Thursday, April 7, 2016

Northern Ireland to endorse Donald Trump?

Three years ago in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, a nineteen year old girl decided to end her pregnancy by ordering drugs online. This nineteen year old, who is to remain anonymous, did not want a baby at the time and because of the “Offences Against the Person Act”, which has been in place for more than 150 years, she is now being sentenced to a 3-month suspended prison sentence.
This outdated law is highlighting a gap in women’s rights. It allows for those with the financial means to travel elsewhere to receive an abortion while those who cannot afford them, must suck it up and keep their babies, unwanted or even unwillingly. Furthermore, it pushes women to go to unnecessary measures in order to abort their pregnancies. Ordering drugs online as instructed by a health facility, although not under their supervision, seems to be one of the safest as women are throwing themselves down stairs and even drinking bleach to achieve results.  
Personally, it seems like a contradiction to not allow these women to go through with an abortion when the law highlights that “abortion is only legal in cases where the mother’s life or physical and mental health are at risk” and that all other cases such as “when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, are punishable by life imprisonment for both the woman and anyone who assisted her”. What about the medical or mental changes that women go through after birth? Do these factors not impose some type of concern or argument again the current abortion laws?
If Northern Ireland won’t revise their abortion laws, then perhaps they may want to adopt Donald Trump and his policies. As of recent news, the Republican front-runner has proposed punishments upon women who seek and obtain abortions. After retracting his incredibly outrageous statement, Trump still believes that those who provide abortions; physicians, medical centers, etc., should in fact be punished. Which might still leave us with the same “worst-case scenario” as before. Women going to drastic lengths in order to terminate their pregnancies.
As a woman it is a frustrating sight to see others, men especially, contemplating what is best for us when it comes to the private, personal decisions we make around these sensitive topics. Although alternative plans probably won’t come around for some time yet, all politicians should strongly consider the well-being and lives of the women their future policies will affect. Without doing so, I don’t believe they can consider themselves as truly fulfilling their jobs of serving the public and promoting a safe and equal society.

Flegenheimer, Matt, and Maggie Haberman. "Donald Trump, Abortion Foe, Eyes ‘Punishment’ for Women, Then Recants." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Mar. 2016. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

Kaplan, Sarah. "Sentencing of N. Ireland Woman for Aborting Her Pregnancy Revives Old and Bitter Debate." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 07 Apr. 2016. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

- Luisa Ibner, MWPC Intern