Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Category
The leader of backward Irish Vatiban (Fine Gael) defends women-hating laws; pregnant women beware!
Deputy Kenny is out of step with popular opinion :
What is in the new government bill on abortion? Will it make the current position better or worse?
In 2012 Clare Daly proposed a bill in Dáil Éireann to implement the Supreme Court X Case Judgment of 1992 – later endorsed in two referendums held in 1992 and 2002 – which would have legalised Abortion in Ireland in very limited circumstances.
Now the government has come forward with a new bill – following mass outrage at the death in a Galway hospital of Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion which would probably have saved her life.
The government is also under pressure from the European Court of Human Rights after the A, B, and C cases; the court instructed the Dublin government to legislate on abortion.
It is necessary, at this early stage, to carefully look at the contents of the government bill, and propose alternatives which will take forward the pro-choice cause in Ireland.
The statement below, issued by pro-choice TD’s Clare Daly and Joan Collins, is a contribution to this effort.
Clare Daly TD, Joan Collins TD
Statement – May1, 2013 – immediate release
Needs of despairing women ignored – lives will be put at risk
Expert Group recommendations ignored
Commenting on the government’s draft bill on abortion, Clare Daly TD and Joan Collins TD called for changes to deal with shortcomings in the Bill:
Clare Daly said:
“Today, May Day, when women have fought for their rights as workers, we are still fighting for our rights as women. I welcome the publication of the government’s proposals for minimal legislation on abortion, but it contains restrictions that will continue to put women’s lives at risk.
There are neither medical nor social grounds for requiring the approval of three consultants to agree to abortion for a despairing woman, driven towards suicide because of unwanted pregnancy. A psychiatric emergency is no different to a medical emergency and is treated as such by clinicians. If one of the government’s panel of three says ‘no’, it is up to the woman to push for an appeal to another three. Most women would give up at the possibility of a second refusal and be driven further into despair, or forced overseas – if they can afford it. This must change: no more than two medical practitioners should be required to approve abortion for suicidal women.
Women who cannot face these obstacles, and induce abortion themselves, are threatened with 14 years in prison. They would be branded as criminals if they obtain abortions in Ireland – yet the government is happy to see it done in Liverpool. The ‘chilling factor’ of criminalisation referred to by the European Court of Human Rights has been transferred from doctors to women. This hypocrisy must end: abortion must be decriminalised.”
Joan Collins said:
“The government has ignored Art 6.4.1 of its own Expert Group Report, which said that two doctors was enough to make a clinical decision on the risks to a woman’s life because of physical or mental health condition. They have also ignored the views of the majority, who support legislation for the X case, and organisations including SIPTU, Unite the Union, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and the Union of Students in Ireland – representing hundreds of thousands of people. They have called for no more than two medical practitioners as sufficient to approve abortion.
This Bill is a political compromise with Fine Gael backbenchers and the anti-abortion minority, which will compromise women’s lives rather than meet women’s needs. It also reinforces the distinction between a woman’s life and her health and welfare – where a woman who could be permanently incapacitated by pregnancy cannot get an abortion. The 8th Amendment must be repealed and women’s health needs and choices provided for.
We will be examining this draft Bill in the coming days and will table amendments to remove the unnecessary restrictions contained in it.”
No comment necessary
Join the Action on X protest on Monday 29th April and tell this government we will never accept their unworkable, dangerous and insulting legislation.
“the Fine Gael health minister proposes a panel of two obstetricians
and four psychiatrists – one of whom must be a perinatal psychiatrist –
to assess a woman who is seeking an abortion on the grounds of suicide
ideation…there are only three perinatal psychiatrists in the country”
The Sunday Times, April 21st, 2013
Any woman of child bearing hips,
unfortunate enough to find herself
alive on the patch of weeds between Muff
and Kilmuckridge, or Skibbereen
and Hackballs Cross, must,
to have her baby/babies
legally abhorted, obtain, before she kills her
self, without bribery or offer of
sexual favours, the signatures
of six former members
of the Irish National Liberation Army;
six personal friends of Shane Ross;
six random guys shouting
obscenities in the street;
six women from Barna
who thought Michael D’s speech
last week to the European Parliament
was absolutely marvellous;
six Sean Nós dancers in residence
at accredited universities,
six plumbers who’ll definitely be there
first thing Tuesday morning,
six Dutch guys from Doolin
who make their own clogs, or
six ex-members of the pop group
Trade Union Flags mingle with “Never Again” images of Savita Halappanavar on a bitterly cold evening at Dublin City Hall.
