Abortion is still impossible to obtain in Northern Ireland (and other updates from the abortion wars)

By Jonathon Van Maren

Not even a pandemic, unfortunately, can slow the pace of the global abortion wars. Here is a brief update of what is going on around the world.


Despite the governors of both Ohio and Oklahoma delivering directives that shut down abortion clinics to preserve PPE for medical professionals working on the frontlines and to ensure safe social distancing practices, courts in both states have contradicted those orders and ruled that abortions can continue (although abortions have stopped in Texas). It is the story of the American abortion wars: Unelected judicial appointees overruling democratically elected officials.


A court in Argentina has upheld the appalling conviction of a gynaecologist who refused to abort a child conceived in sexual assault in 2017. The victim, a 19-year-old in her fifth month of pregnancy, had taken an abortion pill but it failed to kill the child. Dr. Leandro Rodriguez Lastra believed that an abortion would pose a risk to both the mother and (obviously) the child, and instead delivered the baby, who was given up for adoption. Because abortion in the case of rape is legal in Argentina, Rodriguez Lastra was sentenced to a 14-month suspended prison term and was disqualified from holding public office for 28 months.

Rodriguez Lastra will be appealing the case further, and his lawyer noted that the verdict “is a mere ideological expression that shows that they did not look at anything in the trial, in fact they practically do not cite the witnesses or anything that happened there. It’s as if they didn’t see it…if the Superior Court or the Court applies the law, as it should, we will be able to overturn the ruling.”


According to VICE, some pregnancy crisis centres are open in a number of states including Texas, Ohio, and Alabama. Considering the fact that everyone has been talking about the potential of a coronavirus baby boom, this is good news—there will be many people needing access to resources.


Remember the good old days, around fifteen minutes ago, when abortion activists pretended that “back alley abortions” were horrific, bloody affairs that needed to be avoided at all costs (even the cost of 65 million dead babies, killed legally)? Well, with the advent of the abortion pill, they seem to have changed their tune. When the coronavirus pandemic began, the U.K. announced that they would be permitting “do-it-yourself” at-home abortions, and then changed their minds and said the pill should not be taken unsupervised, and have now changed their minds back again and stated that women can abort their babies with pills at home.

And over at the Huffington Post, an article titled “It’s Time For A Revolution In At-Home Abortion” makes the case that the “coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fiction that most abortions need to be performed in a clinic setting.” Whenever the old talking points become inconvenient, abortion activists smoothly move on to new ones. At the end of the day, it is about whatever allows them to keep the abortion industry moving.


Abortion activists in Northern Ireland, where abortion legalization was recently imposed on the public by Westminster despite widespread public opposition, are furious that it is still very difficult to procure one. In fact, Emma Campbell of Alliance for Choice stated that “[w]e are in a worse position than we have ever been in—access is worse than it has been for over 50 years.” Women are being told they will need to take an 8-hour ferry ride to England to get an abortion (despite travel restrictions and the pandemic) as the regional health ministry missed the April 1 deadline to begin providing abortion locally. This means that women from NI seeking publicly funded abortions must go to clinics in either Manchester or Liverpool, which do not have flights due to travel restrictions.

Pro-abortion groups like Amnesty International, predictably, are condemning this state of affairs, especially as many activists suspect Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster, who is pro-life (as is Health Minister Robin Swann) are simply delaying bringing abortion to NI because, as Foster told the media, she is against “abortion on demand. It’s a retrograde step for our society.” The pro-life Democratic Unionist Party voted down a proposal that would have permitted doctors to prescribe the abortion pill via the phone, with the Ulster Unionist Party abstaining from the vote entirely. For the time being, although abortion is technically legal in Northern Ireland, it is more difficult now than ever to obtain one.

Thank God for pro-life politicians.


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