Tag Archives: feminism

The Horrors of Direct Provision

I had someone try and defend direct provision to me, saying it is a far cry from the Horrors of the Magdalene laundries or industrial schools.

The horror comes when people have been in such emergency accommodation for 9 + years, it is the only life some children have known.

When parents can not cook meals for children, get food when needed for sick children.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/mother-in-direct-provision-denied-food-at-night-for-sick-child-1.3684032?mode=amp

 

When there is no privacy, as adults are forced to sleep 4+ to a cramped room.

 

When the accommodation is not clean or kept up to proper standards.

When children are raping other children.

When women who happen to be trans are forced to be in men only accommodation.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/woman-buried-without-friends-present-after-death-in-direct-provision-centre-1.3917038

When women are having to consider sex work due to the lack of provision for school books and uniforms.

When curfews are imposed and unwell people are locked out after going to A&E.

When people detained there are moved, with out reason or notice to other centers.

When people raped can not access the medical care they need.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/woman-buried-without-friends-present-after-death-in-direct-provision-centre-1.3917038

When those detained there have no idea if or when they will get to be released to have a normal life, or be sent back to a country where they will be killed; which results in them ending their own life.

The Laundries, Mother and Baby homes, the industrial schools, were all considered care carried out by those who were contracted, ie paid by the State to do so. They lacked care, compassion and were inhumane, and still people are deined thier Human Rights.

Direct provision is no different.

Want to help?

Find out what Support MASI need. https://www.masi.ie/support-us/

And get on to your TD https://www.whoismytd.com/

 

Apology Not Accepted.

This arrived yesterday.

I had a smear test which I was told I needed to, in the wake of the cervicalcheck scandal. I had been told to get one in the run up to the Repeal referendum last May, but delayed it for practical reasons, and the because I was scared.

It was December before I screwed up my courage and got it done. I needed it done as the all clear I had gotten after an abnormal smear may have been a false result and I could have had cells become cancerous and spread over the intervening 3 years from the first abnormal test.

Which meant the more time passed I was possible moving passed the window were non surgical treatments were an option. There is a history of several cancers in my family including this one.

The date on the letter shows when I had the test done, the 21st of December 2018 and the date I rang my GP and the Practice nurse told me the results was the 9th of August 2019, over 7 months. I was given the all clear, but I still have my concerns, my trust has been eroded.

I had my first smear at 19, I advocated and educated about them for years, in person and online. I welcomed the Cervical Check service when it was rolled out, but it left me in frankly mental and emotional anguish for over 7 months.

Over 7 months of trying not to think about it, over 7 months of worry and heartache and what if. Over 7 months of Schrodinger cancer inside me.  Over 7 months of desperately trying not to disassociate when I thought about it or when it was mentioned in the news.

Over 7 months of fretting I would have to have surgery and what impact it would have on me in my life. Over 7 months of worrying, my name may be added to the list of women who have and who are dying due to the lack of oversight in running what is a much needed service for anyone with a womb.

I am still working through all of this, I am relived but so damn fucking angry. So no, Apology Not Accepted.

 

 

Abortion services to be provided in Ireland from today

https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2019/0101/1019777-abortion-services-ireland/

It’s really real.

We still have to be vigilant and make sure the services are good enough and person centered, and no one makes anyone feel ashamed for accessing this type of health care.

We need to make sure it’s properly accessible to the most vulnerable and that those who this law does not cover know that they can contact Abortion Support Network

Thank you Pope Francis & the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church for your part in #repealthe8th.

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.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/as-year-of-mercy-ends-pope-extends-priests-ability-to-forgive-abortions

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-SERRw4KcM

The Refrain in it was “People of Ireland, lift up your voices. We are all worthy of our right to choose”. And we did.
We #RepealedThe8th

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.

Tipperary for Yes

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 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  

Again thank you to Tipperary For Yes for inviting me down to speak.

Why we have the 8th Amendment in our Constitution.

 

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.

On This Day: Mary McGee's Case

 

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 hello@janet.ie

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.

Repeal is not just a Cis Women’s issue…

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

Men and the 8th Amendment

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.