Paula Geraghty’s Short Video Report of the Event :
Brendan Young reports on the demonstration, and makes proposals for more useful activities.
Today, March 5, is the 21st anniversary of the X Case ruling. Yesterday evening we had a great rally of 500 – 600 calling for legislation. Yesterday and last Friday, we had a historic first when major trade unions and other mass organisations – SIPTU, UNITE, the Women’s Committee of ICTU, the NWCI and USI joined together in calling for legislation that is not so restrictive as to make abortion inaccessible in practice. Both events were organised by Action on X.
Yet despite all the discussion about legislation at the January meetings of the Health & Children Committee on the Expert Group Report on abortion, we are still no clearer on when legislation will appear. There were press reports in early Feb about a memo to cabinet from health minister Reilly with proposals for a bill. The reports suggested that this memo contained proposals which were very restrictive: up to five consultants might be required to sign off approval for an abortion in the case of a woman being suicidal due to unwanted pregnancy. Previous comments suggested there would be very few locations where abortions could be carried out. These proposals provoked a row and the memo was withdrawn. So there is now no timeline for any proposals on X legislation; nor any indication of what the legislation might contain.
When Reilly announced before xmas that there would be legislation on X, people may have thought that it was a done deal. But Kenny was saying that the legislation would be as restrictive as possible. Labour are opposing the most restrictive aspects – but details are scanty and the outcome is undecided.
We cannot assume therefore, that legislation will be forthcoming before the summer. When legislation is published the anti-abortion minority will go into overdrive. So we should be clear on what we are doing over the coming months: there must be legislation for X, in the least restrictive form possible; it must include risk to life by suicide as grounds for abortion. It would be a setback for the pro-choice movement if legislation is passed that requires three, four or five consultants to sign off on an abortion; or if services are restricted to one or two hospitals, such as the Mater where Prof Patricia Casey – long-time anti-abortion campaigner – runs the suicide clinic. Such restrictions would simply deter a woman from even trying to use the services – with all of the risks that would entail.
Legislation on X will, by definition, be restricted by Art. 40.3.3 – the 8th Amendment to the Constitution. But restrictive legislation on X would be a setback. It would make a campaign for repeal of the 8th Amendment more difficult.
So we should not deflect the focus of the current debate by arguing for abortion on grounds of health (or other non-risk-to-life grounds – apart from fatal foetal abnormality) to be included in this legislation. These arguments are easily dismissed because they are excluded under 40.3.3 – the removal of which requires a referendum to change the constitution. Until X legislation is passed, without unnecessary restrictions, we should focus on that. We then move on to the launch of a campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment.
A useful activity for keeping pressure on the government (and other parties) would be for teams of people to visit TDs and councillors in their clinics. The visits would be to ask them what they are doing about implementation of the X ruling and the ABC ruling; and about when legislation will be published. They can be asked about their own position on the details of legislation – restrictions, etc; about the position of the party locally; and about what information they have regarding government proposals. If the TDs / Cllrs don’t know, they can be asked to find out.
A picket on the Dáil before the easter break on March 28 would also be useful.
From Paddy Healy
A meeting to organise resistance to the changes to pay and conditions under Croke Park 2 will be held in Teachers Club, Parnell Square, on Wednesday next, Feb 27, at 8pm.
The meeting has been called by 5 branches of TUI to organise resistance to Croke Park 2 within the Education Sector.
The organisers have agreed to facilitate discussion among all public sector trade union activists and pensioners (pensions are to be reduced under the Deal) on organisation to oppose the Deal
Please Come along at this time of great danger for public servants and for the trade union movement generally.
Posted by Eoin O'Malley (21 February, 2013)
A poll released today by the Pro-Life Campaign seeks to ‘challenge the notion that there is broad middle ground support for abortion in Ireland.’ This polls claims to show that two-thirds of Irish people want ‘legal protection of the unborn’ and suggests that this means Irish people are against legalised abortions. This should surprise some as it follows on from a IpsosMRBI poll in the…