See you there.
Yes this post is entitled:
Thank you Pope Francis & the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church for your part in #repealthe8th.
Let me explain why.
See the thing is, the Roman Catholic Church last year changed its policy in relation to excommunication in relation to abortions. It used to be if you had an abortion or helped someone have one, you were automatically excommunicated, & need to see a bishop to reconcile with the Church.
In 2016 the RC Church had a year of extraordinary mercy, and down grade the level of sin, so you could see your local parish priest to be reconciled. So many people, mostly women did this, that they down graded abortion & helping in any way (money, info ect) to a matter for your parish priest permanently.
Which means having an abortions or being complicit in someone else having one, became the same level as ordinary Sin. This was a huge shift in attitudes which is rarely spoken about.
It made it easier for many mass attending Catholics, to #VoteYes. I have devote Catholics in my life, the conversations around this have been fascinating.
And when the year was done the RC Pope (he is one of 3 popes) extended the terms permanently.
So your parish priest who’d you’d confess all your everyday sins to, could absolve you from your sin of abortion and reconcile you to the church. I am not Roman Catholic, but I know women who are, who use contraception, who have had abortions and this brought them ease and comfort.
I genuinely believe this helped us #repealthe8th, but I never saw it covered in our media, esp by religious correspondents, even when it happened, and it’s a seismic change.
Knowing this I had zero concerns in taking part in performances of The Renunciation.
The Refrain in it was “People of Ireland, lift up your voices. We are all worthy of our right to choose”. And we did.
So thank you Pope Francis & the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church for your part in #repealthe8th.
But honestly @Pontifex you are still wrong when it comes to LGB people & esp Trans people, protecting pedophiles, protecting abusers, wanting control of schools & hospitals & failing to make reparations. Maybe sort that before visiting.
I’ve been rather sick the last week or so, I even lost my voice!
But now that it is back I am going to record pretty much the speech which I have been giving all around the country for the last few years.
— Janet Ní Shúilleabháin (@JanetOS_) May 10, 2018
I was invited down to Nenagh by the Tipperary for yes team. It was wonderful to meet them, some of them I have been chatting with on twitter for years.
I had never been to Nenagh before and was looking forward to the trip. It isn’t a long journey down, it’s about two and a half hours, the same as getting to many other towns and city across the country.
I was speaking with Nurse Polly from Midwifes for Choice, Arlette Lyons from Terminations for Medical Reasons and Matt Doncel from Lawyers for choice.
We had a fantastic Information Evening in Nenagh last night!
Thanks so much to our inspiring speakers, @JanetOS_ @MattDoncel @NursepollyRgn and @Arlettemlyons!!@Midwives4Choice @Lawyers4Choice @TFMRIRE #TogetherForYes @Together4Yes #RepealThe8th #TippRepealers #TeamTipp pic.twitter.com/SBihyBdJD4
— Tipp Together for Yes (@TipperaryForYes) May 11, 2018
We had a lot of questions about what provision (services) will look like after legislation and how it needs to be Free, Safe, Legal and Local so that people don’t have to travel to far to access it, esp with the proposed 72 hour waiting time.
Also about the process via which legislation goes through the Dáil and Senand, how that process may change the proposed legislation.
After (fingers crossed) we get a Yes result on the 26th of May we need to support our TDs in bringing forward the legislation. We need to tell them the type of legislation and provision we want to see across the country.
For a very long time the other side was regularly in contact with TDs making the point they would loose vote and possibly their seat if they did not fall in line with their ideology. We need to let our TDs know how many of us are Pro Repeal and Pro Choice and that they would loose our vote for voting against healthdcare inline with best international pratice and which has a human rights framework.
Unsure who your TDs are, you can find out here www.whoismytd.com
— Janet Ní Shúilleabháin (@JanetOS_) May 10, 2018
Again thank you to Tipperary For Yes for inviting me down to speak.
Hello from Wexford, I was in invited down by Wexford Together for Yes to be a speaker at their meeting last night in the River Bank Hotel.
It was a great meeting with a lot of discussion, questions and people sharing their stories. I was one of three speakers, and was joined by Siona Cahill Vice President of USI and Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty Ireland. It was my first time on a panel with Colm and it was lovely to be in his home county with him.
