continues at a pace that an Arctic glacier in these days of global warming  could not hope to match.   I’m not  clear either whether David Ford’s’ feeble proposal for modifying the local laws to allow abortion in case of foetal abnormality was  put forward in a spirit of collective responsibility – i.e. based  on what the Executive as a whole would finally accept – or was the Alliance party’s preferred position. Collective responsibility being a very delicate flower, I rather fear it’s the latter. Even so it  required a rare coalition of Sinn Fein, Green and Alliance  to block  the  DUP’s counter move in the Assembly. This is what passes for  our “progressive alliance”.

An Amnesty International report on abortion in the Republic has helped to stimulate wider coverage after the gay marriage referendum. The Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore goes to the nub of the case which is about a  woman’s right to her own  body. The counter argument still prevails, that another life’s rights are also  to be considered and that its future too is the proper  business of society, including males.

If Ireland can have gay marriage, when is it going to legalise abortion? Amnesty is now running a brilliant campaign on this issue. This is absolutely necessary, but what it does is show the glitch in the matrix of liberal thinking. It is easier for people to accept gay marriage than the reproductive rights of women. There is not an easy progression here….

It is as if the fundamental right of women to control our own bodies is still somehow up for negotiation…

The way this is done is by framing abortion as a grave moral issue. Homosexuality used to be framed this way too, as simply wrong, but something has shifted. There used to be an understanding between women and gay men that we were in it together. Some of that has fractured.

But marriage is a way of tying everyone into the system, whereas women’s right to choose is still a threat to it. Let’s face it: a big gay wedding is easier to sell than the relief that so many feel when they have terminated a pregnancy.

So the mark of modernity, of where we are “at” as a society, is not simply whether we “accept” homosexuality: it remains centred on women’s bodily autonomy. The culture wars here, in Ireland and in the US will only be won when those in power “accept” that they have no business in my uterus. Or yours.

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  • whatif1984true

    In Great Britain Abortion is allowable:

    “To save the woman’s life

    To prevent grave permanent injury to the woman’s physical or mental health

    Under 28 weeks to avoid injury to the physical or mental health of the woman

    Under 28 weeks to avoid injury to the physical or mental health of the existing child(ren)

    If the child was likely to be severely physically or mentally handicapped.”

    The 28 weeks has since been lowered to 24 weeks in most cases.

    There were 189,000 abortions per year as of 2009. Women 20-24 are the most likely to have abortions.

    Is it the case that the majority of abortions performed meet the above requirements or taking into account the young age of those pregnant are they simply a method of very late contraception?

    The debate revolves around the “my body, my decision” debate. The biggest conundrum is that nearly three quarters of us do not want the 24 week limit increased. The main reason for this reticence is undoubtedly the thought that at 24 weeks the woman is carrying a baby. So we recognise that after 24 weeks there is a death or that life existed. The debate as to whether life exists before 24 weeks is for some a simple matter for others a matter of expediency and for more of us something in between.

    I cannot reconcile the appetite for abortion with the family celebrations of the announcement of a new pregnancy, the scans, the boy/girl deliberations etc. and all taking place much before the 24 week limit.

    Our societies’ hypocracy is there for all of us to see.

    The whatabouts will shout about the exceptions the sad and horrible exceptions which I sympathise with and which in honesty I would agree with. However those are covered in the ACT (but regrettably in practice it (the Act is ignored).

    THE ACT remember it?
    “To save the woman’s life
    To prevent grave permanent injury to the woman’s physical or mental health
    Under 28 weeks to avoid injury to the physical or mental health of the woman
    Under 28 weeks to avoid injury to the physical or mental health of the existing child(ren)
    If the child was likely to be severely physically or mentally handicapped.”

  • chrisjones2

    “I cannot reconcile the appetite for abortion with the family celebrations of the announcement of a new pregnancy, the scans, the boy/girl deliberations etc. and all taking place much before the 24 week limit.”

    That is your right but the limit is chosen because before that point the foetus is not viable.

