Abortion services and protesters

 

Sir, – Anti-choice protesters have yet again managed to make their real agenda clear to us. It’s not about reducing abortion numbers, it’s just about the intimidation and shaming of anyone who might find themselves in a position where they need to terminate a pregnancy.

It is counterproductive to be protesting outside hospitals and GP clinics in order to harass these women instead of campaigning for better sex education and free contraception, which are known to have a direct impact on abortion rates. Irish women deserve better.

We can’t allow those who can now finally avail of free, safe and legal abortion care in their own country to continue to be abused by the anti-choice brigade in this manner. Legislation on exclusion zones can’t come quick enough. – Yours, etc,

INGRID SEIM,

Cork.

Sir, – For those of us who are pro-life, the main concern is to save lives. Persuading undecided mothers to continue with their pregnancies, and offering supports to them to do so, will become increasingly important in pursuit of the pro-life aim, now that legislative supports for the protection of life are no longer in place.

Protesting with placards outside GP surgeries will not, I fear, advance this aim – although I have to admire the moral courage of these same protestors, and I wholeheartedly agree with what they are trying to achieve. But I am perplexed as to how else to make contact with the undecided mothers.

Everything the Government has put or plans to put in place seems to me to point these women towards an abortion decision rather than a decision for life, and I am unable to see any effective way to counteract this. – Yours, etc,

JIM STACK,

Lismore,

Co Waterford.

Sir, – Last May, the Irish people voted decisively in favour of allowing women to terminate a pregnancy without having to travel to another country. The legislation has now been implemented, but there are still four counties where women will be forced to travel – because up to this week, no hospitals or GP practices in the counties of Sligo, Leitrim, Carlow and Offaly have agreed to provide the service.

This is especially concerning due to the requirement of a three-day waiting period – so a woman from one of these counties would have to travel not once but twice.

One of the issues that was raised prior to the referendum was that of aftercare in the case of complications following an abortion. Would a woman from these counties feel comfortable seeking follow-up care knowing that no medical practitioners in her area support her in the choice she has made? – Yours, etc,

MARIANNE McDONALD,

Grange,

Cork.