Should the legislation be ratified, threat of suicide is one of the areas where women will be permitted a termination.
If a psychologist thinks a woman is at risk of suicide, then he/she can legally consent to a termination of the pregnancy.
If a woman is suicidal how will termination of a pregnancy help her improve her mental health? More than anything termination could lead to strong feelings of guilt and more suicidal thoughts relating to that guilt.
This clause could also lead to many women taking advantage of the legislation and claiming to be suicidal so they will be legally permitted to a termination.
Many Irish men and women are careless when it comes to protected sex, resulting in thousands of unwanted pregnancies every year.
Abortion legislation could lead to a rise in unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancies because people will know if worse comes to worst and they do end up pregnant, they now have easier than ever access to an abortion.
Although the legislation will only allow for abortion in certain cases, loopholes could be easily found, with the threat of suicide clause already presenting an open way around the legislation.
While cases like Savita Halappanavar’s highlight the need for abortion legislation, the proposed legislation doesn’t just allow terminations where a mother’s life is at risk, but terminations in other cases too and this is where the problem lies, abortion will become too easily accessible.
If the Dáil ratifies the legislation, the alternatives to abortion, like adoption, will be forgotten about and abortion will become a form of contraception, resulting in the loss of lives for many innocent children.
Colin Layde is pro-choice. Read his argument here.
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