Friday 30 September 2016

'Pro-abortionists' are aggressive, deluded and lacking in empathy

Barbara McCarthy

Published 21/09/2016 | 02:30

A pro-abortion supporter holds up a placard in front of the gates of the Irish Parliament building during a 2013 demonstration. Photo: Getty
A pro-abortion supporter holds up a placard in front of the gates of the Irish Parliament building during a 2013 demonstration. Photo: Getty

I won't be joining the #repealthe8th-ers at the pro-choice march in Dublin on Saturday because I'd feel like a phony. I'm not a card-carrying, jumper-wearing member of the 'pro-abortion' lobby and I'm finding myself less so as each day passes.

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They are what the pro-lifers were in the 70s and 80s - aggressive, lacking in empathy, deluded, and condescending. I shall elaborate - aggressive in their blanket dismissal of opinions that don't match theirs, apathetic in their feelings towards the unborn child, deluded in the fact that they think a right to abortion has something to do with 1916 among others things, and condescending of 'Catholic ideologist idiots' who don't follow their mantra.

Exaggeration has also been rampant in recent weeks. The earth-shattering story where a counsellor in a Dublin clinic warned an undercover reporter that she could get breast cancer from having an abortion made headlines. An organisation with direct links to a Catholic anti-abortion group, which is unregulated by Irish law, saying abortions could be dangerous - well I never. An online newspaper called the street where the clinic is housed a 'street of shame'. An entire street, no less.

Liberals and group-thinkers are losing their collective minds. I think a lot of it is due to the fact that many of the repealers weren't around during the last referendum in 1983, otherwise they would have been afflicted with chronic taedium vitae brought on by 'I can't believe we're still talking about abortions 33 years later' syndrome.

If a woman has an abortion and regrets it in 20 years' time, where will the pro-choicers be? I don't understand how a bunch of strangers, who know nothing about someone's personal situation, have the right to manipulate on either side. Women who have abortions because of sexual abuse, foetal abnormality or other health concerns should never have to travel abroad. Women who don't have the financial means should never have to have a backstreet abortion.

I'm neither Catholic, nor anti-abortion, but I find it strange that pro-abortionists - that's what I call them because 'choice' doesn't seem to be on their agenda - can get behind the ending of a human life with such fervour. I had my head bitten off recently when I said I felt sorry for the baby that was aborted into a bin in Northern Ireland.

One journalist recently wrote: "I had an abortion. It's normal." I don't think it should be sold as thus. What if, say, you're 28, about to travel around the world with a friend, and you get pregnant after a one-night stand. Your friends and society will tell you it's OK to have an abortion. It is all about your rights after all. Then 10 years later, your friends all have kids and you don't. Do they care that they talked you into it all those years ago? Probably not.

I fear that more people will have abortions as a result of a possible 'yes' vote and as I am no longer in my 20s, I am better poised to comment on the negative effects of them. When you're 23, you know everything and think you'll be young forever. By 40, all that changes. At that stage, a large percentage of people hope and pray they'll have a baby, rather than get rid of one. Not everyone obviously, but more than would admit it publicly.

Rather than all shout at once, why not examine the fact that more than 100,000 women had abortions between 1994 and 2014 even though clearly pregnancy is the last thing they wanted. Is it down to lack of education, financial means, alcohol?

Unprotected sex, possibly with strangers, means people are putting themselves at risk. According to figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there have been around 7,000 STI cases so far this year, a 13.8pc increase on last year, and 326 cases of HIV, 71 more than last year. Syphilis, which was reduced to negligible levels in the 80s and 90s, is now beginning to re-appear. Having abortions accessible in Ireland won't necessarily change those statistics, it may even increase them. In 2014, 5.2pc of pregnancies in Ireland ended in abortion, while in Spain it was 18pc, and 21pc in England, where abortions are legal.

Young women and men need to be educated properly at school and college, starting with properly taught biology class and access to free condoms, which could be available through sponsored initiatives.

Once a woman is pregnant, she is unwillingly thrust into a situation where fear prevails. No doubt the idea of becoming a single parent is awful for many women. Not only do they get an allowance of just €30 more per week on top of €188 social welfare, but the housing crisis, créche fees and possible problems in the parental home are all good reasons to put them off. But being a single parent is not always as bad as people fear and once the baby arrives, it can be wonderful.

By their very nature, abortions require quick decision-making and it's important for mothers and fathers, who count too by the way, to have as much information as possible should the situation arise.

I also think people who feel empathy towards an aborted foetus, or a baby as I like to call it, should not be ridiculed for exercising free speech. If someone doesn't get why people have abortions, deal with it.

We were once, unless I am very much mistaken, foetuses after all.

Irish Independent

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