Who has an abortion ?

Your friend? Your daughter? Your mother? Your sister? You?

[Text of leaflet distributed at GPO, sat 4th September]

The Dublin Abortion Rights Group

The Right to Choose

There are many reasons why a woman may need an abortion. Some may simply not be able to afford another child, especially if they are the sole earner in the family. They may need to have an abortion to provide reasonable living conditions for their existing children.

Some may be too young and feel that the discrimination against teenage mums largely created by the Church will ruin their lives.

Others may be too old, have many children already or have medical conditions that may mean a full-term pregnancy would put their life at risk.

If victims of rape become pregnant, a full-term pregnancy will cause their ordeal to be drawn out over nine-months, drastically increasing the chances of both short and long-term mental problems.

Only the woman herself can truly understand all the factors concerning her pregnancy. It is the woman who must make that final decision as to whether or not to continue with her pregnancy.

Since the 1992 X case, abortion is legal in Ireland where a pregnancy poses a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman. The Government promised in 1991 to introduce legislation implementing this decision. Despite this, no legislation has been introduced and no abortions are actually carried out in Ireland. Instead, around 16 women a day travel to England to get an abortion.

When the Green Paper is published, it will present the Government with a number of options. The Dublin Abortion Rights Group calls for the Government to adopt the option of legalising abortion. Irish women with crisis pregnancies are choosing the option of abortion every day. We must recognise their right to have the medical service they need in this country.


Reverse side of leaflet

Anti-Choice, Anti-Democracy

Youth Defence are trying to close down family planning clinics in Ireland through anti-democratic intimidation tactics. In May 1998 Youth Defence carried out a riot at the Adelaide hospital, and screamed abuse through loudhailers as an elderly woman lay dying in the hospital. In March they invaded an Irish Family Planning Association clinic and attacked staff and patients.

In July their sister group in Northern Ireland closed down the Ulster Pregnancy Advisory Agency through intimidating counsellors. There was also an arson attack on the UPAA office. Ms Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life (the Northern Branch of Youth Defence) described the arson attack on the UPAA was a 'great victory for direct action'.

Youth Defence are copying the tactics of US anti-choice groups. In the US seven doctors and staff working in abortion clinics have been murdered since 1993. Anti-choice groups have carried out 200 bombing and arson attacks on womenís health centres. They have directed over 2,000 acts of violence and over 28,000 acts of disruption against abortion providers since 1977, including bombings, arsons, death threats, kidnappings, and assaults.

Youth Defence do not represent the young people of Ireland. They are a small group attempting to impose their fundamentalist views upon the rest of us. They have been running an expensive advertising campaign and are actively seeking premises in Dublin city centre. Where are they getting their money from? Have American fundamentalists decided to fight their anti-choice battle in other people's countries?

Youth Defence's agenda is not just about 'banning abortion'. They also want to close down women's health services and prevent sex education programmes for young people. Youth Defence want to drag Ireland back to the era of the contraception ban, women dying in childbirth after repeated pregnancies and young girls being locked up in Magdalen laundries to hide the 'shame' of being pregnant. Anyone who believes that Ireland's dark ages are gone is wrong. Youth Defence are still pushing the same bigoted anti woman and anti youth ideas today.

Part of the pages of the Dublin Abortion Rights Group