I’m not interested in preaching to the choir or trying to wrestle with those who don’t agree with me and shove my philosophy down their throat. I want to give people a few bits of information that’s missing from both the Yes and No campaigns and the public dialogue in the run up to this month’s Constitutional referendum. In other words, only listen to this if you can and want to think critically. Life’s too short, so let’s not waste each other’s time.
The mark of someone wanting to manipulate you is when they don’t directly state their position and instead try to sway you with rhetoric – so I’m going to lay out my position from the start: Abortion, except in cases of rape and medical endangerment, and after a specific period of so-called “foetus development”, is harmful the unborn, to the mother, to the father, and to society. Even in these special cases it’s still harmful, but sometimes life presents you with two options, neither of which are ideal. C’est la vie, as the French say.
Furthermore, both the Yes and No campaign are engaged in rhetorical warfare against the Irish citizenry which is distorting the actual issue. Women, and the men who support them, are being duped into thinking a Yes vote is an affirmation of women’s bodily autonomy – and only that. In fact, to repeal the 8th is to erase the ONLY current legal protection an unborn child has. This also has cultural implications as the process of abortion is being normalized, when there’s nothing normal at all about abortion.
And finally, there are other ways to address the needs of women while also protecting prenatal rights.
The Legislation Itself
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first.
The 8th amendment in the Irish Constitution is THE ONLY legality protecting unborn children as it stands now. To repeal the 8th would, in fact, make it completely legal to “terminate a pregnancy” at any time up until the child is expelled from the womb. This is how the law works – is there a law against it? No? Okay, you’re free to do that.
Complaints have been made about No campaign posters making extreme claims like “Abortions up to 6 months.” The complaints are understandable, just by their outrageousness alone, but they’re not technically wrong. There is no legislation to limit abortions to a specific trimester, nor are there any plans to introduce legislation upon the event the 8th is repealed. Introduction of legislation typically takes several months to a couple of years, depending on the public demand or the government’s own desire. This puts unborn children in a very precarious position.
In the United States, as a comparison, there was no article or amendment in their Constitution protecting prenatal rights. This issue came down to State and local Constitution and legislation. In most cases, abortion was liberalized by the REPLACEMENT of these laws and not their REPEAL. Why aren’t we going about it this way in Ireland?
I understand the sentiments of those planning to vote Yes, but you’re not voting for your sentiments – you’re voting away all rights of the unborn.
Abortion is not Dignity
The lead singer of The Cranberries, Delores O’Riordan, who died suspiciously late last year, spoke against abortion whenever questioned on it. In 1995 she told Rolling Stone:
“I’m in no position to judge other women, you know? But, I mean, ‘Idiot — why didn’t you not get pregnant?’ It’s not good for women to go through the procedure and have something living sucked out of your bodies. It belittles women — even though some women say, ‘Oh, I don’t mind to have one.’ Every time a woman has an abortion, it just crushes her self-esteem, smaller and smaller and smaller,”
With the use of talismanic words like “foetus”, “foetus development”, and “termination of pregnancy”, a considerable distance has been made between the procedure’s reality and our perceptions of it. This isn’t JUST a medical procedure, it is an experience – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Why aren’t we talking about that?
Speaking of talking about women’s experiences – you might ask me what right I have to speak for the experiences of women. My answer is simple: what right do you have to speak for women who have given birth, raised children, had an abortion, or experienced a miscarriage? Given that the majority of people are under 30 and a minority of these people have actually gotten pregnant, very few of us have had these lived experiences. Your gender doesn’t make you all-knowing, nor does it prevent you from empathizing with the experiences of others.
I personally know a handful of women who have had abortions – their lives have not been improved by the experience, but rather a part of them has been damaged in a similar way that a miscarriage damages a woman. I have, however, seen women move on more quickly and more completely from miscarriages. Nobody, however, “gets over” a miscarriage and I have to wonder if there isn’t an added element of guilt with an abortion as it was a willing choice instead of an infliction of fate or bad health.
