Floating Abortion Clinic to Dock in Ireland

A medical ship with a fully functioning
operating theatre on board is coming to Ireland
in June. Financed by Women On Waves, a
charitable foundation based in the Netherlands,
the ship will travel to countries like Brazil
and the Philippines where abortion is illegal
and women are dying as a result of unsanitary
and unprofessional backstreet abortions. They
will draw attention to the reality that 70,000
women died throughout the world last year as a
result of illegal abortions.

A medical ship with a fully functioning
operating theatre on board is coming to Ireland
in June. Financed by Women On Waves, a
charitable foundation based in the Netherlands,
the ship will travel to countries like Brazil
and the Philippines where abortion is illegal
and women are dying as a result of unsanitary
and unprofessional backstreet abortions. They
will draw attention to the reality that 70,000
women died throughout the world last year as a
result of illegal abortions.

They are coming to Ireland at the request of
pro-choice organisations in Cork and Dublin.
They want to draw attention to the hypocrisy of
Irish law, which bans all abortions (unless the
woman is in direct risk of death as a result of
continuing her pregnancy). It is hypocrisy,
because Ireland ‘exports’ its problems rather
than dealing with them at home.

In 1998 (the last year for which official
figures are available) 5,892 women with Irish
addresses had abortions in British clinics –
that’s 16 per day. At a time of great trauma for
many of these women, they have to find
information about foreign clinics, raise the
money for both travel and the operation, and
arrange time off work and someone to mind any
children they already have.

This is why 31% of abortions performed on Irish
women happen after 12 weeks of pregnancy,
compared with just 10% for English women. The
way to reduce the number of late abortions is to
face reality and provide a safe, legal and free
service here.

While the ship can provide abortion services, it
is not expected that surgical abortions will be
carried out while it is here because of the
availability of land based services in Britain.
It will, however, provide contraceptives and
educational workshops when it visits Cork and
Dublin.

It is a daring, controversial and unique venture
that will force the abortion debate back into
the headlines. It is up to progressive people to
see that pro-choice arguments are put forward,
that the debate is not dominated by the usual
ol’ guff about "exceptional cases" or
definitions of "indirect results" of medical treatments. It is time to talk about choice,
about a woman’s right to choose.

[also see related article:

Floating
Abortion Clinic to Bypass Nat’l Laws
]

Author: Irelands’s Workers Solidarity Movement

News Service: Workers Solidarity No 64

URL: http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/ws/2001/64/abortion.html