The Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) today called on the government to abolish mandatory waiting periods for those seeking abortions in ireland.
ARC Spokesperson, JoAnne Neary, said “Three days ago, we gathered at the Dáil to demand the removal of barriers to abortion care in Ireland. All across the island, pregnant people are waiting three days – and often much longer – to access the care that they need and are entitled to”
Neary noted that “There is no medical requirement for this waiting period. It unnecessarily delays access and interferes with the relatively short 12 week window that exists.”
ARC’s research indicates that waiting periods don’t result in a change of mind but instead add to stress and anxiety, during an already stressful time. One participant said, “It made me feel like I was not trusted to make my own decision and caused me a great deal of mental and physical distress.” These barriers to access impact most heavily on the most vulnerable, including those in unstable or unsafe living situations.
The view on this from the World Health Organisation is clear – “mandatory waiting periods can have the effect of delaying care, which can jeopardise women’s ability to access safe, legal abortion services and demean women as competent decision-makers.”
Mandatory waiting periods are restrictive, discriminatory, damaging and, in essence, anti-choice.
The Abortion Rights Campaign demands that mandatory waiting periods be abolished without delay.
Today, September 28th, marks International Safe Abortion Day. This year’s theme is “Make Unsafe Abortion History”, and calls on all countries to remove all laws and policies restricting the right to safe abortion on request. Further details on http://www.september28.org/
The Abortion Rights Campaign’s research, “Too Many Barriers: Experiences of Abortion in Ireland after Repeal” is available for download at abortionrightscampaign.ie/research
The WHO technical and policy guide to safe abortions list mandatory waiting periods as a barrier to safe abortion.
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