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Ireland: 90% support women being offered alternatives before proceeding with abortion

Almost 90% of people in Ireland believe that women should be offered information about alternatives before proceeding with abortion, according to new research.

The Irish pro-life group, Pro Life Campaign, has reported that “89% of people [in Ireland] support women being offered information about alternatives before proceeding with an abortion”. A further 70% of people are supportive of the idea that women considering an abortion be “offered the choice of seeing an ultrasound scan of the unborn baby/foetus before proceeding with the abortion”.

Furthermore, according to the data from Amárach Research, 77% of people support amending the Irish abortion law to ensure that babies who survive an abortion are given medical care.

According to Pro Life Campaign “[m]any women who opted for abortion and subsequently regretted the decision say that all it would have taken for them to change their mind and keep their baby was for one person to say, ‘you can get through this, I’ll be there for you’”.

“There cannot be informed consent in relation to abortion unless women are presented with the full facts”.

The group argues that an important aspect of ensuring that women considering an abortion have ‘informed consent’ is presenting women with all the alternatives to abortion. They say: “There cannot be informed consent in relation to abortion unless women are presented with the full facts”.

Given the importance of informed consent for any medical procedure, as well as overwhelming public support, Pro Life Campaign argue that there should be a legal obligation on abortion providers “to inform women considering abortion of the positive alternatives available, such as different forms of adoption, and of financial […] supports”. In addition to this, they argue there should also be an obligation to “inform women accessing abortion of specified risks of abortion in relation to her physical and mental health”.

As part of informed consent, they also argue there should also be “[a]n obligation to give women seeking abortion the option of viewing an ultrasound of their pregnancy”.

In response to a parliamentary question in Ireland at the beginning of November, it was revealed that there had been 8,057 initial consultations for abortion in Ireland in 2020. However, statistics reveal that there were 6,577 abortions in Ireland in 2020. This means that 1,480 women did not proceed with their planned abortion.

Since abortion was made legal in 2018, there have been over 13,000 abortions in Ireland.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “Surely anyone who claims to be pro-choice should be supportive of increasing choice in this regard. What possible reason could there be to oppose providing further information about alternatives to abortion?”

“Almost 1,500 women decided not to have an abortion in 2020. This clearly indicates that many women are not certain of their decision to have an abortion and that further information and time could help them to choose otherwise”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.