The emotional and spiritual damage of an abortion isn’t just related to guilt, but also the invasiveness of the procedure itself leaving a feeling of being intruded upon – even if the woman opts to be completely knocked out for the procedure. The procedure also causes physical trauma/damage. To illustrate this, let’s look at the content of an Australian government health webpage which aims to inform women about the process:
means deliberately causing a miscarriage. In Australia, around 80,000 women have an abortion every year.
Abortion is a common type of surgery in Australia. It is a very safe procedure when performed by a trained medical professional. However, all surgery carries some risk
Some of the complications of surgical abortion can include infection, damage to parts of the reproductive system and excessive bleeding.
The female reproductive system and surgical abortion
The female reproductive system is made up of the:
- vagina – a muscular canal that leads to the entrance (neck) of the uterus, known as the cervix
- uterus (womb)
- fallopian tubes – tubes that extend from the uterus, one on each side. They both open near an ovary, and carry the eggs (ova) from the ovaries to the uterus
- ovaries – two small glands that contain your eggs (ova).
When you become pregnant, a fertilised egg lodges in the lining of the uterus (the endometrium).
A surgical abortion involves the removal of the pregnancy (sometimes known as the ‘contents of the uterus’) via the vagina by surgical means. To have a surgical abortion, the cervix must be opened wide enough to allow the surgical instruments into the uterus.
Preparing for a surgical abortion
Always check with your clinic, but general instructions before undergoing an abortion include:
- Don’t smoke, eat or drink (not even water) for about six hours before the operation.
- Expect to be at the clinic for at least two hours.
- Bring sanitary pads, your referral letter, your blood group card, your Medicare card and any health care card you have.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home.
Anaesthetic for a surgical abortion
The clinic you go to for an abortion will tell you about what type of anaesthetic it can offer you, and how you should prepare for it.
Anaesthetic choices may include:
- general anaesthetic – this makes you completely unconscious. Any operation involving a general anaesthetic carries risk. There is a danger of choking if fasting isn’t properly undertaken beforehand
- nitrous oxide gas – or a similar gas. This puts you in a state of ‘twilight sleep’. You are awake, but sedated and calm
- local anaesthetic – anaesthetic is injected into your cervix to make the area numb, so that you don’t feel anything during the operation (this is known as a paracervical block)
- local anaesthetic with intravenous sedation – a combination of intravenous sedation (sedative medication is put into your vein using an intravenous line) and local anaesthetic injected directly into your cervix.
- Method of surgical abortion
Most abortions are performed using ‘suction (vacuum) aspiration’. To have this procedure you need to be in your first trimester (first three months) of pregnancy. (This means you are 12 weeks pregnant or less.)
Your cervix opening is gradually widened with rods of increasing size and a slim tube is then inserted into your uterus. The pregnancy (the fetus and the placenta) is withdrawn with gentle suction. Another instrument called a curette is used to check the uterus is empty.
This operation takes less than 15 minutes.
Surgical abortion after 12 weeks gestation
For a termination of a pregnancy after 12 weeks gestation, for instance in the second trimester, the procedure is similar to that of a first trimester abortion, but your cervix is prepared differently. This can involve:
- Hormone-blocking tablets may be used to help soften your cervix. These tablets may be taken by mouth or inserted into your vagina. They take about two hours to take effect. The abortion is then performed using suction and instruments to remove the pregnancy.
- Your cervix opening may be widened a little, and then have a special device inserted. This device swells over several hours until the cervix is opened wide enough to allow the abortion to occur. Medications may also be used. The abortion is usually performed one or two days later.
Better Health Channel has more information about Abortion, and Abortion services in Victoria.
Complications of surgical abortion
Complications occur in around three per cent of surgical abortion cases. The risk of complications depends on how many weeks pregnant you are. Abortions performed in the first trimester are the safest. Most surgical abortions are performed in the first trimester.
