It’s time for free contraception and more sex education

The referendum held in Ireland last Friday to repeal the eight amendement of Bunreacht na hÉireann resulted in a resounding victory for the pro-repeal side. The unassailable size of the victory means that there is no argument left to quibble that people in Ireland were opposed to abortion. The people have not spoken, they have bellowed!

A thorough victory for the Yes side

It was a stunning victory. No one saw it coming. Due to how highly emotive an issue abortion is, many people, including myself, imagined that the result would be much closer. It seemed that both campaigns were highly organised and vocal. It was also pretty obvious that the national media were supporters of repealing the amendment and had been for a long time.

So now the deed is done and there is no turning back. Abortion will be permitted in Ireland (or at least the independent part of Ireland).

OK kids, do you know how babies are made…?

There would no need for abortions if people didn’t get pregnant in the first place (duh! that’s obvious you say). It means that people need to start to learn about sex, contraception, and pregnancy from the age of 13 when puberty begins. It could be general sex education at the start and then it would become more explicit each year. By the age of 16 there should be no holding back on sex education. It needs to be clear, realistic and practical.Photograph of sex education with a condomAlong with education, free contraceptives should be provided by the state up until the age of 25. Perhaps even until an older age. Young people in school and third-level colleges should be constantly told to take responsibility for their sexual health and use contraception. If they don’t want to become parents at a young age then they should be taking precautions. Women should take the pill and men should wear condoms. Other methods of contraception can be used. They should only be having sex when they want and with whom they want. If problems happen women can use the morning after pill.

If strong sex and contraception education along with free contraceptives were provided then there would be less abortions happening. There would be less crisis pregnancies which is the main reason for women to have abortions.

The North is next

On a different note related to the abortion, there can be no doubt that the resounding victory in the Republic of Ireland means that it will spur on the campaign for abortion to be made legal in the north of Ireland. If women from the north go to Dún Dealgan or Baile Átha Cliath for abortions, instead of Britain, it will encourage the move towards abortions being made legal in the north. Women would find it easier and cheaper to travel south by car or by train rather than flying or getting a ferry to Britain. Already political parties and pro-abortion campaigns are gearing up to push the issue. They feel rightly that they have a strong wind in their sails. No doubt it will be fought tooth and nail by conservatives who are opposed to abortion.

An interesting development will be to see if conservative Catholics will ally with conservative Protestants in opposing the move for abortion in the north. There are Catholics in the six counties who would ally themselves with the DUP to oppose abortion. If the DUP could get over their dislike of Catholicism and become more accepting of Irishness, then they could attract conservative Catholics who agree with the DUP’s anti-abortion stance. This is a huge expectation and unlikely to happen considering the DUP’s long history of being opposed to Irish culture and the Catholic Church. Time will tell.

OMG! Irish is still suitable for Ireland, please God

Lastly, on a completely different matter but still related to the abortion referendum, the latter might have caused an unexpected and unintentional consequence.

One man I spoke to recently about this topic said that if the yes side won and abortion is permitted in Ireland then the Irish language will no longer be suitable for the new Ireland. Huhhh??? Say what?

His claim is that as there are so many phrases with religious themes in them in the Irish language then the new Ireland with abortion on demand will not be a place for such a language. Go bhfóire Dia orainn!

OMG! I had never thought of that. God knows why. Heavens above, surely the same would happen to English. There isn’t a soul in Ireland who doesn’t use some religious-themed phrases. Please God, they will continue to use them otherwise Ireland might become a Godforsaken land. I don’t think that my despondent commentator is in seventh heaven about Ireland’s fall from grace as they believe that it is gospel truth that the Irish language cannot survive without the benediction of religion flowing through it.

Raiméis! The Irish language will always be suitable for Ireland. As there is no other country in the world where Irish is spoken and used, if Ireland isn’t suitable for its own language, then nowhere is.

The English language has many phrases derived from Christianity and people continue to use them despite abortions being preformed in almost every Anglophone country such as the USA, Britain, Canada, Australia etc.

That claim about religion and the Irish language is more concerned about Christianity and religion than about the Irish language. The Irish language is older than Christianity by a few centuries. I am sure my ancestors 2,200 years ago survived fine without Christian phrases. They probably had words and phrases for their own beliefs which are sadly mostly unknown.

It is all over for now

I am sure most people are glad that the campaign to repeal the eight amendment is over. Time will tell how its repeal will affect Ireland and if the number of abortions will increase. It will be a sad victory for the No side if it emerges in a few years’ time that the number of Irish women who have abortions has gone up. They did warn that it will happen and the pro-repeal side denied it. No one knows but if my suggestions for sex education and free contraceptives are implemented, then there would be less need for terminations of pregnancies.