Tag Archives: abortion

Launch of Roscommon For Yes!

I hopped on the bus down to Strokestown for the launch of Roscommon Together For Yes, it’s one I have done a few times to Strokestown it’s not even a 3 hour trip which is always nice to sit and read and relax for.

I was still invited down to attend the launch and to meet the members of Roscommon Together For Yes, who had been Ros for Choice part of the Abortion Rights Campaign region groups before they re branded for the referendum.

I meet up with them in the bar of the Percy French Hotel were the event was on later. We chatted about posters, the campaign, how they hoped the launch would mean more people would sign up to canvass, about when posters would be up and the add they placed in the local paper about the event. They were delighted to find out I have been a frequent visitor to Strokestown.

There were  exhibitions in the room as well, one was this amazing display of 20 shoes, one for every person we know traveled to the UK to have an abortion in 2016.

And the amazing http://everydaystories.org/  

Which was set up by an amazing Rocommon native who also founded Voices for Choice Choir.

Everyday stories is an exhibition which is currently traveling and if any group wants to host it please get in touch with them. There is also a discussion workshop which can be sent out to people to run.

Story Events

Requirements

  • Any groups or individuals may host an event.  Workshops have been held in cafés, pubs and living rooms – whatever space you feel comfortable in.
  • A phone + internet / mp3 player is required to play the audio. A speaker is recommended if your group is larger than 4 people.

Please get in touch if you would like to host an event.

 

The speakers at the Roscommon Together For Yes were wonderful.

The Minsters Speech was powerful, I still get very moved when TDs and Minsters speak about the Harm the 8th Amendment causes and how we need to remove it for compassionate healthcare here in Ireland. It is so wonderful that so many of them are on board and echoing what we have been saying for the last 6 or so years.

Nurse Polly spoke about how she can not do her job and how legally there are things which she can do to a pregnant person while they are giving birth with out their consent that in any other context would be assault and how this has to change and how she wants to be able to care for all her patients.

Tracey from Terminations for Medical Reasons spoke about being are parent with 3 children already who had deal with a fourth pregnancy which ended tragically after a diagnosis of a Fatal Featal abnormality.  How she and her husband had thought naively after the diagnosis was confirmed that she would be induced here at home.

Instead she has to take on trying to get an appointment in Liverpool women’s hospital and make all the travel arrangements which took weeks, all the while people were asking the types of questions they do, about when are you due, are you hoping for a boy or a girl, are your other kids excited to get a new baby.

She spoke of the compassion, dignity and care she experienced there and how that was lacking here due to the 8th amendment.

The we hear from Dr Mark Murphy who explained what a medical abortion with pills is like, how drs and all medical staff will be able to opt out of providing abortion services same as they do with contraceptive services using the conscience clause.

That no form of contraceptive is 100% and even when people are doing all they should do, unplanned pregnancies can still happen, drs deal with this everyday and most of the people who have an abortion are already parents.

The Roscommon Together For Yes were amazing and live tweeted the meeting you can read it on thier account if you want to know more. https://twitter.com/RosForChoice

I want to give a special thanks to Nurse Polly stepped up to be a speaker at the launch when I had to step down. I have no doubt we will be sharing a platform soon at other meetings around the country.

The Welcome I got in Roscommon was wonderful and if there is time over the next 5 weeks I will absolutely be back, maybe to do something in the north of the county.

 

Again thanks to all those who supported my gofundme which made this possible.

Strokestown, abortion stigma and me.

Novemember 2012, nearly 6 years ago, was the first time  I came to stay in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. I had passed through it before on the bus out to stay with friends in Balllina. I know I am that strange Dublin person who actually travels outside of the Pale.

My friend Lora O’Brien had asked me to come and be a speaker at a two day Goddess conference in the Visitor centre in Tlusk. where she was the manager.  I had agreed to do this before the death of Savita had broken and that Saturday I was in Strokestown and not attending one of the vigils and Marches which sprung up all over the country. I knew how many there were as I was at the time the sole admin for the Irish Choice Networks website and I kept updating the list there and on the ICN facebook page.

I kept my speaking commitment and on the way down in the car I got talking with friends about abortion and about what had happened to Savita, about the law here and about the restrictions the 8th Amendment put in place.

When we arrive into Lora’s the conversation continued after she had welcomed us and made us tea. She said that she didn’t think things were going to change as abortion wasn’t really such a common thing, as sure none of her friends had had an abortion.

I looked at her and smiled and said “Hi I am one of your friends and I have had an abortion”. That was the first of many, many conversations I was to have with friends over the coming months. While the vast majority of my friends knew I was very prochoice, I still hadn’t disclosed that I myself had travelled.

From November through to the end of January 2013 I told more of my friends, I had those conversations. I am blessed they were so supportive, and so at the meeting at which the name of the Abortion Rights Campaign was announced, I publically stated for the first time in person to a room of mostly strangers that “I had an abortion”.

This all started in Strokestown, which I came back to visit frequently, even spending summer holidays here with my children and celebrating Winter solstice and Summer solstice with friends and family.

And here I am again in Strokestown, today as Roscommon For Yes launches as we finally have a referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment. When I said I would travel to as many counties as possible I contacted a range of groups and let the schedule evolve as it would. And so the first place I find myself invited to is Strokestown.

