I wrote a column about the viral valedictorian speech on abortion by a Texas high school student last week, but I see the story is still getting attention—even internationally. Paxton Smith is being lauded as a courageous young woman by the likes of Hillary Clinton, and publications from The Guardian to the CBC have been eager to cover the speech and interview Smith. She’s got a political career if she wants one.
In 2018, we were repeatedly told that Irish women would be safer in pregnancy if the Eighth Amendment was repealed. In fact, when opinion polls showed support for repeal was slipping, abortion campaigners reverted to using the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar to raise unfounded fear to push a ‘Yes’ vote. Then Taoiseach Leo Vardakar, warned voters that pregnant women would die if abortion was not legalised.
The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly has told the Cabinet that a review into the abortion law introduced in 2018 by his predecessor, Simon Harris, has been set in place. The review is obligated by the legislation.
A major new Report from the International Reproductive Journal, Contraception, has shown that Irish medical professionals involved in the delivery of abortion services report higher levels of social and professional isolation. The research underpinning the Report was conducted by pro-choice medics and academics.
Readers may already be aware of the Turnaway study; a study that has been claimed to “prove” that women do not regret abortion, and that being denied an abortion could be more harmful to women, both physically and mentally. However, on reading the study itself, instead of relying on the media coverage and even the researcher's own summary, its clear that the results of the study paint a different picture to what has been portrayed. One key finding, that you will not often see, was that by the end of the study, 96% of women who were denied an abortion reported feeling that they no longer wished they had the abortion.
Last October, after an extensive and supportive media build-up, the Dáil voted on a bill proposed by the Socialist TD, Gino Kenny, seeking to legalise Assisted Suicide and euthanasia in Ireland - ensuring doctors could end the lives of patients.