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22 December 2009

AR update, 22 December 2009

Abortion, mental health, and the limits of science; Ireland: Illegal abortion sends the problem abroad; Irish women take abortion law to court.

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- 1. ABORTION, MENTAL HEALTH, AND THE LIMITS OF SCIENCE
Commentary by Jennie Bristow, editor, Abortion Review.

‘The politicised character of much research purporting to show that abortion causes mental health problems is damaging both to the debate about abortion, and to the integrity of science. But there is a limit to the extent to which “better science” can address this broader problem of politicisation.

‘Abortion rights, provision and women’s experience are not questions that can or should be resolved through a narrow examination of how abortion impacts upon women’s mental health. If the issue of how we deal with research around this question becomes pigeon-holed as an area on which non-experts have no contribution to make and for which they have no responsibility, this not only puts an unfair burden onto experts. It also absolves others in the pro-choice movement from engaging with this question in relation to broader insights about women’s experience and the role of abortion policy…’

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- 2. IRELAND: ILLEGAL ABORTION SENDS THE PROBLEM ABROAD
Commentary by Ann Furedi, chief executive, BPAS.

‘Ireland is a modern developed country where women expect to live modern lives. They expect to be educated and to have the chance to work. They expect to be able to plan their families. They expect to enjoy sex without fear of pregnancy. And, as contraception can’t always be relied on, this means they need access to safe legal abortion, just as we do here in Britain.

‘Women in Ireland have abortions but they have them here, while politicians turn away from taking responsibility for a society that allows women to have hopes and expectations of equality, but denies them the means to achieve it and makes them prisoners of their biology… ‘

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Also read:

- 3. IRISH WOMEN TAKE ABORTION LAW TO COURT

Three women challenge the Irish government’s ban on abortion in a case at the European Court of Human Rights. 

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