    Furthermore….your sentiments are you choice and I respect your right to hold them ….but not to impose your values on others who may be in a desperate situation

  • Granni Trixie

    Brian
    As you Obviously try to keep clued into the local scene I cannot understand why you refer to DF proposal as “feeble” – why even the very word tends to be political suicide in these parts. My understanding of the background to the proposed change in law re FFA is that parents in just this situation sought it,talking to Poots (then minister of health), FM and DF. They also made impassioned pleas in the media to bring home to people the impact of having to go to England for procedures following a Consultants diagnosis of FFA. This type of case is relevant to both health and law and though DF sought cooperation with MInister of Health this did not prove fruitful and DF decided to take action. Despite DUP Minister saying that Guidelines could not be effective given they are based on existing law the new Minister has returned to saying that the remedy is for his dept to produce guidelines (something which has been promised for over 6 years). Professionals are calling out for clarity.

    Although DF is acting in his DOJ role as Alliance leader he had to put his case to Alliance Council who backed his proposal to change the law in respect of this kind of v.narrow case. Let me assure you however that I can’t see there ever being consensus in Alliance to support abortion on demand (though a minority would support that according to their conscience).

    I tend to think abortion is wrong ….applied to myself that is….but I also think that it is ‘wrong’ that because of (man made) law in NI women who can square it with their conscience are compelled to go across the water. This system also appears to me to Impact unduly on women on low incomes which makes it doubly wrong. There is clearly quite a problem to be tackled but little will to address it. I relate this to having such a male dominated government.

    I hope you understand now why I say that DF in doing what he thinks is right is taking quite a risk rather than being “feeble”.

  • chrisjones2

    In this shambolic Executive even feeble and neutered proposals will be thrown our by the right wing religious zealots seeking the pensioner vote in 2016. So when the cause is already lost surely it is better to stand up and be counted and expose their hypocrisy?

    The real solution here lies in England though. I think that the UK Government should make such abortions free at the point fo delivery in England and cross charge the NI Government on the basis of say full cost plus support for patient and travel and say a 50% administration fee.

  • Christopher Mc Camley

    Abortion in Northern Ireland is a criminal act, not a “health service”. The only outrage should be that so many women have killed their own children.

  • chrisjones2

    So is pedophilia. So is the gross emotional and physical abuse being so painfully exposed at the inquiries. And all in the name of Religion.

    I have to say that your arguments might carry more weight had your church not covered all that up while presuming to lecture society on many other issues and mores. Indeed, i seem to recall that many Irish records were spirited away to Rome and Garda were then told that they could not have them as they had applied in the wrong way. Were they ever released? I suspect not

    Abortion in Northern Ireland is indeed a criminal act – a criminal abuse of power by individuals in desperate search for votes from a small but vocal minority at the expense fo the human rights of thousands of women every year

  • Christopher Mc Camley

    Let me know when any of the “points” you’ve raised are relevant to the issue being discussed since I never mentioned the Church.

  • chrisjones2

    No but all your other posts on DIscus seem driven by a strong religious perspective – particularly associated with the more extreme views of the Catholic Church.

    I can understand that you may wish not to major on the Church issue here but it is reasonable, isn’t it, for us reading your posts to understand just where you are coming from. Especially when you so blithely accuse thousands of NI women a year, of whom you know little or nothing, of “killing their children”?

  • Korhomme

    “In the UK Abortion is allowable…”

    No, the 1967 Abortion Act applies to England and Wales, and to Scotland only. It is not applicable to N Ireland.

    In N Ireland, the provisions of the 1861 Act apply, as modified; ‘hard labour’ has been removed from the punishment.

    I asked the DoJ, and a spokesperson replied,

    “The law on abortion in Northern Ireland applies in the same way at whatever stage of gestation. There is no differentiation of legality as regards the method of abortion. It is an offence to have or undertake an abortion at any time, whether by medical or surgical means, unless it is necessary to preserve the life of the woman or there is a risk of real and serious adverse effect on her physical or mental health, which is either long term or permanent.

    There is a summary of the law in chapter 2 of the DOJ consultation document at

    http://www.dojni.gov.uk/index/public-consultations/archive-consultations/consultation-on-abortion-2014.htm.”

    The spokesperson stressed that this information should not be taken as a statement of law. I have permission from the DoJ to quote from their email.

    The prohibition in the 1861 Act is absolute; the ‘preserve the life…risk of real and serious adverse effect on her physical health, which is either long term or permanent’ comes from a judicial pronouncement based on a different law—a ‘clash of laws’ if you like.

    ‘Preserve the life’, ‘real and serious’, and ‘long term or permanent’ are much more stringent conditions than in the 1967 Act.

