Abortion: It's a woman's right to choose

Who has an abortion?

- Women of all ages, social classes and from all parts of Ireland. It could be your friend, your daughter, your sister, your cousin, your mother.

- Women decide to have abortions for all kinds of reasons: poverty; bad health; too many other children; because of rape or incest.

- Because they are too young or they do not want to have a child at this point in their lives.

- Many cannot face the discrimination suffered by single mothers.

All these reasons are valid. Women should not have to answer to anyone, not the church, the courts, the state or even to doctors for their decision.

Banning abortion here has not stopped Irish women from having abortions. At least 6,000 Irish women travelled to Britain last year for abortions. That is 16 women travelling every day. These women should not have to face the added expense and emotional stress of this trip.

The Dublin Abortion Rights Group seeks the provision of free and freely available abortion facilities in Ireland for all women who wish to terminate their pregnancies.

Abortion is a choice that some women have always made regardless of any medical or legal barriers being placed in their way. Even at the 'pro-life' movement's highest period of influence in Ireland in the late 1980's - when information on abortion was banned - at least 4,000 Irish women had abortions in Britain every year. At this time finding the number of a clinic in England involved checking graffiti on the back of toilet doors. That was only 5 years ago.

Now fundamentalist anti-choice groups are trying to close down family planning clinics to prevent women having access to contraception and information on abortion.

These same groups campaigned against divorce, sex education for young people, the Stay Safe programme in schools and against non-directive pregnancy counselling. They also oppose contraception. It is only 14 years ago since the sale of condoms was restricted only to married couples with a doctor's prescription!

These so-called 'pro-life' groups are determined to roll back the small gains women have made in recent years. They are demanding a new referendum to ban abortion in all cases - even if a woman's life or health is at risk due to being pregnant.

We will not allow these bigots to drag Ireland back to the dark days of the 1980s.

[Side two of leaflet]

Who We Are

This leaflet is produced by the Dublin Abortion Rights Group. We were the organisers of the massive march in 1992 when the government attempted to intern 'X', a 14-year-old rape victim, in order to prevent her travelling to England to get an abortion. Then we were the 'Dublin Abortion Information Campaign' as we were struggling against the ban on information.

The outrage and public protest at the time of the 'X' case meant ordinary people took a stand. In the 1992 referendum the ban on abortion information was overturned and the 'right to travel' was put into the constitution. We called for people to vote 'no' to the attempt to restrict abortion rights only to cases where a woman's life, but not her health, was threatened by a pregnancy.

DARG recognises that a real right to choose has to include:

- The provision of a guaranteed minimum income, housing, support facilities, etc. for all women who continue their pregnancies and keep their children.

- A supportive attitude to all women who decide to opt for adoption, and recognition of the rights of women and children in this position.

- Provision of pregnancy counselling, contraception and sex and relationships education to all who require it.

With the abortion issue again being discussed in government we ask all pro-choice supporters to make their voices heard in support of abortion rights for Irish women.

You can contact the Dublin Abortion Rights Group by email at pro_choice@ireland.com

If you have access to the Internet our web page is at http://go.to/darg We also have a low volume mailing list, join it by emailing darg_news-subscribe@onelist.com

Part of the pages of the Dublin Abortion Rights Group