Friday, December 17, 2010

Above the European Union's Pay Grade


The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion violates a pregnant woman’s rights. “Under Irish law dating back to 1861, a doctor and patient both could be prosecuted for murder if an abortion was later deemed not to be medically necessary.” One of the women, a Lithuanian woman living in Ireland, claimed her rights were violated because she was in remission from a rare form of cancer. Ireland’s defense claimed, “…that the woman should have petitioned the Irish High Court for the right to have an abortion in Ireland.” Health Minister Mary Harney said that, “…pregnant women suffering from cervical cancer, exceptionally high blood pressure or ectopic pregnancies already were receiving abortions in Irish hospitals.” Pregnancies that are at risk to the mother are already taking place in Ireland, but because of this rare case, abortion rights are pushed just a little bit more. Dr. Mary Favier, director of Doctors for Choice said, “Doctors can feel vindicated today. For the first time we can feel confident about discussing abortion as an option for women in medical need without fearing prosecution.” Abortion as an option for women in medical need, but how many abortion doctors will talk about the ramifications to a woman who wants an abortion that is not medically necessary?

The side effects of a legal abortion can cause life long mental and physical health problems and in rare cases death. Women face a number of possible physical complications as a result of legal abortion, including hemorrhaging that requires a transfusion, perforation of the uterus, cardiac arrest, endotoxic shock, major unintended surgery, infection resulting in hospitalization, convulsions, undiagnosed ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, cervical laceration, uterine rupture and death (Source: Warren Hern, "Abortion Practices," J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, 1990, p. 173 ff.)

Research published in the British Medical Journal concluded that women who abort a first pregnancy are at significantly greater risk of depression. An average of 8 years after their abortions, married women were 138 percent more likely to be at risk of long term clinical depression than similar women who carried their unintended first pregnancies to term. (Source: Reardon D.C., Cougle J.R., "Depression and Unintended Pregnancy In the National Longitundinal Survey of Youth," British Medical Journal, January 2002, 324:151-152.) After an abortion, women can experience psychological reactions such as guilt, regret, nervousness and difficulty sleeping. (Source: J.R. Ashton, "The psychosocial outcome of induced abortion," British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, December 1980, 87:1120-1121.)

The article finishes with this, “But William Binchy, a Trinity College Dublin law professor who advises Ireland's Pro Life Campaign, said… ‘What's at stake in this debate is the value of life. The sad experience is that once laws permitting abortion are introduced, they diminish the society's respect for the inherent value of every human life, born or unborn,’ Cardinal Sean Brady suggested that Irish people would never vote to permit abortion even for exceptional cases. ‘The direct destruction of an innocent human life can never be justified, however difficult the circumstances," he said. ‘We are always obliged to act with respect for the inherent right to life of both the mother and the unborn child in the mother's womb. No law which subordinates the rights of any human being to those of other human beings can be regarded as a just law.’

Cross posted at Pundit League.

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