oh. dear god.

look, i’m going to say straight of that this is about abortion.
it’s not really a pro-choice thread. it’s just me being very very upset because of something a friend told me.

here we go.
my friend jimmy is working as a junior doctor. at the moment he’s working in his Gynaecology rotation.
now, bear in mind, this is Northern Ireland.
Abortion Is Illegal.
it costs about £300 for a private abortion in england, plus travel expenses etc.

we were out last week and i asked him how he was finding the work, he told me it was ok, apart from this one case.

a girl had gone to her doctor after inducing an abortion by swallowing her father’s ulcer medication.
after 3 days of pain and severe bleeding she finally decides to bite the bullet and see her GP.
basically she’s in serious medical difficulty, will probably never have children, and has got a severe infection, as well as suffering post-operative complications from the emergency D&C.
she’s 15.
now, i’m not in favour of abortion (who, in all honesty is?) but i DO think that it should be safe, legal and freely available, to those who want it.

because one desperate 15 year old who nearly died because she couldn’t afford to have an abortion, and couldn’t bear to tell her parents she was pregnant, is one too many.

now, you can flame away;
flame me, flame that poor girl, flame all the pro-choicers, because i can’t stop you.
but please understand that making abortion illegal and hard to get does NOT stop it happening. it just does more damage this way.

I’m not going to flame you. I think I pretty much feel as you do. I’m not in favor of abortion, as I believe life begins at conception. But I don’t believe such an intensely PRIVATE matter is one for PUBLIC legislation based on what are essentially MY spiritual beliefs. You are absolutely right, it’s going to happen anyway and it would truly be better if it could be safe. A former US vice-presidential candidate, speaking in TV debate, said, when asked about his position on abortion “I believe that what a woman does with her body is her business, period.”

I get into this with my friends from time to time, who think I’m being hypocritical for calling myself a Christian and pro-choice in the same breath.

I love life and support it, but it’s situation exactly like the one described in the OP why I believe the government should stay the hell out of abortion matters. I’ve always said, legal or not, abortions are going to happen. Now they can either happen under supervised clean conditions with a doctor, or they can happen in a back alley. Fear drives people to do things without clearly thinking things through.

BTW - is sex education taught there? This is something else I strongly believe in. As much as it’s the parents’ responsibility to teach their children about personal matters like that, we all know not every parent is responsible enough to take that on. (Nothing against the parents of the girl in the OP, I’m speaking in general here.)


Sex education, sex education, sex education, YES.

I do think they need to be legal, safe and rare-safe being the key term.

Abortion isn’t something new-from what I understand, it was only illegal originally because it WAS very dangerous.

But so’s childbirth.

I hope they don’t come after you with the torches, Irishgirl, but I’m with you.

This pretty much states my stance as well. The more militant “Pro-lifers” would actually like us to believe that there are people who are “anti-life”. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a choice (and a horribly difficult one) that some people are compelled to make… and they should be allowed to make it for themselves.

Sad story. What’s really sad is that there are worse stories out there - suicides and attempted suicides, because the twin shames of pregnancy and abortion seemed worse than death in the girl’s mind.

Anyway, the real reason I’m posting is a question … this happened in Northern Ireland, and not the Republic? I would have thought the abortion laws would be consistent throughout the UK. I mean, what legislature outlawed abortion in Northern Ireland…?

That states my stance perfectly. Anti-abortion philosophically, but realistic enough to see how some can see it as the lesser of two evils.

Maybe here is not the place to re-open this particular wound, but NI is the only part of the UK where abortion is not legal. Strangely, however, there are even some people who live there who do not realise this so don’t feel bad Boris.

This is a terribly sad story, and is typical of the evidence presented in Parliament when abortion was legalised in Great Britain in 1967.

Of course I agree with what you’ve all said. The only other comments I could add are:

  1. My one remaining reservation about abortion is that it’s increasingly used as a retroactive form of contraception, and there is no need or justification for this state of affairs.

  2. There are people out there crazy enough to disagree with all the sensible comments posted here so far. In Darcus Howe’s documentary on C4 last Wednesday about British attitudes to sex (don’t know if you caught it irishgirl?) there was a scene of some hardline fundies, in Scotland actually, who had taken to the streets with a slogan “Sex Education is Child Abuse”. You couldn’t make it up :(.

Well, there are several stupid acts in that story. Most of them committed by the 15 year old girl.

I have no problem with legal abortion, but it is a decision that a child’s parents should still be involved in (a parent should know any time their child undergoes a medical procedure, however minor). So, if a properly running system for abortions were in place, I imagine she still wouldn’t have used it, because she wouldn’t have been willing to have her parents know.

