6 reasons why YOU should be Pro-Choice

Date:

Here's 6 reasons why you should support the decriminalization of abortion and the pro-choice position.

(1) Banning abortion does not end the need for it and does not stop it from happening:

While abortion is a criminal offence on this island (Ireland) punishable by up to 14 years in prison in the South and life imprisonment in the North our abortion rate here is the same as that of England's where abortion is readily available.

Pregnant people have been self-aborting for hundreds of years and the history of the abortion rights movement is plagued with tragic stories of the deaths of scared women, non-binary folk and trans men caused by unsafe, illegal abortions, many of them self-administered. Which leads onto the second point.

(2) When abortion is illegal pregnant people die:

It has nearly been three years since Savita Halappanavar was murdered by the Irish state. At 17 weeks pregnant Savita found out that she was miscarrying and repeatedly asked for an abortion (which would have saved her live) but she was denied this request as the doctors told her that Ireland "is a catholic country", as a result she developed septicaemia, from which she died.

Globally 47,000 women a year die from unsafe illegal abortions; abortions either happening in an underground abortion clinic or a self-administered abortion. Pursuing a policy that is responsible for the deaths of 47,000 women is simply not "pro-life".

(3) The current law is especially oppressive to those who cannot afford to travel or those who cannot travel for legal reasons:

14 people leave this island everyday to avail of an abortion in England (not taking into account other abortion destinations across the globe that they may visit).

If someone cannot even afford a plane ticket and the price of the abortion how could they possibly raise a child? Forcing people to travel, adding an extra obstacle to someone in a crisis pregnancy can simply be summed up as class warfare.

If someone can't even afford an abortion how are they meant to afford a child?

(4) There is currently a woman on trial for supplying her daughter with the Early Medical Abortion pill:

The current law allows for the government to try to make an example out of those who have helped someone to have an abortion. People are criminalised for looking after themselves or for looking after another.

(5) People know what is best for themselves:

When we are talking about an issue that has a direct affect on someone's life it's pretty clear that they are going to be the best people to decide for themselves what is best for them.

Denying someone a choice over their life implys that they cannot be trusted to make decisions for themselves.

(6) Bodily autonomy should be an irrevocable right:

As soon as someone becomes pregnant in countries where abortion is illegal they are stripped of their bodily autonomy.

Bodily autonomy is the reason why you must be asked to consent before you donate blood - even if your blood would save someone's live you still hold the right to withhold your blood, the same is true with organ donations. Even when you die, unless you have previously consented your organs cannot be taken.

Yet, upon pregnancy, someone loses decision making power over their body and that power is handed over to the law.

Even within the maternity system only 50% of patients have the opportunity to give informed consent to interventions and procedures carried out upon them in labour and birth. Not to mention that only 1 in 2 women have the opportunity to refuse procedures carried out upon their own bodies in labour and birth.

**Bonus reason #7**

Introducing abortion doesn't mean that you have to have one! It's really quite simple, if you don't like abortion, don't have one!

WORDS: Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird

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