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Time for a grown-up abortion debate
Pro-choice and pro-life campaigners have been ramping up their campaigns lately. But there’s no use in Ireland burying its collective head in the sand any longer. With women continuing to travel abroad for terminations, the time has come for the status quo to be challenged.
Adrienne Murphy, 05 Oct 2012
“I was so relieved and grateful to Women on Web,” concludes Clare, “for being a safe and reliable provider that I knew I could trust. I had no worries when I was taking the medication, because I knew that it was coming from a safe source.”
Pro-choice activists are critical of what they consider ‘scaremongering’ by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB), who, they allege, are spreading the myth that the abortion pill is unsafe. I’ve also spoken to a Dublin gynaecologist who heard that the IMB are intercepting abortion pills coming into Ireland, and sending what could be considered threatening letters to the women for whom the packages were intended. To investigate these allegations, I emailed WoW with the following questions:
1. Has the IMB issued unfounded warnings of danger
about the abortion pills that you provide?
2. Has the IMB intercepted your packages to
3. Are women in the Republic able to get abortion pills
4. If not, what is your policy when you get requests
from the Republic?
5. What about requests from women in Northern
6. Is there a risk that women will start turning to less
reputable, profiteering providers of online abortion
pills if they are having difficulty receiving yours?
The speedy response from WoW was thus:
We hope that your article will highlight the human right of all women to control their own bodies and reproductive lives. Women on Web stands with women in Ireland and N. Ireland who deserve the same access to care as women in Britain, and the ability to decide when and if to become a parent.
Please understand that to protect the women that we serve, we cannot answer some of your questions. We can confirm that the IMB improperly stopped and continues to stop packages to the Republic of Ireland, which is beyond their authority. They harassed women for whom the packages were intended, in violation of those women’s rights to receive medicines for their own personal use. The IMB also legally challenged the license of our physician; they lost that challenge in the courts.
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