Tag Archives: current-events

Voting Prochoice in your local Elections.

This is very hard to do it seems. Each county Council is meant to have a list online of candidates who are running and how to contact them. But from talking to friends, it’s spotty at best.

However as I have stated in my other blog it is easier for us to try and communicate with them and to pool resources with each other to ask the questions we think are important and that for me is who is ProChoice. If two candidates are weighing up for me equally this will be the decider, or may rule out someone who other wise I would vote for.

So here is a link to a list of all the candidates I could find who are running in the local elections and how to contact them.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1E386rHzLnsrlaejUzin63ImWBfOb8APm7xMCkcrUsfY/edit?usp=sharing

Also that really well funded lobby group had the time and resources to get a bunch of local election candidates to sign thier pledge, so here’s the list of who not to vote for https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B954SdlrGC2lc1dQVkN0cmtLN2s/edit?usp=sharing

I will be doing a round up of the EU Candidates tomorrow.

 

 

 

Why I am Voting Prochoice!

 

This week I will be voting in the Eu elections, local elections and a by election in Dublin West.
So why am I asking Candidates to the EU parliament, if they are pro choice?
Policies set in the EU parliament effect us here in Ireland and it is to the EU court of human rights Irish women have to go again and again to try and get access to the health care we need in our own country. Currently there is report, called the Estrela, which sought to make clear that reproductive rights are human rights and

the importance of making contraception widely available, comprehensive sex education and quality family planning services. It also says that women have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number, timing and spacing of their children and underlines the importance of safe abortions.

http://reproductiverights.org/en/press-room/EU-parliament-fails-to-back-women-rights

It was rejected by an anti-choice alliance, will the candidate you are voting for join that anti choice alliance or will they work in Europe on your behalf to ensure that Ireland moves to give women the health care we the need here?

 

So why am I asking Candidates in the local elections if they are pro choice?

The majority of candidates who are running the local elections to be members of the County Council are members of political parties. They get to have input to party policy and to the debates and discussion which happen before a party adopts a stance on any issue. Often those who get elected to the County Council go on to seek election to the Dáíl, so it’s good to know what their stance is.

Also over the last 12 months we have seen County Councils passing motions in support of a referendum on the issue of Marriage Equality, hopefully we will see County Councils passing motions in support of a referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment.

 

So why am I asking Candidates in the by elections if they are pro choice?

The Dáil is one of our legislative bodies, we have seen the how important it is when we have has several bills come to be voted upon in the Dáil chamber that our elected representatives be willing to vote in accordance with the wishes of the people who elected them. We need to let them know we are pro choice, that we will not wait 20 more years for the next abortion legislation and we do not want them to wait either.

So why I am Voting Prochoice ?

Because I don’t ever want to give any preference to someone who thinks women like me who have had abortions are murders, who think that they can be the gate keeper to the abortion rights which the majority of people in Ireland agree we should have. I do not want any one who thinks it is ok for women to have to travel to get the health care they need to be voted in to a position of any significance via my vote.

 

Voting and why I do it.

I have mentioned before that I read this book around the same time I became a teenager.
d

It is the story of the fight for women’s suffrage in the USA. It made me aware of the countless hours women of many generations worked so hard for to get the right to vote some suffered horribly in vile prisons and some even died.

Women in Ireland did not have the Vote until 1928.
Yep 1928 which means we have not had the right to Vote yet for a 100 years.

Suffragettes including our most famous ones Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington seemed to think once women had the Vote the world would be radically changed as we would be then equal with men and able to change laws and make the world and the country a fairer place.

While I think if those brave ladies were to travel forward in time there are many things they would be pleased with but I do not think that the level social change and ‘equality’ would be something they would be happy with.

Women having the Vote did give us a certain amount of power but as we all know well now it was not the Pancea for all ills the suffragette had hoped it would be. But that does not mean it won’t be as we move forward and with the internet making it easier for us to communicate and collate information, making an informed choice and being informed on whom to vote for has gotten easier.

Every time I get a polling card with my name on it I think of the women who dedicated themselves in the fight to get women the right to Vote and didn’t live to get to Vote themselves. 86 years of having the Vote, I don’t think women have done enough with it. The old boy’s club is still very much the way things are in our houses of parliament. We deserve better.