  • kensei

    This bit stuns me:

    The way this is done is by framing abortion as a grave moral issue. Homosexuality used to be framed this way too, as simply wrong, but something has shifted. There used to be an understanding between women and gay men that we were in it together. Some of that has fractured.

    Whatever your opinion on abortion, if you can’t see the moral distinction between gay marriage and abortion, and why it is a much harder moral issue, your whole compass is busted beyond repair.

  • guest3

    Jezus Chris I agree I with you for once

  • Brian Walker

    Thanks Granni. I see you’re a bit in two minds, which is an entirely understandable position if I may say so. But I rather think you yourself give the justification for “feeble” towards the end of your comment, With 80%+ of abortions in England taking place before 10 weeks, I think the arguments for abortion ” on demand” are unanswerable in public policy.

    There seems to be quite a lot of support for it for rape and incest , though probably not yet a majority for on demand ..But once again, the politicians hang back because of religion which – sorry if you disagree – is such a substitute for intelligent thought in Northern Ireland and more of a curse than a real comfort.

    They’re entitled to their views of course but to invoke religious belief as a reason for public policy is becoming increasingly untenable. Abortion is one of the last citadels. I think it’ll fall in my life time { and i’m getting on..)

    I see massed ranks of complacent sexist reactionaries stuffed full of bigotry and buns. Abortion in NI is one of those subjects that really gets me going..

  • Deke Thornton

    The ‘issue’ is only really about medical abortion procedures after 9 weeks as ‘abortion’ pills are readily available (legally- and I doubt there will be a challenge) to purchase online-just google them. There is no way to police the internet even if the pills were made illegal. Certain other *medical assistance* (ahem) pills are widely advertised. Even after 9 weeks, the consumer can simply present themselves at A&E and the NHS is legally bound to help. Win-Win!

  • Korhomme

    Granni T; a thought experiment. If you could, if you had the power, would you introduce an Abortion Act in N Ireland similar to the British 1967 Act?

    BTW, when you say ‘man made’, do you mean that literally, as law made by male humans, or an ‘artificial’ law?

  • Korhomme

    Using such pills in N Ireland is illegal. (See my earlier reply.)

  • Korhomme

    What is the moral connection between gay marriage and abortion? Isn’t it obvious?

  • Granni Trixie

    Just a wee,probably badly made, joke/dig In exasperation at the overwhelming
    Numbers of men in charge…in this case of changing laws which impact largely on women (though I do accept that men as fathers can be affected too).

  • JohnTheOptimist

    “In the Indy, London-based Siobhan Fenton has been combing the statistics just out, to find that that 828 women who had abortions in England and Wales last year gave Northern Ireland addresses and 3754 were recorded as coming from the Republic. Almost certainly these figures are an underestimate, the real NI figure being around 2000, according to local estimates.”

    Can you supply any evidence for this claim? I am not dismissing it out of hand, but I have seen no evidence to back up the frequently-repeated claim that the actual number of abortions on NI (and ROI) women is 2.5 to 3 times the published figure. If the claim was true, I find it hard to believe that the abortion industry would not by now have produced conclusive proof of such. The abortion industry has, of course, a vested interest in bumping up the figures.

    Even if the 2,000 figure was true (unlikely), that would still leave N. Ireland’s abortion rate about one-quarter that of mainland UK. That is something of which both communities should be proud.

  • Granni Trixie

    Brian
    Bear in mind that my ‘two minds’ divide quite neatly into one for myself and more broadly for others situations. I am not guided by religious views but I suppose by values hence I am cautious, mindful of the slippery slope argument. I have had close association with children with disabilities which definitely informs my pro life stance.
    I suppose the bottom line for me is that I could live with abortion in clearly defined circumstances in NI but not on demand for any old reason so I could not support the 67 Abortion Act in NI. But I certainly agree that if there is to be abortion in NI I would want a system which makes it “easy” to get one as early as possible, under 10 weeks as you say.

  • JohnTheOptimist

    One hundred years from now, when European civilisation is a memory, and large parts of it belong to The Caliphate, historians will look back and conclude that the liberal elites who ruled Europe in the early 21st century were completely out of their minds.

