Thursday, 13 December 2018
Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018: Report and Final Stages
In such circumstances, vulnerable women, in particular, will end up continuing to have to use illegal abortion pills that are purchased online, or indeed continuing to travel. If we want people to be able to access new services that are safe and legal, it makes sense to make those services available on a universal basis. Those of us who are in favour of caring for women in our own country in terms of abortion care and healthcare find the word "elective" offensive because, as Senator Higgins has said, those who use it are judging women's reasons for accessing these services and pretending they know those reasons. There is always a reason. No woman gets up in the morning and decides she would like an abortion. The connotation that accompanies the word "elective" suggests that a kind of light-hearted decision is being made. That is why it is constantly used. Senator Mullen might not use it in that way, but that is the way many women to whom I have spoken consider that it is being used. There is always a reason for an abortion - it is just that the woman involved does not need to tell the Senator that reason. We trust each woman to engage with her doctor. We do not need anyone to judge their decisions. If we are going to continue to quote other countries' legislation as fact in this country, it will be a very interesting day. I thought we were a sovereign Republic. We should really debate the legislation that is before the Houses of Parliament of our Republic, rather than saying "in another country they have this law" and applying figures from that country as fact to the Republic of Ireland.