I am refusing personally to vote for any candidate who is not pro choice to some extent. I will never give a preference to any candidate who considered women like me to have committed murder. I will never give a preference to a any candidate who does not see the need for a separation of church and state esp in our schools and health care system. I will never give a preference to any candidate who does not see the need for a comprehensive universal sex and sexuality education program in our schools.

I have had people ask me why bother, well that just means things stay the way they are. Often less then 55% of the people who are on the electoral roll turn out to vote and we have people who are eligible to vote who are not even registered to do so. If there is a low turn out in an area, which politicians can tell, due to the numbers being low then they don’t feel the need to work so hard on the issues being raised in those areas. You want to make a difference, get active, get informed and vote.
It is a lot easier to do so now, then it was when women first got the vote in 1928, it’s easier now then it was 50 years go even 20 years ago.

I Vote because I believe I have an honour and a duty to do so. I have never failed to do so in the last 21 years and I hope I never do.

Death shows need for abortion services, family planning organisation says

Death shows need for abortion services, family planning organisation says The Irish Times – Mon, Jul 22, 2013.

“Mr Behan said the IFPA frequently had clients who experience difficulties raising the money to travel and to pay for an abortion and who had later-term abortions as a result.

“If they were resident in the UK and there was a serious health issue the abortion would be available to them, free of charge on the NHS.”

He said the case underlined the need for abortion legislation which protected the health and not just the life of a woman.

The National Women’s Council of Ireland too said the case “points to the needs for safe and legal abortion services in Ireland” and to the “artificial and unworkable distinction between a threat to the health and a threat to the life of the woman”.

“It also shows the devastating impact being forced to journey overseas has on women emotionally and physically,” said Jacqueline Healy, women’s health and human rights spokeswoman with the council said.”

It is estimated 12 women a day travel to the UK for abortions, I wonder how many don’t due to the cost. All other maternity related services in this country are free. Where a woman needs an abortion due to the impact the pregnancy is having on her health she should be able to have it here.

The abortion support network takes calls everyday from desperate women who can’t afford to travel who are trying to scrape together the money needed. One of the volunteers who answers those calls, wrote about some of thier stories here. http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/column-the-debates-on-abortion-in-the-dail-wont-change-the-reality-irish-women-face-every-day-993657-Jul2013/

Given the cost it is no wonder that women traveling from Ireland put their lives at risk to return as soon as possible and with the stigma many do not get the aftercare they need, esp if things don’t go as best they can.

Abortion after care, is free. Both the physical check up and counseling if women needed it.
http://www.abortionaftercare.ie/ lists services around Ireland which are funded by the HSE.
But beware some of these are how ever pro life, esp the Cura branches.
Personally I would recommended in Dublin http://femplus.ie/services/crisis-pregnancy/

Micromachismo & Lapgate

So last night despite the fact I am on holidays I found myself camping out in front of the tv in the house we have rented for the week.

So I was up and watching when what is being called lapgate occurred.

Tom Barry FG had apologises for ‘horseplay’ with Aine Collins FG.
It is more then that is was an utter lack of respect for a fellow TD and party member, for the people they both represent and the country as whole as it happened in the Dáil voting chamber.

He would not have done it to a male T.D.

So the lead word in the title of this post is micromachismo which is defined thusly.

“micromachismo”, as defined by Bonino (psychiatric working on promoting equality between women and men ) :
For the author these are ” small, almost imperceptible controls and abuses of power quasi normalized that the males execute permanently. They are skilful arts of domain, maneuvers and strategies that, without being very notable, they restrict and force insidiously and repeatedly the personal power, the autonomy and the psychic balance of the women, committing an outrage in addition against the democratization of the relations. Given his invisibility they are exercised generally by total impunity ” (Bonino, 2004: 3).

Last night we watch aghast as a TD grabbed another TD with out their consent and restrained them while the Dáil was in the process of finally trying to pass a bill to legislate for the Supreme court ruling on the X case.

21 years after that 14 year old girl was raped, ended up pregnant and wanted to end her life rather then be pregnant, there are people some of whom are members of our government who think during the debating session that accosting a woman in her place of work is ‘horseplay’.