    By far the biggest crisis in Europe is its demographic collapse. Fertility rates are miles below replacement rate in almost all European countries and falling rapidly, with central, eastern and southern Europe being worst hit. The situation in Ireland (both parts) is nowhere near as bad just yet, but is heading in the same direction. The early manifestations of the fertility collapse is unprecedentedly-rapid population ageing. Currently, some 20% of the European population are aged 65 plus (in Ireland, 12%, thanks to its low abortion rates up to now). But, this is projected by Eurostat to reach 35% within 25 years, and 40 per cent a decade after that. Such an increase in the non-working healthcare-needing elderly population will blow apart Europe’s bloated welfare systems. The later manifestations of the fertility collapse will be rapid and accelerating population decline. Eurostat predicts the populations of Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania to all fall by around 40% between now and 2080, while north-west Europe will be following a similar trajectory but 10-20 years behind. And the decline won’t be stopping in 2080. That’s simply as far ahead as Eurostat projects.

    The European liberal elites response to this demographic collapse is (a) elevation of homosexuality to cult status (b) industrial abortion. As I say, historians one hundred years from now will conclude they were out of their minds.

  • Korhomme

    Oh I got that; and there were no women in parliament for 60 years after the 1861 Act was passed; whatever else, it can be seen as ‘patriarchy’ and ‘control of women’.

    Even if the abortion scene in England seems to be ‘on demand’ today, this wasn’t the intention of the 1967 Act.

  • Korhomme

    “That is something of which both communities should be proud.”

    Why, exactly?

  • Deke Thornton

    Yeah, so is Viagra, and driving over 70 on a motorway. I’d like to see the PSNI dare prosecute someone for this ‘offence’. It would never make court and you know it.

  • whatif1984true

    Apologies I have corrected it to read Great Britain.

  • Brian Walker

    what really gets me is not so much opposition to abortion as such. I understand the point of view that says the development of human life should not be interrupted right from the instant of conception. But this is an opinion based on individual conscience – abortion should not be compulsory obviously – not a matter of public policy, The courts by requiring government to give information on abortion recognises the distinction.

  • james

    Under The Caliphate, hmm? Wouldn’t put it past SF to try to broker a deal with the Jihadists to get Ireland recognised as one complete, integral piece just before the tsunami…. I cannot see IS or whatever future manifestation of it holding it together for long enough to take Europe, mind. As to the future of Europe, who knows? Perhaps Poland will rise up and rule the continent?

  • Korhomme

    No problem 🙂

  • Korhomme

    You can Viagra from the GP, though only 8 pills per month (rationing!). Go too fast on the M1 and the cops will come down on you.

  • whatif1984true

    There is the difference. Its not killing you say because of viability. Any baby cannot survive by itself outside the womb irrespective of its number of weeks of gestation. Many older people(dementia)/severely ill people cannot exist as viable humans. They are protected because their faces are seen, in abortion the face is never seen.
    How many abortions took place when viability was possible. How many below 24 weeks might survive. If it is 1 in 1000, you condemn that 1 child?
    It is facile to miss the point that abortion is no longer provided solely for the circumstances originally prescribed. How shocked would the general public have been if there had been 189,000 abortions in 1969. People have got ‘used’ to the level. What more can society get used to.
    In the light of births now being very acceptable outside wedlock, one can only presume that the desperate situation of pregnancy is one of ‘desperate inconvenience’for the vast majority.
    Abortion in Great Britain every year exceeds the total number of all nursery and Primary children in Northern Ireland. Abortion is most definitely desperate.

  • Deke Thornton

    You need to get out more on the M1. It’s not illegal to buy the abortion pills, from elsewhere in the UK even. So it’s a wrap. The PSNI cannot prosecute you. The NHS has to treat you if you use them. Even after 9/10 weeks. That’s de facto legal abortion if not de Jure. I doubt the people involved give a damn about the medieval assembly.

  • chrisjones2

    Yes….lets out-breed the Muslims!!!!

    Dear Lord, is this the best you have to offer. Its quality not quantity that counts espeiclaly as robotics rises and in 100 years the Robots may well be by far the bigger danger

  • chrisjones2

    You interpretation of viability is specious. The child below 24 weeks is not viable. The 1 in a thousand could be saved argument is worse as it ignores the risk to the mother.

    But in the end it comes back to the point you shy away from addressing. Its the woman’s body and her right to choose

  • chrisjones2

    Shocking innit

  • Granni Trixie

    Any rationale for 8?