Why do we have the 8th Amendment?
Because from 1935 to 1978 contraception was illegal in Ireland. Contraception was legal at the founding of our State but in 1935 given the rise in the importation of contraception (mostly condoms) the then Taoiseach after consultation with the Bishop changed the law so that the importation and sale of contraception was illegal.
This remained the case until 1973 when a lady name May McGee took a high court case and won the right to contraception on the grounds of privacy in marriage, but it took 5 years before legislation was passed and enacted.
The fact contraception was made legal on the grounds of privacy caused a hell of a stir as it was on those grounds in the USA that abortion was made legal. And so the conservative forces set about working to get something in constitutional law which would forbid abortion.
And here we are 35 years later working to undo that, so that we may have compassionate healthcare here in Ireland.
24 days to go. Keep having the chats, the discussions. They are what is important. I had a lady ask me as I boarded the Wexford bus yesterday where did I get my badge as she hadn’t had a chance to get one yet. I gave her mine.
She asked was I sure and I told her no bother I would get another one at the meeting in Wexford town, she said she couldnt make that one cos of her kids, but would be making the fundraiser in a few days in Gormanstown. Talk to as many people as you can.
And if you have questions I can help with give me a shout, either via twitter @janetos_ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Again thank you to those who donated to my go fundme for making all this possible.
Next stop for me is Dundalk on Wednesday the 2nd of May in the Táin arts centre at 7pm, Hope to see more of you there.
A lil bit about #repealthe8th not just being a woman’s issue.
Now more then ever I am glad I spoke up & worked to ensure that the Abortion Rights Campaign is trans/non binary and gender fliud inclusive . I helped write this in 2015
We live in a post gender recognition Ireland, I always mention this when speaking at events. It has even caused my opponents to edit their language & acknowledge this. This happened with Mrs Caroline Simmons of the Pro Life Campaign when we were speaker at a debate in NUIG.
I have been very, very fortunate to have people in my life who happen to be trans, who took the time to talk to me. To explain & at times correct me when I assumed or screwed up. I sure as hell don’t always get it right, I try. I know I fecked up already this year and me being not sober & it being 3am didn’t excuse it.
I have always tried to include non cis people when I talk about reproductive rights, because its the least I can do, to maybe make the world a lil less tough.
A while ago family member came out to me as not cis. They were figuring things out, they had professional help, I was the first family member they told. I was honoured
Recently they have come out to friends and family as being a bloke. I am so happy for him. He can get on with living his life as his real self.
I am very aware the the 8th still effects him, same as it does me, but accessing healthcare for him, especially if he should need to travel will be a bit more complicated. I still love him dearly that was never going to change, & he’s thanked me for being as inclusive as i have been & how some of the conversation I have had with extended family help him.
Being inclusive was always important to me, but now more then ever I am grateful for all the times I have said pregnant person or people who can become pregnant. And I am going to keep saying it, because it is important, esp when all of the mainstream messaging is currently women & girls.
The wonderful the Abortion Support Network https://www.asn.org.uk/is trans inclusive & supportive, they only care if a person needs help & if they can help them
At the #Marches4choice @freesafelegal have had trans people speaking, @freesafelegal also worked with @TENI_Tweets when formulating how to talk about abortion & not be utterly woman centric.
Yes the Abortion Rights Campaign got abuse from some ‘feminists’ for doing so, I have gotten it too, but now more then ever I am glad to be a ‘bad’ feminist saying pregnant people, cos now it’s close to home & family.
I don’t know of we will see any main stream campaign messages re non cis people, but I still support ye and wont stop saying pregnant people. We work to ensure we have enough Yes Votes on the 25th of May so that we Repeal the 8th Amendment for everyone so we can all access the healthcare we need.
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.
Thank you to those who donated to my Fundme who made this trip and blog post possible.
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.
@WomenHelpOrg & @abortionpil 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.
I am going to Galway to take part in an LGBT+ Repeal discussion in Teach Solais on April 26th.
It’d be from 7-9pm in Teach Solais with a social after in Nova bar.
I am very much looking forward to this, Repealthe8th is a LGBT Issue.