This was not an abortion problem, it was a family problem. And it was a behavioral problem for the girl. It is not that difficult to avoid becoming pregnant, and once pregnant, it isn’t that difficult to avoid self-mutilation.

I don’t blame abortion laws, I blame a girl who behaved very stupidly.

That said, I’m pro-choice.

Obfusciatrist is right on the money, yet again.

Even accepting that abortion itself should be legal, I cannot accept that a fifteen-year-old should make unilateral choices as regards surgery.

The tragedy is this case is a foolish fifteen-year-old, not the illegality of the medical procedure she wanted.

  • Rick

Where “pro-choice” means “I support the right to abortion in some cases”?

He didn’t say that. He said that he would blame the girl, not the laws. I saw nothing about whether or not those laws were correct. He didn’t say that the state was correct in not allowing abortion. He said that it’s not the state’s fault that the girl got pregnant in the first place. Which is true.

Not to hijack this thread, but this is one major reason that I find myself increasingly diverging from the American political Left, having once been a raving liberal. There is no personal responsibility anymore. Everyone’s a victim. Nobody’s to blame because god(s) forbid that we scar the poor individual’s psyche by holding hir accountable for hirs actions.

I’m pro-choice, but anti-abortion, like others in this thread. The goal is to make abortion legal, safe, and rare. I hate to see abortion used as a form of retroactive birth control, not because of any religious beliefs, but because using it that way short-circuits the responsibility/consequences cycle. I guess I am morally opposed to it in that sense, but it’s definitely not a religious thing.

jayjay (donning his asbestos clothing (or gay apparel, take your pick))

Boris, the U.K.'s 1967 Abortion Act (making abortion generally legal in the country) was never extended to Northern Ireland by the choice of the N.I. Parliament sitting at the time. Nowadays many people feel there would be popular support to extend the Act, but people in the North don’t really choose their representative over issues like this.

It is said that Ireland (both parts) has been able to ignore the abortion question because of the relative ease with which its women can travel to Britain to obtain them. From here in the Republic it’s estimated (based upon records kept by British clinics) to be around 6,000 women a year. Still the only debate here is whether or not to make it legal for women to abort if they’re seriously threatening to kill themselves if they can’t :rolleyes:

Am I the only one who saw (and loved) The Cider House Rules?

Nope, Saw the film, thought it was a great, touching movie. I should probably go read the book though.

That being said, I disagree with several folks in this thread. In any case where a 15-year-old is having sex, and would rather risk her life than talk to her parents about a pregnancy, her folks shouldn’t be involved in her decision to have surgery.

If they were sensible people, they would have made sure she was prepared enough to handle having sex without getting pregnant, and would have been able to offer her support since she did get knocked up.

I’m no lawyer, but I recall when I was a minor that there was no legal right to inform parents if a child was in hospital for less than 24 hours. I know this *encouraged * several of my friends who’d been irresponsible to seek medical help.

And since this is the Pit, I guess I can’t really ask for a cite about abortion increasingly becoming retroactive birth control.

I agree, as long as they don’t get stuck with the bill, either.

In south africa we have the Termination of pregnancy act where abortions on request are performed for free by the state up to about 14 weeks, even if the woman is a minor. In fact, a child of 12 can get an abortion on demand without her parents’ consent.
But - student doctors and state hospital workers ie. midwives, nurses are exercising their right NOT to perform these procedures and although they’ve got the training and facilities , availability of services isn’t translating into delivery - so to speak.
It seems the problem is more difficult because ppl’s attitudes will affect the support or rejection of a decision .
My medical ethics prof said that what’s legal might not be moral and I really think it is as simple as that.
However - I do agree with the fact that people have the right to do with their own bodies what they will so long as no harm is done to another person.
However - that opens up a whole other can of worms about who decides when life starts etc and when foetuses should be afforded rights given to ppl who live outside the uterus.
Still - I am pro-choice but would never perform an abortion on anybody - if you can understand that.

im in favour of abortion…

why, because i see the arguments in favour of abortion win over the arguments against abortion. every single word in favour of anti-abortion has been counter argued better by favour-abortion.

the most important argument is of course the life and death of one small child. i belive it isnt correct asking when life starts or is this murder…

there are more lives at stakes here, the mothers, the fathers, their parents and everybody elses who will have a part of that small childs life in the future.

there are accidents like the op mentioned, and circumstances that can not be helped that result in pregnancy not wanted. because of those situations and sometimes the privacy of some of those situations that abortion should be allowed and freely available with no questions asked.

bj0rn - …