  • chrisjones2

    ….and you ignore that Doctors have to certify that those conditions apply.

    Their judgement counts. You are attempting to substitute yours.

  • chrisjones2

    Are some of those not designed to prevent a fertilized egg implanting rather than aborting an egg that has implanted?

  • JohnTheOptimist

    I suggest that you read this for a starter:

    http://spectator.org/articles/36238/europe-demographic-denial

    The reality is that Europe’s long decline into global insignificance has already started. You might have noticed that Europe is now in more or less permanent economic crisis. This is only an early symptom of the problems collapsing demographics will bring. As the old song goes ‘Things can only get worse’. Europe is aborting away its future.

  • Korhomme

    Viagra is available on the NHS for certain medical conditions, so there must be a cost element; there are potential side effects, so I imagine that ‘8’ is a compromise, a ‘balance’.

  • Korhomme

    It is illegal to use the pills to procure an abortion. Suppose someone bought the pills and announced to the PSNI that she intended to take them, would she be prosecuted? Would there be a ‘public interest’ in this?

  • chrisjones2

    Brexit time then

  • Biftergreenthumb

    What a bizarre rant. Very entertaining though. I think this is the first attempt I’ve come across at justifying rightwing lunatic views on homosexuality, abortion, liberal elites, and Islam all at once by appealing to declining population rather than god. A valiant effort but not sure you correct regarding who is “out of their minds”.

    “Currently, some 20% of the European population are aged
    65 plus (in Ireland, 12%, thanks to its low abortion rates up to now).”

    What reason do you have for believing that the fact that the % of people over 65 in Ireland is below the rest of Europe is due to “low abortion rates”?

    “The European liberal elites response to this demographic
    collapse is (a) elevation of homosexuality to cult status (b) industrial
    abortion. As I say, historians one hundred years from now will conclude they
    were out of their minds.”

    Seriously? Homosexuality has been elevated to “cult status” and abortions are being carried out on an industrial level?
    Describing the changing attitudes to homosexuality and abortion as a response to demographic collapse is completely ridiculous. In what possible sense could the liberalisation of attitudes be seen as a “response” to “demographic collapse.” Being respectful of people different from yourself has nothing to do with an aging population.

  • Korhomme

    Legally, an abortion requires a fertilized ovum to be implanted in the uterus. Preventing implantation therefore, in the eyes of the law, is not abortion and the pills are not abortifacients.

    However, I understand that the ‘morning after’ pills do not work in this way, rather they delay or prevent ovulation. If ovulation has occurred, these pills can have no effect.

    Implantation takes place soon after fertilization of the ovum, and before the woman is likely to think herself pregnant.

  • Spike

    But anyone who has an abortion is ”killing their children” or is murder in NI only labelled such if green kills orange and vice versa?

  • Spike

    Abortion is murder. End of. Of course there are horrible stories out there and im sure very sensible reasons of why it should be allowed but at the end of the day a human being has been created (one of our basic human instincts is to procreate after all), and we are allowing the termination of that life. It is cognitive whether it can survive outside the womb or not. Whether its 3 weeks old or 39 1/2 weeks old the baby has rights. Whats next after this? Infanticide, assisted suicide, killing people with dementia, put down anyone with terminal illness, kill anyone on benefits????? Sensationalist I know but once we deliberately start murdering our most vulnerable citizens then we’ve crossed the line and theres no way back as subconsciously we have given ourselves a ‘get out clause’ for the future and difficult moments. Believe me when I say I don’t treat this lightly, as it is an extremely emotive and personal subject. but if you are pro-abortion and then proceed to squabble about the rights and wrongs of loyalist and republican killings, then you are unfortunately, the most hypocritical of creatures.

  • Christopher Mc Camley

    I like to discuss issues. Does abortion change its character because some priest somewhere abused a child? Is abortion no longer a crime because my previous posts show an interest in religious matters?
    As you say paedophilia is a crime – well, the actions are. Does the fact that it happens and that abuse is so widespread mean that we should decriminalise it? Because that would seem to be the logic of the pro-abortion campaigners – “2,000 women had abortions therefore we should make it legal”.
    Every year there are thousands of of rapes, murders, assaults, burglaries in Northern Ireland. Should we conclude that they should all be legalised? Is the prevalence of a crime the sign that it ought to be legalised?

