On Friday, The Republic of Ireland will vote on whether or not to repeal the 8th amendment. This is a piece of legislation from the1980s which acknowledges the ‘right to life of the unborn’, guaranteeing a fetus ‘equal rights’ to the pregnant person carrying it. This means that terminating a pregnancy in the island of Ireland is effectively illegal in all circumstances. Many travel to the England and Wales for termination with more illegally obtaining pills online (IFPA).
Abortions are requested for many reasons. To me the individual reasons are not important. Your body, your choice.
Broadly speaking, terminations are either medical (tablets are given to make entrance to the womb open and the uterus contract) or surgical (instruments are used to remove the products of conception from the womb).
The body that regulates doctors in the UK who perform such procedures has this to say:
‘Abortion is a safe procedure for which major complications and mortality are rare.’
‘Women with an unintended pregnancy… are no more or less likely to suffer adverse psychological sequelae whether they have an abortion or continue with the pregnancy and have the baby.’
Nevertheless, the abortion act of 1967 does not extend to Northern Ireland. Even within it’s borders, these citizens of the United Kingdom must travel to England or Wales to access abortion care.
From my home in England I’ve been watching the ‘Yes’ campaign, mainly through the medium of twitter. I wish all of those who want greater freedom and reproductive rights luck on Friday and hope that their hard work is rewarded.
REFERENCES FOR IMAGE:
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion. Evidence-based Clinical Guideline 7. London: RCOG Press; 2011