Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Savita Halappanavar’s Death’ Category

Clare Daly Questions Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Abortion

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Action on X Protest; Monday April 29, 6pm, City Hall Plaza, Dame Street Dublin

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Join the Action on X protest on Monday 29th April and tell this government we will never accept their unworkable, dangerous and insulting legislation.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=454188731336677&set=a.355403847881833.86963.231522283603324&type=1&ref=nf

Alternative Proposals
“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
Six.
KEVIN HIGGINS

Written by tomasoflatharta

Apr 22, 2013 at 12:24 am

Legalise Abortion; Legislate for X; Dublin Demonstration Monday March 4

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image

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 :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wYYObj1PXMM

 

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.

Written by tomasoflatharta

Mar 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm

March for Legalised Abortion in Ireland – Central Bank to Dublin Castle, March 4, Assemble at 6.00pm

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March for Legalised Abortion in Ireland – Central Bank to Dublin Castle, March 4, Assemble at 6.00pm

 

Legalise Abortion in Ireland - Legislate for X - March to Dublin Castle, March 4 2013

Written by tomasoflatharta

Feb 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Lies Damn Lies and Statistics

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This is a wonderful educative article on how to read polls accurately : strongly recommended

Irish Politics Forum

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 Irish Times recently which showed a substantial majority in favour of legalised abortions in a variety of circumstances.

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Pope Benedict’s Resignation Brings an Awful Papacy to an End – On the Same Day Irish People Show They Want Abortion Legalised Now

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http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/11/pope-beneditc-resignation-paradoxical-papacy

Shed no tears in Ireland for a Pope whose record on Catholic Church child abuse is awful. His successor is unlikely to be an improvement, and his loyal laity in what used to be called “the land of saints and scholars” swim against the tide of pro-choice popular sentiment on the abortion issue.

All out on March 4 to insist on the legalisation of Abortion in the Irish state – tell the Dublin Government to abandon Rome Rule!

On the same day a new Irish Times Opinion Poll showed huge majorities in favour of legalising abortion in Ireland  :

There is strong public support for the Government’s plan to legislate on abortion, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

It also shows that a substantial majority of voters back much wider access to abortion than that being proposed by the Government.

Asked if the Government should legislate for the 1992 X case to allow abortion where a mother’s life is in danger, including the threat of suicide, 71 per cent said Yes, 11 per cent said No and 18 per cent had no opinion.

Pro-Choice Sentiment is now very strong in Ireland :

In regional terms Dublin was strongest in favour, with the rest of Leinster the least supportive of legislation.

Nonetheless, there were big majorities for legislation in all regions, social categories and age groups

Web link :

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2013/0211/1224329906498.html?via=rel

However the government is still putting necessary legislation on the long finger – and that is totally unacceptable.

Put Kenny and Gilmore Under Pressure :

Action on X – Legalise Abortion Now – Women’s Lives Matter – Rally for X March 4 2013; Assemble 6pm Central Bank; March to Dublin Castle

https://tomasoflatharta.com/2013/02/08/action-on-x-womens-lives-matter-rally-for-x-march-4-2013-asssemble-6pm-central-bank-march-to-dublin-castle/

Ireland’s Banking Fiasco, Midnight Parliamentary Madness, A Government in Free Fall…..and Mass Media Self-Delusion

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Many media commentators predicted a popularity boost for a struggling Government because of extraordinary events this week.

They seem to be singing from this Labour Party Leadership Circular to its councillors :

“Farewell to Anglo!
Last night’s legislation brings an end to Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish Nationwide Building Society. These two institutions, names that will live on in ignominy, are forever associated with the recklessness and greed of a tiny clique that brought this country to the edge of financial ruin. These banks, the people who ran them and the golden circle around them were at the very roots of the crisis that has caused so much distress to the Irish people.

In liquidating this institution, we are doing what should have been done on the night of the blanket bank guarantee.

This is another step forward towards the day when we can finally face forward as a people, when the past can finally recede into the distance and when Ireland and the Irish people can see the future that they truly deserve”

This text was apparently put into the public domain by Labour Party Fingal Councillor Cian Ó Ceallacháin, who dissents from the austerity dogma promoted by his party leadership.

