Ireland’s anti-choice lobby want to load a high cost onto women who seek abortion as a deterrent to try to stop them.
The cost of travel to Britain or the Netherlands amounts to at least €1,000 when account is taken of travel and accommodation. Indirect costs such as child care or loss of income for time off work make it higher.
The figure is grows even further for fatal foetal anomalies as the duration for treatment can last four or five days
In the past, the anti-choice lobby opposed a referendum to allow women to travel for an abortion. But they are now hiding their views about effectively imprisoning pregnant women in their country and claiming that forcing women to travel leads to a lower rate of abortion for women.,
But this simply means that poorer women are compelled to carry through an unintended and unwanted pregnancy. It is a case of naked class discrimination.
The claim of the anti-choice lobby is also entirely bogus. Their figures for a lower rate of abortion in Ireland are based on the numbers of women who travel to Britain and give an Irish address. But this ignores three simple facts:
- Irish women travel to other countries as well as Britain. In the case of the Netherlands, there are no official records.
- Many women are now taking the abortion pill – but there is no record of how many.
- Abortion is illegal in Ireland and procuring an abortion can incur a possible jail sentence. Therefore vastly fewer women will acknowledge they had an abortion.
The anti-choice lobby have put forward no proposal to hinder or stop women going to other countries for abortion.
Instead they want to use forced travel as a way to bolster their dogmatic, non-evidence based argument.
In reality, forcing women to travel causes women severe harm in ways that go beyond the financial cost. It means that Irish women:
- Have a higher rate of later abortions due to the difficulty in accumulating the money to travel. 81 percent of abortions of English and Welsh residents occur within nine weeks of gestation but 69 percent of Irish residents.
- Irish women are more likely to have a surgical abortion rather than taking a pill. . This is because for financial and practical reasons, many women travelling from Ireland often aim to fly in and out of the UK within a day. Medical abortion means returning a day later.
- The health of Irish women is endangered because many travel to a private medical facility without protection of proper protocols or without access to previous medical files.
These costs are far too high for women to bear. It is time to end hypocrisy and face reality.