Pro-Choice Explainer

by Barry Purcell

A summary, with links, of posts which answer specific difficulties pro-life people have with the pro-choice position.

“Killing babies”: Even right-wing conservatives have an intuitive understanding that foetus is not a child. In any case, the Eighth Amendment should be repealed even if you believe a foetus is a child. The pro-choice position is one of true legal equality for all humans.

“Why not adopt?”: Adoption is an alternative to parenthood. What women need is an alternative to pregnancy and pregnancy is not the same thing as parenthood.

“Don’t have sex if you don’t want to get pregnant”: Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.

“Abortion is dangerous”: Having a baby is about 14 (fourteen!) times more dangerous than having an abortion.

“Legalising abortion will open the floodgates”: Women are at least as likely to get an abortion in countries where it is outlawed as they are in countries where it is legal. If anything, abortion rates are lower where it’s legal.

“God says abortion is wrong”: The Judeo-Christian god not only condones abortion, but frequently recommends killing foetuses in utero as a strategy.

“Abortion is psychologically damaging”: Having an abortion has no significant psychological implications. However, the lack of abortion services in Ireland can damage a woman’s mental health.

“I have a right to my opinion.”: This referendum is not asking you about your opinion on abortion.

“International human rights law does not support legalising abortion”: Over and over again, international human rights law supports and recommends that Ireland repeal the Eighth Amendment.

“Pre-natal screening kills Down Syndrome babies”: Using Down Syndrome children to leverage a religious argument is nasty, cynical trash.

“The Irish people do not want abortion legalised”: Multiple surveys agree that support for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment is consistently around 64%.

“Abortion is immoral”: While it’s possible to mount a robust argument that abortion is perfectly moral, legislating a religious opinion has no place in a civilised democracy.

“People who want abortion legalised are Nazis”: Although the pro-life people have tried really hard to lie about it, the cold fact is that outlawing abortion is fascist.

“Only in cases of rape”: If you accept the rape exception, you accept the basic pro-choice position.

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