Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘X Case’ Category

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

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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 These proposals provoked a row and the memo was withdrawn.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/

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

X Case – Anti-abortionists restrictions must be rejected

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Joan Collins TD, Clare Daly TD

Statement – 4 Feb 2013 – immediate release

 

Legislate for X Case

Anti-abortionists restrictions must be rejected

 

The delay of a memo to Cabinet regarding the forthcoming legislation on abortion shows that pressure from the anti-abortion minority must be rejected, said Clare Daly TD and Joan Collins TD.

Joan Collins said:

“The suggestion that the opinions four or five medical practitioners should be required to approve a medical treatment – in this case abortion – to remove a risk to a woman’s life, is an attempt to make abortion inaccessible in practise.

The idea that a despairing woman or girl, driven to consider suicide as a means to escape the trauma of continuing a pregnancy she truly cannot face, would be able or willing to go through four or five medical assessments is a cruel denial of the reality of such a situation. Confronted with such restrictions, any woman who could afford it would travel abroad for an abortion. Poorer women, girls, or those too ill to travel would face obstructions that could drive them over the edge.”

Clare Daly went on:

“A maximum of two medical practitioners, and in an emergency one – should be enough to approve abortion when it is necessary to remove a threat to a woman’s life. And such a threat, as the Chief Justice said in X Case ruling, should not need to be ‘immediate or inevitable’ in order to approve an abortion. The anti-abortion minority must not be allowed continue to impose other restrictions – which could put women’s lives at risk.

Delays in the introduction of legislation for X – which is very restrictive and would only apply in the few instances where lives are threatened – shows the need to repeal Art 40.3.3 from the Constitution to make abortion an issue of medical treatment to be decided by a woman in consultation with her doctor.”

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More on the Government’s Foot-Dragging Here :

What Do We Not Talk About When We Do Not Talk About Abortion?

http://www.claredaly.ie/what-do-we-not-talk-about-when-we-do-not-talk-about-abortion/#more-1333

if it were finally accepted that the old Church-State complex was no longer the dominant force in Ireland, the way would be paved for a very awkward discussion; what should be the dominant ideology in Ireland? How should the state relate to class and gender? Who should hold power and, more importantly, who should have power taken away from them?

And so we get Lucinda Creighton, Enda Kenny, and many other politicians who ordinarily are full supporters of free-choice (as long as it is the limited neo-liberal kind of free choice in the market place) clamouring to strictly control this debate, to not pass legislation for as long as possible, and, whenever they do finally pass legislation, to make sure it is as limited in scope as possible.  This practiced silence and inactivity is a conscious strategy, based on the idea that by not talking about abortion, they might be able to also prevent us all from talking about all these other issues, of power, class and sex.

 

Legislate for X – No restrictions that make abortion inaccessible – Statement by Clare Daly TD and Joan Collins TD

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Clare Daly TD, Joan Collins TD

Statement – 1st February 2013 – immediate release

Legislate for X

No restrictions that make abortion inaccessible

Clare Daly TD and Joan Collins TD today responded to the publication of the Submission to the public hearings of the Committee on Health and Children with regard to the Expert Group Report on abortion:

Clare Daly TD said:

“We welcome the publication of these Submissions. The Minister now has ample evidence from which to proceed. We call for the prompt publication of a draft bill to provide for abortion on grounds of risk to the life of a woman – either by suicide or other reason related to a pregnancy.

We call for the bill to include the statement by the Chief Justice in the X Case Ruling that a risk to the life of a woman arising from pregnancy – be that risk by suicide or otherwise – should not necessarily be ‘immediate or inevitable’ in order for doctors to perform an abortion to remove that risk.”

Joan Collins TD went on:

“We support arguments made in legal Submissions to the Committee that abortion on grounds of fatal foetal abnormality could and should be included in the bill. We also call for trust to be put in the women of Ireland and in their doctors – as was argued in many of the Submissions to the Committee – and for the forthcoming bill not to include restrictions such as to make abortion inaccessible in practise and thereby put women’s lives at risk.”

Clare and Joan both insist that Legislation for X is only the first step. They jointly declared:

“Many of the Submissions illustrate the need for abortion to be made available in Ireland on grounds of risk to health, rape and incest, and fatal foetal abnormality; and when a woman feels that she simply does not wish to proceed with a pregnancy – for whatever reason. We support access to abortion on all of these grounds and will be campaigning for the repeal of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution and the introduction of free, safe, legal abortion in Ireland.”

Web Link :
http://www.claredaly.ie/legislate-for-x/

Legislate for X – Repeal 1861 Act now – Repeal 8th Amendment to Constitution

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An Irish Government finally agrees to legislate for abortion – a very significant victory for women, a practicfal example of the power of mass mobilisation politics – NEVER AGAIN

United Left Alliance Statement :

Legislate for X – Repeal 1861 Act now

Repeal 8th Amendment to Constitution

The ULA welcomes the government’s declaration that legislation for the X Case ruling of the Supreme Court in 1992, despite a delay of twenty years, will finally be brought in next year. There is no need to delay however, in the repeal of Sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act. This piece of repressive law, retained from the time of British rule, makes abortion a criminal act with severe penalties for women and doctors. We call for the immediate repeal of this legislation. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

Dec 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Savita’s Laws

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Large Demonstration Outside Leinster House on Wednesday November 21 –

Legislate for Abortion Now

http://www.savitaslaws.com/1/post/2012/11/never-again-nov-21st-dublin-protest-next-demo-wed-28th-6pm.html

Clare Daly has re-tabled her bill to legalise abortion, which will be debated next
Wednesday.   ULA members distributed literature calling for another demo to coincide with the
legislation debate.

Praveen Halappanavar did an interview on RTÉ tonight calling for legalisation of abortion,
and thanking the over 10,000 people who demonstrated in Dublin last Saturday.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/1121/howlin-halappanavar.html#video

This crowd was overwhelmingly made up of people in their 20’s and 30’s, a big majority of
them women.

The government is still in a very deep crisis.

The public arena is transformed: see for example this pro-choice article by Vincent Browne
in the Irish Times :

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/1121/1224326896233.html?via=mr

International Day of Action for legal Abortion in Ireland

http://www.facebook.com/events/175080575964011/

Written by tomasoflatharta

Nov 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Ireland’s abortion standoff – Al Jazeera Coverage

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Ireland’s abortion standoff

A link to Al Jazeera’s coverage is here :

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/irelands-abortion-standoff-0022407

Written by tomasoflatharta

Nov 21, 2012 at 12:13 am