What it is is horseshit. I have had mixed feelings on the bill and was by turns encouraged and disappointed by the debate last night but Lapgate shows us how far we have to go still in this country in treating women as equals and respecting them.

Survivors of Symphysiotomy are still waiting 10 years on.

It has been over 3 years from when I first wrote about the horrors of symphysiotomy in Ireland here on my blog. Back then many people had no idea what it was, or why it happened or the horrendous effect it had on the women it was preformed on. That changed when it was featured on Prime time.

The reason it was featured was that it was then 10 years from when the Survivors of symphysiotomy had been promised a review of their cases. The Article here dated 24/06/2003 show those women sharing their stories.

Symphysiotomy survivors demand inquiry – irishhealth.com.

Some of those women are no longer with us and while we have seen the government promise a bill to amend the statute of limitation to allow for redress there is no sign of it reaching the final stages as the end of the working period for the Dáil draws near, despite The Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Bill 2013 passing Second Stage on 17 April.

So the Survivors of Symphysiotomy put out the word they would be demostrating today and http://tradeuniontv.ie/ were there to cover it.

Survivors of Symphysiotomy

19 June 2013
SoS driven to demonstrate: 8 and 1/2 weeks later, our Bill STILL hasn’t come before the Justice Committee. The Minister for Justice doesn’t seem to be making himself available, so the Bill has yet to be tabled. We are holding a DEMO – our first – this coming Wednesday, 26 June, at 11 a.m., outside the Dail. Please bring banners, buggies and above all, bodies! Let’s shame this Government into doing the right thing by survivors of symphysiotomy.

Ireland is indeed being haunted by the many wrongs it allowed to happen, hopefully those ladies will not be made to wait any longer.

Chairman says health of mother and not just life needs protection

Chairman says health of mother and not just life needs protection .

The legal situation should be addressed “urgently” to ensure that not only the life but the health of the mother can be protected in pregnancy, the chairman of the review team said.

Prof Sabaratnam Arulkumaran was asked whether, to ensure another woman did not die in circumstances similar to those in which Savita Halappanavar had died, the law should permit termination of pregnancy where there was a threat to the health and not just to the life of the mother.

He replied: “Yes.”

More women could die in Irish hospitals in a manner similar to Savita Halappanavar unless legal clarity is provided for doctors on when they can intervene to terminate a pregnancy, the HSE report into her death has warned.Savita Halappanavar report: Tragic. Devastating.
Savita Halappanavar (left of photo) with children at Galway’s St Patrick’s day parade.The girl with the diamond smile
Dr Katherine Astbury advised Savita Halappanavar and her husband that a termination might have to be considered after a diagnosis of sepsis was confirmed. Photograph: Eric LukeTermination was denied at first because clinicians believed their ‘hands were tied’
Sabaratnam Arulkatumaran (left), Chairperson, and Dr Philip Crowler, National Director for Quality and Patient Safety, at the publication of the HSE clinical review report into the death of Savita Halappanavar on Thursday. Photograph: Eric LukeSerious gaps remain in what we know about operations in the hospital
“Failing to devise and follow a plan of care for this patient” is a fairly damning indictment of the healthcare professionals who looked after Ms Halappanavar. Photograph: Eric LukeMedical view: Focus on basics of care likely to help save lives

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“There are certain conditions a pregnant mother might have which can suddenly escalate – for example in this particular situation from an infection that is very localised but which spreads to the whole body and is sepsis.

“With severe sepsis the mortality rate is about 40 per cent, and if she goes into septic shock the mortality rate can be as much as 60 per cent. This can be in a very short period of time which means that [if] intervening is at a later stage it is difficult to bring the patient back to normality and to control.

Medical community
“So what we are saying is the medical community have to discuss with the legal profession if you really want to say the chances of making sure someone survives; this needs discussion.

“We don’t want another death happening because there is some ambiguity about how they interpret the law.”

He also said there were situations where a mother’s health only was threatened but which could escalate rapidly into a situation where her health would be permanently damaged.

“If you have infection, by the time it comes to sepsis and severe sepsis the fallopian tubes might be injured, she can become sub-fertile, she might have [later] an ectopic pregnancy. Life-long she might have pelvic inflammatory disease. I mean, how much are you prepared to take before considering termination of pregnancy?