Complications of surgical abortion can include:
- haemorrhage – bleeding after an abortion should be similar to a menstrual period. If heavy bleeding occurs the abortion may not be complete. Sometimes, treatment for this is to do a suction curettage of the uterus. Blood transfusion is rarely required
- infection – a fever (high temperature) may indicate that you have an infection. This can be caused by an incomplete abortion or a sexually transmitted infection. Sometimes, women can develop a chronic infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Treatment for infection is with antibiotics
- injury to the uterus – the walls of your uterus are muscular but soft. Sometimes the surgical instruments used for an abortion can injure (or ‘perforate’) the uterus. In rare instances this can cause an abdominal infection (peritonitis) and severe blood loss. This complication is very rare and, if it occurs, will usually be recognised and treated straight away
- injury to the cervix – the cervix is stretched during an abortion. If you have multiple procedures the cervix can weaken – this is sometimes called an ‘incompetent’ cervix.
An incompetent cervix can cause problems in later pregnancies, because it is too weak to remain fully closed under the weight of a growing pregnancy.
These last two complications are rare, because surgical abortions are undertaken by experienced surgeons.
After a surgical abortion
Be guided by your clinic as to how to care for yourself and reduce your risk of infection after a surgical abortion. Generally, the following suggestions apply (for two weeks after your procedure, or a few days after bleeding has stopped):
- Shower instead of taking a bath.
- Avoid sexual intercourse.
- Use sanitary pads instead of tampons.
- Avoid going swimming.
When to seek medical advice after a surgical abortion
See your clinic, GP or a hospital emergency department immediately if:
- your bleeding becomes heavy
- you develop a fever
- you experience severe cramping or abdominal (tummy) pain.
These symptoms could indicate an infection.
I read this whole thing so you don’t have to, because I’m absolutely certain most of you wouldn’t if left to your own devices – whether you’re pro or anti abortion. Abortion, except in times it needs to be legalized, is kept as a secret from both women, men, children, and society. As a result, the risks and guaranteed harm these procedures cause to body, mind, and soul, are a mystery – even the procedure itself is a mystery to most people.
The Social Democrats put up posters recently which would send off alarm bells in the minds of hypnotherapists and students of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. You can view it on screen now.
VOTE YES in big type, and above
YES for Dignity
YES for Compassion
YES for Health
Clearly, according to this poster’s rhetoric you’d be a hater of women, uncaring of women, and want them to be unhealthy if you don’t vote yes. Although there is an argument for abortions in particular cases, it’s not that cut and dry. By what we’ve read about the procedure itself, it’s not very dignifying to the woman, it’s not very compassionate to the woman and her child, and it’s actually the exact opposite of healthy. If the Social Democrats were advertising a product they could be brought to court over these spurious claims.
A part of me is an irreducible Libertarian. I think that everyone should have the right to make stupid decisions instead of the law preventing them from doing so – that way reality slaps you with the consequences of your choices. In that sense I believe in your right to do what you want with your own body. I also think you have the right to inject street heroin up into your veins if that’s what you really want to do. I just also support laws that tackle the production, sale, trafficking, carrying, and using of heroin, because it’s unhealthy. I believe we as a society should recognise that heroin is a harmful substance which destroys bodies, minds, families, and societies. Allowing people to buy, sell, and take heroin, will be to normalise the behaviour and will lead to people doing it more often. The very same principal stands for abortion being used as a form of contraception.
Abortion as Contraception
I don’t see this being spoken about either in the public discourse – but it is an issue brought up in America and other countries. Pro-Choice advocates say the idea is absurd, with the implication being the right would only be used when abortion is legitimately needed. Let’s look at the reality, though:
In England, 22% of pregnancies end in abortion.
In Australia, if we take the above figure of 80,000 and add that to the country’s 2016 figure of total births – 311,104 – we get 391,104. 80,000 of that is roughly 20%
Are we to simply assume that 20% to 22% of pregnancies are a danger to the mother and/or the unborn child? If we really want to believe this, perhaps we need to ask what is causing so many harmful pregnancies to occur in the first place.
But clearly, these are “terminations” chosen by the woman or both parties for other reasons. I could legitimately be told to fuck off and mind my own business, but we’re being sold a lie disguised as a measure for protecting women’s health. We use medical language, and ONLY medical language, to describe abortion. Am I seriously expected to believe that this isn’t just another form of contraception?