Its funny but for me personally not surprising as this place is for me connected with the Goddess I have the deepest connection with that of the Great Queen also know as An Mór-Ríoghain or The Morrigan.

The Warrior Queen, the Battle Crow, the Goddess of Sovereignty. And that is what we have been fighting for the rights of sovereignty over our own bodies. The last few years haven’t been easy, hell the last few months have not been easy, but I know She has had my back. So I am happy to make this pilgrimage here. 

I have always smiled when some have called me the Witch involved with the abortion rights campaign, yes I am a pagan, I have never hidden it. I spoke about it on the @Ireland account at the start of the week when I was a curator, Lora did too.

There are as many pagans in Ireland as there are Jewish people according to the last census, we are people just like everyone else, who’s spiritual life, helps us through the hard time and helps us celebrate the good times.

So I am delighted and honoured to be here in Strokestown today.

Aisghair Abú

 

 

Thank you to those who donated to my Fundme who made this trip and blog post possible.

 

Abortion Rates

Countries which make abortion legal & bring in free contraception always see abortion rates drop. Right now we have no idea what the complete abortion rates for people living in Ireland is. This is due to a number of factors.

Not everyone who travels to the UK gives an Irish address, some will give the UK address of a friend or family member. Some people travel to The Netherlands & again don’t give an Irish address but a friends or family members address. Some travel to other countries but only the UK & the Netherlands report back stats of those who gave an Irish address.

Both & have given stats about the number of people who contact them, but again we don’t know how many are actually using the abortion pills. Some people may order them and then choose not to take them as they have had a change or circumstance.

Anytime you hear/read statements about increased abortion rates, remember we only have a guestiment of current numbers. But we do know, as in Switzerland making abortion legal + free contraception = low rates of abortion.

And free contraceptive services for anyone who needs them was recommended by the Joint Oirteachtas Committee and is part of the plans Simon Harris as Minister for Health will be putting in place.

So after we Vote Yes on the 25th of May we need to let the Minister and our TDs know we support Free contraceptive services for everyone.

This is one of the posts created with the support of my go fund me campaign.
Thank you

Look out Ireland here I come!

With the Go Fund Me campaign having been an amazing success I have started the planning to get to every country, between now and the 25th of May!

If you didn’t see the campaign and goals you can read them here.

https://www.gofundme.com/JanetdoesIreland

I have a calendar for this, to track were I will be https://calendar.google.com/calendar?cid=cjRicm8zdmg1dTk2NHJtMmNtczgzdTI3bzhAZ3JvdXAuY2FsZW5kYXIuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbQ

 

 

I will be on Thursday the 5th of April, in Dublin West helping to MC the fundraising Table Quiz which is being held in Myos in Castle knock at 7pm.

I will be in Dundalk on Wednesday 18th of April at 7:30pm in the an Tain center as a panel speak for a debate on the 8th amendment.

I will be in Killkenny on  Friday 27th of April 6pm The Book Centre, for the launch of Autonomy  a women-led collection of stories, poems, memoirs, essays, articles, screenplays and more exploring what it means to have bodily autonomy.

I will keep this updated as more events and dates are organised!

 

 

When will the #Repealthe8th Referendum be?

Right now we are in a weird place re the upcoming referendum. We are waiting for the Gov to announce the wording and the date for the referendum. Once that happens there is a whole process that kicks off.

There hadn’t been an official date announced yet, a possible one has of the 25th of May.

But right now there is a court case in progress in our Supreme Court which is in relation to the 8th amendment. The Supreme Court case that needs to be resolved before the Eighth Amendment referendum

Until the Supreme Court rules, the Gov can not decide the wording of the referendum and can’t announce a date. We are in a holding pattern, so we are seeing media outlets who know there is much interest in with nothing ‘new’ to report. So we get pieces full of speculation. I know people are getting restless wanting to get a move on, but the Gov has to wait on the Supreme Court. And no the Gov can’t hurry along the courts, that would be a serious breach in separation of powers.

Frustrated with what you are seeing from media outlets I suggest you read instead. https://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/2018/02/01/explainer-government-calls-for-repeal-and-new-provision-to-legislate-for-abortion/

Also maybe don’t share daft pieces which aren’t helpful, written to have ‘something” about on a media outlet. Why not share one of these instead

5 Facts About Abortion in Ireland

8 Myths, Busted!

8 Reasons to Repeal the 8th Amendment

They Say, We Say

A Brief History of Abortion in Ireland

Abortion FAQs

Or share this https://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/2018/02/01/making-sure-you-can-vote/

I’m frustrated too, with waiting for the Supreme Court, but I am going to keep on talking to people about #repealthe8th And how if we want to have any change to bring about to compassionate healthcare at home in Ireland in line with human rights & best medical practice then we need to .

In the meantime groups are organising all over the country, get involved https://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/get-involved/

 

#Repealthe8th is an #LGBT issue

I am  delighted to have helped with an OP Ed by the Abortion Rights Campaign  in this months GCN on why #Repealthe8th is an #LGBT issue.

GVN

This was published after I traveled to Galway to be part of a discussion on this very issue as part of Galway Pride Festival.

I got to meet a so many  people, who had a range of sexualities and gender identities and I got asked to sign a cast.

fsl

I you want to know more click through to this months CGN issue and to page 16.