“Mary Still Boards The Ferry”

Posted: January 11, 2013 in Comment
Tags: , , , ,

Yet again Ireland finds itself arguing the toss over the issue of abortion.

There is no doubt it is an emotive issue, and for that reason alone, I have always tried to avoid any discussion around this issue over the internet, until now.

For as both sides continue to put forward their side of the discussion, we seem to lose track of the fact that as each day passes, and we moralise in debate…….Mary still boards the ferry……

So lets take a look at the current state of play in this never ending debate.

The tragic passing of Mrs Savita Hallapannavar has brought this issue into sharp focus, and one wonders if her very traumatic death had never occurred, would we be any closer to legislation…

The Irish government have been obliged to legislate for abortion in certain circumstances for over twenty years. The fact that successive governments have failed in this duty, regardless of its content or context, has been lamentable to say the least, and negligent and incompetent to be generous. Whatever we may think about the incumbent administration, at least they are taking up the mantle and attempting to address their duty to the constitution voted for by the people of the land.

“X case and the letter of the law” http://www.irishexaminer.com/analysis/x-case-and-the-letter-of-the-law-184761.html

“Government will legislate to allow abortion in line with X Case ruling” via The Journal.ie http://www.thejournal.ie/ireland-to-legislate-for-abortion-721493-Dec2012/

In the meantime, Mary still boards the ferry…….

So what are the deeper arguments?  The Anti-abortionists, or Pro Life lobby, as they prefer to be known, claim that any abortion is abhorrent, often citing religious beliefs, the greater good, and that nobody in their right mind would consider such an act, the more extreme elements suggest it to be murder of the innocents, either way, they appear to be not for turning, under any circumstance. And in any democracy, they have that right.

The Pro Abortionists, or Pro Choice Lobby, as they prefer to be known, suggest that abortion is a right of a woman, to choose, to recognise her choice may not be yours or mine, but hers, and that any prevention of that choice could have a detrimental effect upon both mother and child in the long run, either way, they appear to be more open to the concept of the individual as a contributor to the greater good. And in any democracy they have that right.

In the meantime, Mary still boards the ferry……

This current debate has descended into Doctors speaking in the House of the Oireachtas stating such things as ‘I need to know if I will not be jailed, or that suicide is never a treatment for abortion, it has seen Clergymen and Athiests give their point of view, it has seen spurious arguments declaring the highest court of the land was wrong, it has seen emotive claims that this legislation will be the ‘slippery slope’ and ‘open the floodgates’ without providing a predicitve figure or estimate, it has been manipulated to avoid the substansive issue, that is, that under the European Courts of Human Rights the Irish Government must legislate…….

“….European Court of Human Rights ruling which deemed the absence of legislation in Ireland to be a breach of human rights.”

In the meantime, Mary still boards the ferry……

Let’s be clear, it is presumed, the majority of us would have to travel a long way to find someone who would see abortion as a first option, and therefore, by way of extension, can understand that any such decision has been arrived at with great trepidation and thought by the women who arrive at this choice.

Their reasons may be manifold, and they are their reasons, not yours, nor mine, simply theirs.

The question that raises is this……will either lobby group be there for the woman who cant have an abortion in Ireland when she is in her hour of brokeness…or is she left alone in her decision?

We dont have to like the legislation, we dont have to trumpet the legislation, all we have to do as a nation, is implement the legislation….

In the meantime, Mary still boards the ferry……..


  1. Great blog Voicy, you explained both sides very clearly, and, I think both sides have valid points. Like you I have tended to avoid this issue on the web and for the same reason. I personally find abortion repugnant, but I have been lucky in my life not to find myself in circumstances that made it a necessary evil. I don’t think I have the right to deny other women the choice. Everyone should be able to follow their own conscience.

  2. In the meantime, Mary still boards the ferry…….. and there will always be Mary’s boarding the ferry until there is a contraceptive that is 100% effective, non surgical and reversible. Every woman will have her own reasons to keep their baby or seek a termination. That is why I believe no one has the right to force a woman to do something against her will. We need to stop talking and face the reality abortion is and always will be around till there is a fix to stop unplanned pregnancies.

  3. Mara says:

    Until there is a contraceptive that is 100% effective, non surgical, reversible and FREE, as well as no sexual encounter not between two consenting adults who are both in agreement about use of said contraceptive, as well as no pregnancy that ever results in catastrophic or fatal foetal anomalies. Or in other words, never. Ireland’s abortion policy makes it impossible to talk about abortion as a moral issue because when you make abortion illegal or even restrict it in any way, you change abortion from being an issue of personal morality and turn it into an issue of economy and class where, when faced with an unwanted pregnancy, women with money have options and women without money have babies.

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