The country I pick is Ireland. Ireland just recently voted to allow abortions; previously the 8th amendment prohibited all abortions, women were forced to go to Britain or another country in order to have a legal abortion. The new law allows for abortions before 12 weeks with approval of one doctor. Abortions will also be legal from 12 to 24 weeks when there is serious risk to a woman’s health and two doctors approve. Abortions after 24 weeks will only be allowed if there is fatal fetal abnormalities. I find this country and topic interesting because abortion is such a hotly debated topic and I remember the news around this vote where women were flying back to Ireland to vote on this issue. My health issue for this semester will be abortion.
Ireland only has a 64.8% contraceptive use (2008-2012) which I found interesting since abortions during those years were illegal. Additionally, teen birth rates were 16.3% (Unicef, 2013) which is half that of the United States despite contraceptive use being higher and abortions more accessible (by accessible I mean legal in some regards) in the United States. I find it interesting to compare the two countries because I live and have grown up in the United States so it is interesting to compare my ‘norm’ with the different norms of another country. It also allows for me to connect and compare to the data on a more personal level.
Ireland also has a 0.4% under five mortality rate which means most children make it past five years old. Their life expectancy is 80.5 years old (Unicef,2013). This shows that more people are living and they are living longer. The longer the life expectancy of a country, typically, the better standard of living. Additionally, this indicates that there is good health care; this could be vaccines and other types of medicine or even a decrease in smoking and heavy drinking and other activities that are harmful because of healthcare education for the public.
Lastly, the riches 20% of the population held 42% of the shared income while the poorest 40% only held 19% of the shared income (Unicef, 2013). This suggests that there may be a large gap between the rich and the poor and this also suggests that there may be a disconnect between the two groups. Often times, members of different socioeconomic classes do not interact leading to disagreements and general tension between the two groups- as is often seen in the United States.
“Statistics.” UNICEF, 27 Dec. 2013, www.unicef.org/infobycountry/ireland_statistics.html.
“Statistics.” UNICEF, 31 Dec. 2013, www.unicef.org/infobycountry/usa_statistics.html.