Tuesday 8 May 2007

D Case Verdict Expected Tomorrow - Choice Ireland Member Opinion Piece

The high court is due to decide Miss D's fate tomorrow (Wednesday 9th of May) at 2pm. Pro-choice rally in support of Miss D outside the Four Courts from 1.30pm.

There was a counter-demonstration of anti-choice extremists present at Monday's rally, see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/82420

Miss D has said she is glad of everyone's support. She bravely walked past the callously-displayed anti-abortion placards saying, "I don't care what they think".

Their presence on Monday just shows who the "pro-lifers" really are: anti-woman extremists, who think that even a foetus that will not live has an equal right to life as a young woman. It shows that even in the most straight-forward cases of the need for abortion, one can never argue logic with these people. No sane person could countenance forcing Miss D to go through with the trauma of pregnancy and birth when she clearly wants her agony to end.

The people of Ireland are far-and-away supportive of Miss D. Though some of them don't know it, the people of Ireland are far-and-away Pro-Choice. They know, as Choice Ireland knows, that abortion is a terrible thing to have to go through. It is a terrible choice to have to make. But sometimes it is the only choice. And, given proper access to impartial information and counselling, only the woman involved can decide when she needs to have an abortion. No-one, neither church nor state, has the right to interfere.

Long after they should have disappeared into the woodwork, the anti-choice element continues to make its presence felt in Ireland. They are seen with their gruesome placards on our streets, they are disproportionately active in the letters columns of our newspapers. They are present here and there throughout society in the guise of the social worker who would report Miss D to the gardai, the homeless-worker who would kick women out of hostels for having condoms, the teacher who would show young people pro-foetus bloodied propaganda and the pregnancy “counsellor” who would lie to young women about the process and after-effects of abortion. But though these people have a big voice, they have a small following. They are religious, anti-sex, anti-contraceptive, anti-choice fundamentalists. Let us hope their voice begins to be heard in Ireland for what it really is, and ignored.

Miss D has made her choice. Let her be. Let her go.

We in Choice Ireland are saddened that this case had to come to pass. Let there be no more cases like this. Let us stop exporting the problems of our young women. Let us stop traumatising and stigmatising them. We have already enshrined the "right to travel" for abortions in our constitution. Now let us break free from the pervasive influence of religious fanatics, let us end the hypocrisy and see that Irish women have the "right not to travel" for abortions.

Free, safe, legal abortions in Ireland now.