I know for myself, as I’ve been guilty of having to go with women to the pharmacy on two occasions to get what’s generally called “The Morning After Pill” – something I’m not proud of as the effects of the pill are devastating on the woman’s reproductive organs and her body in general. On one occasion, it was an honest mistake involving a condom from Lidl and on the other occasion it was because we were both shit-faced on wine and whiskey and on a deep instinctive level probably wanted a child. There are many mistakes and accidentally-on-purpose events between men and women. A reality rarely spoken of. What happens when a couple miss the 72 hour window, the pill doesn’t work, they can’t afford the pill, or they don’t have a Medical Card to get one for free? What happens if they decide they can make it work, but then get into a stupid argument and decide they don’t want it anymore three months later?
What if a couple have sex while the woman is on her period? We all like and prefer that feeling of direct contact, and if there’s a time to do it without the use of one of those horrible birth control pills, it’s when the woman is shedding uterine lining making it almost certain she can’t get pregnant – ALMOST CERTAIN. For me, it takes quite a lot of trust and for me to really see a potential “rest of my life” scenario with a woman to dare take that risk with her – but that’s me. Most people aren’t me. Most people are idiots or just too young to know any better.
When the subject is brought up of abortion becoming normalized and being used as a form of contraception – or when it’s suggested that eventually we’ll end up allowing abortions up until birth – The Slippery Slope Fallacy is invoked. Meaning, it’s a Logical Fallacy to suggest that one thing leads to another, but since when have you ever been on a slope that isn’t slippery?
TheJournal.ie – an admittedly woman-hating Right-Wing Nazi newspaper reported back in 2016 that abortions are available at any time in most jurisdictions, mainly under special circumstances. The jurisdictions where so-called “late-term abortions” are available on-demand, very few occur – but they do occur. Take a look at this table.
Well, would you look at that. TheJournal.ie shows, despite what most people think, Ireland’s law allows for termination at any time to protect a woman’s health. Wonder where we got the idea that wasn’t allowed?
If we bring up the next generations to believe that an unborn child is a “foetus” and use nothing but medical terminology, then perceptions of pregnancy itself will shift beyond what we comprehend it to be today. This is how culture works. It’s a no-brainer, so, that perhaps one day women will opt to have so-called “late term abortions” as easily as they take the morning after pill today. Just last year (2017), the British Medical Association took a vote on whether abortions up until birth should be decriminalized. This is not a Slippery Slope Fallacy, this is reality.
Abortion as Genocide
Today we’re very careful about when we have our children. It’s no longer a directive handed down by the Catholic God or Allah, it’s something we try to fit into the most opportune times in our lives. This means the people having the most children are the lower class and the upper class, with the middle class most affected by indecision. We increasingly feel as though we don’t have the time and money to properly care for one or more children, while the lower class don’t think too hard and the upper class have enough money and family unity to not worry. With the introduction of unrestricted abortion, we’ll effectively be introducing a program of genocide upon our own people. This is a problem faced by African-Americans in the United States. Since the introduction of abortion and Planned Parenthood, many black leaders blew the whistle on the targeting of their communities. This is evidenced by this graph built from statistics found in Jones RK and Jerman J, Population Group Abortion Rates and Lifetime Incidence of Abortion: United States, 2008–2014, American Journal of Public Health, 2017.
It will be claimed that “abortion as black genocide” is a myth cooked up by pro-life campaigners, hijacking questions of racial equality to suit their own agenda, but this isn’t true. Black community leaders have been blowing the whistle since the 1960s.
Thanks to LiveAction.org for the following:
Dr. Paul Cornely
In 1968, when radical abortion advocates such as Larry Lader were pushing their abortion agenda, civil rights leader Dr. Paul Cornely (then president-elect of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and African American chairman of the Department of Community Health Practice at Howard University) was opposing abortion as a way to “help the poor.” He told the Charleston Gazette that the way to “change existing social conditions is not through marketing abortion available to the poor. We need to find a better way for people to live. We have to look at the total problem – social, economic-education, housing employment….”
Prof. Norman Rice
Fordham professor Norman Rice perhaps said it best in 1969, when he was quoted in the Saranac Lake Adirondack Daily Enterprise as saying, “The idea seems to be to eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor. Of course, this is a form of genocide, perhaps more appropriately called pooricide.”