  • chrisjones2

    “Whether its 3 weeks old or 39 1/2 weeks old the baby has rights”

    Says who?

    “our most vulnerable citizens”

    Who says they are citizens?

  • chrisjones2

    They haven’t become children yet. This is the ‘every sperm is sacred’ school of thought

  • Spike

    The first baby scan should confirm everything you should have known already

  • Spike

    I do, but then again its not up to me or you to decide whether it lives or dies. I can already guess where the euthanasia discussion will eventually go to

  • Korhomme

    Murder is the unlawful killing of someone with malice aforethought.

    In GB, abortion in certain circumstances is not illegal, therefore it can’t be murder. Further, the ‘with malice aforethought’ condition doesn’t really apply, does it?

  • Deke Thornton

    Yep, the pills are easily available. And, in themselves, not illegal.
    The PSNI wouldn’t dare take a case and neither would the PPC. The internet has made the law archaic in lots of ways. It’s still illegal to gamble on a Sunday in NI. So if I do a punt on Betfair and announce this to a passing constable-what do you think their reaction would be? Same with abortion by pills.

  • Spike

    Well sure if the state ‘law’ says it isn’t murder then it must not be. The doctor merely slipped and fell into the woman by accident, subsequently causing her to kill the child. These accidents happen a lot…in clinics. …who are paid by the government

  • Korhomme

    I wasn’t getting specifically at you, Spike.

    I don’t see how any discussion about abortion is helped by emotional (and inaccurate) language.

  • whatif1984true

    One and one makes three.
    I don’t shy away from your point in fact I agree with it under certain circumstances (see above) I do not however agree that those circumstances prevail in the majority of cases.
    The majority of abortions are healthy young women your point about risk does not apply. I have no stats on that just commonsense. Would you dare to even guesstimate what percentage of abortions take place because of risk to the mother.
    If (and I am not proposing it) Capital punishment still existed, is it not the case that a pregnant woman is exempt due to her baby, so what has changed. You are advocating that in the above the woman would not be exempt ‘as it is her body’.

  • whatif1984true

    You truly believe that the Abortion Act criteria is strictly observed?

  • Spike

    No worries, I didn’t think you were. The law is an ass …..on certain matters

  • cu chulainn

    The demographic collapse reflects a society that does not see any value in reproducing itself so that it can continue, the devaluation of marriage and abortion are simply symptoms of this.

  • chrisjones2

    ” a society that does not see any value in reproducing ”

    Utter tripe I am afraid. All the evidence is that as societies grow richer and better educated birth rates drop

  • chrisjones2

    So morning after pills are legal in NI

  • chrisjones2

    So at what point do they become a child?

    And what do you do about the FFA cases?

  • chrisjones2

    “I have no stats on that just commonsense.”

    ie you are substituting your supposition for the clinical judgement of Doctors who have seen them.

    And capital punishment does not exist but even where it does the position varies

    http://www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org/women.cfm

    but so what?

  • Korhomme

    Yes, available from the chemists.

  • Spike

    Probably at the same time as they can be killed. FFA,while heartbreaking, is still murdering a human

  • terence patrick hewett

    Yes Spike: abortion is either murder or it is not. Everything else is froth.

    And I believe it is very much murder.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Nonsense. Birth rates are dropping because of modern efficient means of birth control.

    Abortion is a morally tricky issue but to claim, as JohnTheOptimist does, that it is the cause of an aging population is ridiculous. The number of abortions compared to the population is negligible.

    We ween’t talking about the devaluation of marrige but since you bring it up in what sense is allowing gay people to marry devaluing it? Surely gay people wanting to get married is a sign of its value?

  • whatif1984true

    How about the fact that the abortion requires 2 doctors and it is not uncommon for the second not to have seen the mother? Is it then an illegal act or just something we all have to act as ‘custom and practice’.

  • whatif1984true

    Rape and Incest are pretty horrible to even consider. Any idea how many of the 189,000 abortions per annum in GB are due to these type of acts?

  • Korhomme

    The law doesn’t require both doctors to examine the woman, just to offer an opinion. Similarly, cremation certification needs the signature of two doctors, the second need not have seen the remains.

  • whatif1984true

    Does that mean the Doctor need not speak to nor see the woman (which is what I meant).

