On Wednesday, the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) launched a report seeking wider access to abortion and calling for a taxpayer funded information campaign to be rolled out to publicise the availability of abortion, in addition to the HSE backed publicity campaigns that have been running to date.
Since 2019, the HSE has spent more than €20 million of taxpayers’ money on abortion provision and advertising it. The one area, however, where women have been completely denied information is on positive alternatives to abortion. The ARC report never mentions this or the fact that there has been a more than 70% increase in abortions since the new law came into effect. Instead of clamouring for more abortion, we need to step back and take an honest look at what the new abortion regime has unleashed.
Not surprisingly, the ARC report refers to abortion as “abortion care” throughout, ignoring the fact that abortion involves the direct and intentional ending of the life of a defenceless unborn baby and leads to many women suffering devastating mental health consequences after their abortion.
The report is also littered with references to abortion as “healthcare” and pushes for the temporary system permitting telemedicine (home abortions) not to be suspended as promised with the lifting of Covid restrictions. This proposal in itself is reckless and puts the lives of women in danger.
Telemedicine (home abortions) bypass face to face consultations between the woman and her doctor and involves the self administering of abortion pills at home without proper medical supervision. This system has already resulted in the deaths of women in England in the past year and should be immediately discontinued here.
The ARC report concedes that many women who access abortion are unaware of the potential physical after effects of the procedure or how to manage the effects of the medication they are given. The report also draws attention to the very high percentage of women predisposed to mental illness who opt for abortion. The report identifies these issues but offers little in the line of solutions other than continuing to promote abortion. If the abortion movement’s primary concern was women’s health, they would acknowledge the peer reviewed research that clearly shows the adverse effects of abortion, particularly on women who have a predisposition to mental illness.
The way the ARC report attacks doctors who don’t wish to be involved in facilitating abortions is purely ideological and has nothing whatsoever to do with evidence based medicine. Their renewed efforts to coerce doctors to go against their conscience and back something they wholeheartedly believe to be the antithesis of healthcare is unconscionable and must be resisted every step of the way. The protection of freedom of conscience is the defining civil rights issue of today and the latest attempt by ARC to impose State medicine by diktat over evidence based medicine should concern everyone who cherishes the basic freedoms that are integral to any functioning democracy.