Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Women taking abortion case were not forced to do anything

THE WORDING of the news reports regarding three Irish women who are challenging our abortion laws at the European Court of Human Rights was as interesting as it was misleading. According to RTE news and others, "the women say their rights were denied by being forced to seek terminations outside the State". I'm unsure as to whether these are the words of the women themselves or the media, however they display a very poor understanding of the word 'forced'.

Nobody was 'forced' to do anything. I always thought that the central pillar of the Pro-choice movement's argument was "the right to choose". It is interesting how semantics obscure the reality of such situations.

These women chose to travel abroad for an abortion, as was their legal right. They were not coerced, or obliged to. In fact, they embodied the very notion of 'choice' the Family Planning Association et al. constantly shout so loudly about. As a sovereign nation (just about), we make laws and our citizens are expected to abide by them. If you disagree with a law in your particular country you may travel elsewhere to avail of different principals, however, nobody will have forced you to travel; it will be your decision.


Would it be reasonable, for example, for someone to say that they were forced to travel to the Netherlands to avail of their lax drug laws? What if they are an addict? Of course, such a proposition would be greeted with laughter.

Ah but you see abortion is a 'human right', and human rights are good and just, and can't be contested. As David Quinn remarked in an excellent piece in the Independent the Friday before last:

"Who could possibly be against 'human rights'? Who indeed? But, equally, who could be against morality, until you discover that what is being foisted upon you is Catholic morality, or Victorian morality, or Communist morality, or Nazi morality, or socialist morality or secular humanist morality, or whatever type of morality it is that you happen to be against."

For many people, abortion is not a 'human right', but in fact abhorrent to the very notion of rights. The sacrosanct label of 'human rights' appeals to people because it implies something indisputable, but the label does guarantee any such assumption.

Once again, an alien body of unelected judges - who aren't even in our jurisdiction - will try and dictate our laws to us. How this doesn't incense ever man, woman and child on this island, I do not know. Then again, we'll get to vote on Lisbon again soon, and like a flock led by their shepherd we'll vote 'correctly' this time. Mark my words.


lil_cain said...

You're talking shite man. Would you say that people were never "forced" to leave the state for work?

Seriously, if splitting hairs like this is all the anti-choice lobby have left, we'll have abortion before the end of the year \0/

John Power: said...

Work is essential and an absolute requirment. You can't compare the two. An abortion is a choice, albeit a very difficult one.

lil_cain said...

Not much of a choice. In fact, if abortion is a choice, you could argue work is too. I mean, you could just get the dole.

Robert Hogan said...

Women who seek an abortion are left with little, if any choice, but to seek it abroad. Not "forced" in a "gun pressed against stmach" way.

I think the pro-choice argument, and it is one with which I agree, is that, we have recognized that abortion is a reality, and we have agreed to provide information in that regard, but we have teken the most momumentally hypocritical step of saying "But not in our jurisdiction"

Now once we have abdicated our responibility for the actuality of abortion, and palmed it off to another (read: any other) country, we have little right to complain about a body of learned legal minds from other countries adjudicating on our hyprocrisy