When I was working for the Yes! campaign in Northern Ireland I had to walk past The Family Planning Association on the way to get my lunch. Quite often there were pickets outside. Because unlike anywhere else in the UK abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland.
It does not of course prevent Northern Irish women seeking abortions, indeed over 1000 traveled to seek one last year alone, they merely have the additional trauma have having to travel to England, Scotland or Wales. But today their anguish wasn't helped by the next Health Minster the DUP MLA Jim Wells.
Speaking on the Nolan Show he said that the ultimate victim of rape is the unborn child. Adding:
"Should he or she be punished for what has happened by having their life terminated? No.
"In Northern Ireland, there are hundreds of married couples who would love to adopt children - a child, a baby - and who could give support in that situation."
Now there isn't just one victim of any rape. Indeed in the last year in Northern Ireland there were 525 cases reported. This figure is actually higher than the number reported in the Republic of Ireland which has three times the population!
So what about the mental well being of all those 525 victims?
Not all of those 525 will want to face a nine month reminder of the horrid crime carried out against their person. Suffering through morning sickness, the back pain, the increase in girth (not to mention having to buy maternity clothes). That is to say nothing of the additional mental anguish both during and after pregnancy of having gone through being forced to carry the child full term.
Who is the ultimate victim of Northern Ireland not allowing abortion, even in such conditions?
Of course to get across to England, Scotland or Wales, these women are using savings theirs or their families, digging into pension funds or going to loan sharks to afford the additional expense of getting a ferry or flight and accommodation to cover them meeting with the two doctors, both strangers to the woman, to get the approval to abort.
Now of course earlier this week i pointed out that the DUP used biblical verses to attack gay marriage. Someone even tried to tell me that while the civil and ceremonial laws were outlawed the moral ones were to be upheld. Therefore I'm not quite sure why Jim Wells wasn't quoting the following biblical verses to defend his position, the DUP after all have cleared their members to do so.
If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.
Deut 22: 28-29 New Living Translation
If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.
Deut 22: 23-24 NLT
So why stop at merely letting the women who has suffered at the hands of the rapist go full term and give the child up for adoption, surely the DUP should be marrying her off as this is a tradition form of biblical marriage? One goes on to wonder how any DUP politician would deal with a daughter who found herself pregnant as the victim of rape?
But of course they realise how ridiculous it is to call for that. So instead they merely add to the trauma of removing something that is causing the victim, and let us not forget the woman is a victim of a crime, undo anguish. Any other crime once the police come and take pictures of the evidence the results can be cleared away and people get on with their life, but for rape the DUP are prepared to let women live with the results, that have crashed into their lives unwarranted, for nine months.
Earlier today I did post this from the Huffington Post about how the pro-lifers are so much only looking at the rarer commodity for human reproduction. Of course going again the biblical precedent Onanism as masturbation is also called was because Onon in Genesis 38 while having sex with his dead brother's wife pulled out during sex and prevented her giving her dead husband the heir that was required from his younger brother's seed. God himself put him to death.