Comedian Dick Gregory
Live Action News has previously published statements from notable Black leaders like Fannie Lou Hamer, Dr. Mildred Jefferson, Iowa Rep. June Franklin and Erma Clardy Craven, all of whom viewed abortion and population control as genocide targeted toward their communities. In the early 1970s, comedian Dick Gregory wrote an extensive article, “My Answer to Genocide,” published in Ebony Magazine, where he made similar claims:
Of course, one of the definitions of genocide is, “imposing measures to prevent births within the group” – that is, forcing birth control measures upon Black folks. There is ample evidence that government programs designed for poor black folks emphasize birth control and abortion availability, both measures obviously designed to limit black population.”
In 1970, according to Maafa 21, the Black Caucus walked out of the First National Congress on Optimum Population and Environment being held in Chicago. Felton Alexander of the National Urban League and the Chairman of the Black Caucus said the action was taken because of clear and unmistakable evidence that the purpose of the conference was to legitimize the extermination of the black population.
Black Panther Party
They were not the only Black groups suspicious of abortion. As mentioned earlier, the Black Panthers were as well. In 1971, a Detroit Chapter of the Black Panther Party expelled one of its leaders from the organization for simply asking where she could obtain an abortion, according to Maafa21. At the time the party proclaimed, “A true revolutionary cares about the people–he cares to the point that he is willing to put his life on the line to help the masses of poor and oppressed people. He would never think of killing his unborn child.”
Various Black clergy
Black clergy were also outspoken against abortion as genocide. Black Catholic Priest, Father George Clements, told Jet Magazine in that same 1973 edition, “I believe the entire question of abortions is just one more in the continuous series of events to eliminate the Black population.”
In a February edition of the magazine, Fr. Clements pointed out, “There is a grave contradiction being practiced in the U.S. In the Black or Ghetto areas Planned Parenthood or birth control clinics are set up, whereas, in the white communities or suburbs, fertility centers are being established.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson
In a separate 1973 Jet Magazine article, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a known civil rights leader of his day, also called abortion “genocide.” Then, two years later, Rev. Jackson joined with anti-abortion organizations and endorsed a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion.
Journalist Samuel Yette
Black journalist, Samuel Yette, also saw abortion and birth control as a means of genocide in the African American community. Yette became the first African-American reporter hired by Newsweek Magazine and, by 1968, according to Maafa21, “he quickly rose to the position of Washington D.C. bureau correspondent. Three years later, he wrote a book in which he documented that there were high-level plans within the United States to use birth control and abortion as genocide against African-Americans. Immediately after his book was released to the public, Mr. Yette was fired.”
Dr. Mildred Jefferson
In the 1970’s the largest anti-abortion organization in the nation was led by Black doctor, Mildred Jefferson:
Black doctor Mildred Jefferson leads national Right to Life antiabortion group (Image credit: Ebony Magazine)
According to Ebony Magazine, “One reason for Dr. Jefferson’s alignment with the anti-abortion movement is her belief that this country’s one million annual abortions can mean genocide for Black Americans.”
To assume abortion could only be used as a genocide measure against black people would be naive. Considering Ireland 2040 and The Kalergi Plan, we have to ask ourselves if the timing for this abortion referendum might be another aspect to the replacement of the native Irish population. Who will abortions be marketed to? Who, ethnically speaking, will be availing of abortions the most?
Abortion is in contravention to natural law – so far, the moral argument has been monopolized by the religious, but I don’t believe you need a God to have morals and natural law. You don’t need a God to be punished for breaching natural law either: it’s what we call consequence. We suffer from making the wrong decisions, and we’re supposed to learn from that suffering instead of trying to normalize it. Women who have abortions, and their families, suffer as a result. This is indisputable fact. It also has social implications.
I’m not going to tell you to vote No, because I don’t recognise the Republic as my legitimate government. I will, however, beg you to not vote Yes. Don’t dirty your soul by getting involved in the potential slaughter of thousands of children. Pass on what you’ve learned here to everyone you know.