  • Korhomme

    I’ve never had to ‘certify’ abortions, so I can’t answer from experience. But it sounds as if the second Dr need not see or examine the woman, only (perhaps) to hear the view of the first Dr who did; legally, it seems to be a matter of ‘opinion’ but the law doesn’t prescribe how this opinion must be reached. You could certainly reach an opinion just from the fact that the woman attends a clinic that provides abortions.

  • whatif1984true

    Which proves to me that the law is only paid lip service and abortion has become a casual matter. An opinion on an opinion is unprofessional and lazy. I do not doubt that the second doctor even if he saw the woman would still agree. Why disagree, 189,000 x2 consultations suggest disagreeing is not going to have any sway.
    Its a scenario that rings true to me and I’m sure others. It is the commonplace ordinariness of it that distresses us even more.

  • Korhomme

    What you say may well be the de facto position; I do not know. I’m sure that medical practitioners follow the letter of the law.

    But you are distressed; why? In what way does a woman having an abortion affect you? It may well affect your sensibilities, your feelings, but what physical ill effects have you suffered? But while you are distressed, why should such distress translate into the prohibition for others? Is it more important that your distress outweighs their distress? Those who have had an abortion may well feel distressed by your views, yet I doubt that they would require you to recant. Why are your views so superior to theirs that you expect them to do as you wish?

  • cu chulainn

    “Utter tripe”, no less. Yet as you yourself point out as societies become richer they lose interest in reproducing themselves.

  • cu chulainn

    As birth control is so good there should be no need for abortion.

  • Deke Thornton

    It’s a wrap. If you don’t want a condom, take the pill. Simple.

  • Carl Mark

    In society’s with a high infant mortality rate and high poverty people have more children for several reasons.
    Lack of birth control,
    lack of education,
    High death rates among pre adolescent children.
    A common saying is ” One son is no sons, two sons is half a son, three sons is a son”
    as education , child survival rate improving, and access to birth control all improve, the birth rate drops.
    all this has been well documented.
    Society’s as they grow richer do not lose interest in reproduction (that is a bizarre claim ) they chose use their resources to bring one or two children up with the advantages of better health, education and better chances in life than a dozen in poverty.

  • cu chulainn

    This is an explanation, not a refutation of my point. If two people bring up one child then the population declines and society declines.

  • Carl Mark

    I don’t know if you have noticed but there are a awful lot of us chasing less and less resources, society will not decline if there a few less of us, if will quite possibly collapse if there are too many of us.

  • whatif1984true

    I am just one person and it is my opinion. I do not think anyone will not have an abortion because of my opinion. Distress is not necessarily a physical effect.
    I do not believe the letter of the Law is followed nor do I believe that those who are supposed to police it care.
    FGM is present in huge numbers and is illegal yet do we hear of anyone being prosecuted or Doctors doing anything to protect the children who are victims of FGM.
    Doctors are as likely to go along with even the most terrible things as anyone, they are afraid of the consequences (to their careers) of putting their head above the parapet. I appreciate there are many who would take action but my sense is that they are in the minority.
    Look at bad surgeons with high death rates, failing hospitals, problems which are scandalous but the Doctors did not take action. I place abortion practices in the same type of scenario.
    Doctors as a profession are not the only baddies it is just that professionals tend to look after each other a ‘there but for the grace of god go I’…
    Teachers are the same, also in denial about bad teachers, they close ranks. Despite the really bad results in so parts of the educational system there were less than 20 teachers sacked in the last decade. “Schools Minister Nick Gibb showed
    that in the period from 2001 to 2011 just 17 of England’s 400,000 teachers were struck off for ‘professional incompetence’.”

  • james

    I think you are overlooking rape in that equation.

  • james

    Friday night/Sunday mornin’

  • cu chulainn

    Things such as morning after pills and so forth exist which did not exist in the past.

  • cu chulainn

    Our society will not exist and the resources will be consumed anyway. All the flegs, bombs and so on was hardly worth it if you just did out.

  • james

    Certainly. But in many cases, probably all cases, I doubt whether the victim can casually cut through the psychological and physical trauma to just pop down to the chemist’s and grab a box. This isn’t meant to sound flippant in any way, but you should not discount the fact that in a lot of cases the window of opportunity for the morning after pill will be missed.

  • Carl Mark

    I think you need to go and take your meds, your rambling.