Opinion Polls in the last few months have been grim reading for the parties leading the current coalition government, Fine Gael and Labour.

Labour Pains in 2013 Opinion Polls

There is one fundamental reason for the fall in Fine Gael and Labour Party ratings : Mssrs Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore are continuing to carry out the policies of the previous Fianna Fáil / Green Party Coalition.

The scale of the FF/GP fall between the General Elections of 2007 and 2011 was spectacular :  the two parties won 84 seats in 2007 but collapsed to 20 in 2011 – a staggering loss of 64 TD’s, reducing the Green Party Dáil delegation from Six to Nil.

Opinion Polls began to register this electoral earthquake after a 2008 all-night Dáil session which gave birth to the Brian Lenihan inspired “bail-out”, shoring up the Bust Anglo-Irish Bank and ushering in a programme of austerity, cuts to public services, privatisation, and tax increases.

Fine Gael and Labour this week staged a re-run of Brian Lenihan’s all-night Leinster House Show, once again rushing through a complex piece of financial legislation connected with the financial crisis.

Will these parties follow the electoral example of Fianna Fáil and the Green Party?

Since the Savita Halappanavar Scandal, the opinion poll ratings of the government parties have gone into free fall.

An opinion poll published in today’s Irish Times confirms the trend,with major losses predicted for Fine Gael and the Labour Party.

Adrian Kavanagh has done his usual excellent number-crunching giving this predicted result if a General Election was held tomorrow :

STATE  FG 42  FF 51  LP 15 SF 26 Others 24

Compare this with the 2011 result

STATE  FG 76
 FF 20
 LP 37
SF 14
Others 19

In other words, Fine Gael and Labour will lose a staggering 56 seats if these numbers are right.

In fact losses for the Labour Party will very probably exceed the catastrophic defeat predicted above :

Adrian Kavanagh says that “actual Labour seat numbers could well be lower than the numbers predicted here” :

Labour’s declining support levels (down eight percentage points on the party’s support levels in the 2011 election) translate in a further significant drop in the seat estimates allocated to the party in these latest poll analyses. The party’s support levels are now on a par with the levels earned by the party in the 2002 and 2007 general elections though its seat estimates here are lower than the seats won by that party in those contests due to (i) the increase competition levels offer by Sinn Fein and other left-of-centre political groupings and (ii) the impact of the boundary changes associated with the 2012 Constituency Commission report which are seen to more adversely effect Labour than another of the other parties or political groupings. It is interesting to note also that, with the exception of Galway East, most of the rebel Labour TDs would appear to be based in constituencies that this analysis suggests the party would hold seats in at an election based on national figures akin to these poll support levels. If these deputies were to remain outside the party fold to the point of running as independents the actual Labour seat numbers could well be lower than the numbers predicted here.

Web Link :

actual Labour seat numbers could well be lower than the numbers predicted here

Going into the detail, the following words jump out at readers interested in boosting the electoral fortunes of an anti-capitalist / anti-coalition alternative :

Boost for small parties

However, the appeal of other small parties and Independents has grown considerably since the last Irish Times poll, with a fifth of all voters now supporting this category.

The level of support for this group is particularly pronounced in Dublin, where 32 per cent of voters say they would support this category.

This is a far higher level of support than any of the political parties managed to attract and indicates that there could be many more Independents and representatives of small parties in the Dáil after the next election.

Web Link :

Support for Others at 32 Per Cent in Dublin

The others group is a mix of left and right, but in Dublin it is primarily an anti-coalition left vote.  When that vote came together in 2009, Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party won one of the three Dublin Euro-Parliament Seats.

The trials and tribulations of the faltering United Left Alliance project are being exhaustively discussed on this blog and other places.

The events of this week, and the electoral and opinion poll data above, show very decisively that, the anti-coalition anti-capitalist left must get its act together – or – in Bernadette McAliskey’s recent words at the 2013 Bloody Sunday Commemoration in Derry – “we are in for one hell of a hiding”.

Action on X – Women’s Lives Matter – Rally for X March 4 2013; Assemble 6pm Central Bank; March to Dublin Castle

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Action on  X Rally 4.3.13