“At what point is this going to give permanent injury to the woman, or what point might it escalate to death.”

He said too much responsibility was on individual doctors to interpret when it was legal to intervene, leading some to wait until the foetal heart stopped to be sure they were acting within the law.

“Even until the last minute they are waiting for the foetal heart to disappear before the termination would be considered. Some might have done it much earlier … so it seems to be a little bit individual, even within Ireland. So we must have some definitive meanings as to when you think this should be done.”

His patient
If Savita had been his patient in the UK she would have been offered a termination on Sunday, October 21st, the day she went into hospital. “If it was my case I would have terminated the pregnancy,” he said.

We need to get the 8th amendment repealed to safe guard women’s health.

Draft General Scheme of the Protection of Maternal Life Bill 2013

Draft General Scheme of the Protection of Maternal Life Bill 2013

Risk of loss of life from self-destruction

Provide that

1. A person shall not be guilty of an offense under….when a medical procedure referred to in… is carried out by a register medical practitioner

at an appropriate location at which mental health services are also provided and in relation to such mental health services at least one of the psychiatrists referred in this head is employed.

one obstetrician and two psychiatrists have jointly certified that in their reasonable opinion

there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the pregnant woman’s life from self-destruction and this risk can only be averted by medical procedure in the course of which or as a result of which unborn human life is destroyed.

one obstetrician and two psychiatrists have revived the opinion referred to… and certified that they are of the same opinion.

2 At least one of the psychiatrists refereed to in… shall be a perinatal psychiatrist.

Thank you to @curtainqueen for her screen shots which enabled me to type up the draft bill from #vinb.

1+2+1+2= 6.

And after the Minister for Health only on Monday denied that women would have to face 6 drs.

It is unworkable and the College of Psychiatrics of Ireland stated they would not take part in such compulsory assessments.

This is farcical and I can’t see any Dr wanting to put a person who is in such dire mental health through such a process. If you think this is absurd then I urge you to contact your TDs on this issue. The Abortion Rights Campgain have a draft letter you can use which you can find here: http://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/2013/04/22/suicidal-women-should-have-to-see-no-more-that-two-doctors/

IMO branded ‘out of step’ on abortion

IMO branded ‘out of step’ on abortion.

IMO branded ‘out of step’ on abortion
April 19, 2013 By Lloyd Mudiwa Leave a Comment
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Photo by Voisin/Phanie / Rex Features

By Lloyd Mudiwa.

The IMO is ‘out of step’ with the majority in Ireland on abortion rights, a campaign group has claimed.

The Abortion Rights Campaign said it was dismayed at the rejection by the Organisation of general motions at its recent AGM in Killarney supporting the regulation of abortion in line with the X Case, or in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities.

Citing a Paddy Power/Red C opinion poll in January 2013, Sarah Malone of the Abortion Rights Campaign said: “In rejecting motions 38, 39 and 40, the IMO illustrates how far out of step it is with the majority of Irish people, who believe pregnant people should have the right to an abortion in Ireland in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities or in cases of rape or incest.”

Motion 38 called on the IMO to support regulation in relation to the provision of abortion services where there was a “real and substantial risk” to the life of the mother, while motions 39 and 40 sought for the union to call on the Government to legislate for women who become pregnant as a result of a criminal act, that they would be allowed access to legal termination within Ireland.

These motions also called for the provision of abortion services for women who were pregnant with non-viable foetal anomalies who chose to proceed with an abortion.

Janet O’Sullivan, a spokesperson for the Campaign, added: “We commend the work Dr Mary Favier and Dr Mark Murphy of Doctors for Choice are courageously doing, and are disappointed that women living in Ireland who have travelled for an abortion, or who are currently planning to travel, may now feel they cannot be open with their doctors and other healthcare professionals about their reproductive health choices.”

While the IMO declined to respond to the group’s claims, its President Dr Matt Sadlier told RTÉ’s This Week programme after the AGM that the motions passed were just a continuation of the Organisation’s policies passed a number of years ago.

When asked what practical implications passing the motions would have, Dr Sadlier replied: “If we are asked by Government to advise on legislation, then that will inform our position.”