A quick thread on the use of mental health by antichoicers, and why it’s both harmful and wrong. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Sadly this is something that we’re ignored in this country for too long, and it’s still under resourced. #8thref #together4yes
Antis are claiming that abortion will basically be widespread and a free for all if it’s allowed on mental health grounds. This is insulting not only to women who need abortions, but also further stigmatizes mental health. ➡️
I see a “fact” being thrown around by antis is that “97% of all UK abortions are on mental health grounds”. Yes, 97% of UK abortions are on health grounds. Yes, the majority of these are mental rather than physical health. But it’s misleading to state that this will happen here.
First, the UK doesn’t have an on request period. 92% of all UK abortions happen before 12 weeks, so let’s exclude them. Let’s look at 2016 figures. That leaves us with 14,848 over 12 weeks. ➡️
Now, of those a good chunk are under grounds C or D. About 1/3. Another small chunk (120) are physical health. That leaves us with 10,178 abortions on mental health grounds over 12 weeks. That’s just under 5.5% of all UK abortions. ➡️
Going to shout that out once more for the cheap seats in the back. In the UK in 2016, approximately 5.5% of abortions were performed after 12 weeks gestation on mental health grounds. #together4yes #repealthe8th #8thref ➡️
But wait, there’s more. In the UK, “health grounds” asks if a persons health would be more at risk continuing the pregnancy than ending it. Pregnancy is a pretty risky thing to do. Abortion is 14x safer than continuing pregnancy, so if someone doesn’t want to be pregnant ➡️
The grounds are pretty much always met. That is *not* what is being proposed in Ireland. In Ireland it’s proposed that second trimester abortions would only happen if there is a severe risk to the life or health of the mother. Not any risk, severe. Certified by 2 doctors. ➡️
By the way, those 5.5% performed under mental health grounds in UK of course includes Irish women. Irish women who would have availed of it earlier but saving for travel meant they were delayed. In fact, Irish people to the UK present at a later gestation vs their UK counterparts
So, abortion on mental health grounds in the UK, despite the fact that everyone basically qualifies, are fairly rare at 5.5%. Imagine how rare they’ll be here with the requirement for the risk to health to be severe. ➡️
When abortion in cases of risk to mothers health including suicide was legislated for here, many antis also fought against it. They said it would “open the floodgates”. Sound familiar to anyone? Let’s look at the Irish abortion figures for 2016. ➡️
In 2016 there were 25 legal abortions carried out in Ireland for risk to life. Want to guess how many of those were for risk to life from suicide? 1. 1 solitary case. What about 2015? Only 3. No floodgates opened then and they won’t open now. ➡️
Antis are out today with billboards claiming that we want to legislate abortion up to 6 months. That’s just plainly misleading. Because we’ve already legislated for abortion at any time where there’s risk to life. But only in very specific circumstances. ➡️
It’s misleading and inaccurate to state that as there were 25 abortions carried out in Ireland in 2016 that “Ireland allows abortion to term”. Most people would agree that’s an untrue, misleading statement. Abortion is only allowed in very very specific rare circumstances.
In the same way it’s misleading to say “together4yes want to legalise abortion to 6 months”. It implies that would be so for every case. It’s not. Same way as abortion is allowed in only some circumstances now.
The proposals are as follows. On request until 12 weeks. Second trimester only when the life or health of the mother is in severe risk, or the child can not survive (FFA). Not for “vague” reasons. Not for disabilities. Not for rape. Just severe risk to life/health. ➡️
The floodgates argument and the lies are just getting tiring at this stage. Look at the facts. A restrictive abortion system legislated by the Irish gov is preferable to a UK system we’ve no control over. We need to bring healthcare home. #together4yes #RepealThe8th #8thref /end
PS. The fabulous @maireadenright just pointed out that the UK has a similar ground to what is being proposed here - Ground B. So earlier in the thread we dealt with ground C- the risk is higher in continuing than ending, and how that’s always met. ➡️
Turns out the UK does have a similar ground to what’s being proposed here, and that’s called ground B. Ground B states “ the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman”. How did I miss that before? ➡️
‘Coz it’s so rare it doesn’t appear on the stat tables I was looking at. It comes in as 0%. However I just found those figures buried in the report. So in 2016 in UK 246 abortions were carried out under grave risk to health (physical or mental). That’s 0.13% of all UK abortions.
Here’s the grounds for future reference.
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