Tag Archives: government

The Myth about Teenagers and Abortion

The Minister for Justice on a recent interview on Newstalk, was asked about the UN’s Economic & Social Council’s recommendation to have a referendum on abortion.

 

http://www.newstalk.com/Justice-Minister-says-her-priority-is-not-on-holding-an-abortion-referendum

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights report states that Ireland must reform it’s abortion laws, including having a referendum however the Minster stated that she thinks the focus should be on crisis pregnancies and lowering the number of teenage crises pregnancies.

The Minster said that doing so would take education on the matter, however it is Minster Frances Fitzgerald who needs to be educated, on how teenagers from Ireland who access abortion in the UK are the minority of the women who travel. These statistics are easily available, the Irish Family Planning Association has them up on their website. https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Statistics

UK Department of Health Stastics 2014UK Department of Health Stastics 2014 Teenagers - 20 and over

Graphics by @jamesfbrophy

 

Teenagers made up less than 8% of women that travelled last year, and the numbers for the last 12 years show that teenagers have not been the majority.

 

2014

This is a myth which we must bust, that it is irresponsible young women who have abortions. When the facts are that no contraceptive method is 100% effective and the most recent statics from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service show that more than half of women (54%) who use their services (including women travelling from Ireland) have already given birth.

Even if we did have contraception which was 100% effective there would still be unintended pregnancies, as those who perpetuate sexual abuse do not check to make sure their victims are using contraception and no woman should have to be on contraception just encase they become a victim of sexual abuse.

Even if we could wave a magic wand and every pregnancy would be an intended pregnancy, there are still reasons why abortion maybe needed, due to the risks to a woman’s health not just her life and in cases of Fatal Fetal Abnormalities when a woman does not wish to continue the pregnancy.

We do need a referendum to Repeal the 8th amendment before we can bring in any Abortion Rights, so that women no longer have to travel to the UK, often being separated from family when they need support.

We do need education about all of the many reason’s why abortion is part of health care.

We do need education about how early access to abortion is best for women and the majority of abortions carried out in the UK are before 10 weeks, with the abortion pills which women should be able to access here via their GP.

We do need education to stop the spread of the absurd myth that it is mostly teenagers who access abortion services, esp by our Ministers.

 

 

The Myth about Teenagers and Abortion

The Minister for Justice on a recent interview on Newstalk, was asked about the UN’s Economic & Social Council’s recommendation to have a referendum on abortion.

 

http://www.newstalk.com/Justice-Minister-says-her-priority-is-not-on-holding-an-abortion-referendum

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights report states that Ireland must reform it’s abortion laws, including having a referendum however the Minster stated that she thinks the focus should be on crisis pregnancies and lowering the number of teenage crises pregnancies.

The Minster said that doing so would take education on the matter, however it is Minster Frances Fitzgerald who needs to be educated, on how teenagers from Ireland who access abortion in the UK are the minority of the women who travel. These statistics are easily available, the Irish Family Planning Association has them up on their website. https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Statistics

UK Department of Health Stastics 2014UK Department of Health Stastics 2014 Teenagers - 20 and over

Graphics by @jamesfbrophy

 

Teenagers made up less than 8% of women that travelled last year, and the numbers for the last 12 years show that teenagers have not been the majority.

 

2014

This is a myth which we must bust, that it is irresponsible young women who have abortions. When the facts are that no contraceptive method is 100% effective and the most recent statics from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service show that more than half of women (54%) who use their services (including women travelling from Ireland) have already given birth.

Even if we did have contraception which was 100% effective there would still be unintended pregnancies, as those who perpetuate sexual abuse do not check to make sure their victims are using contraception and no woman should have to be on contraception just encase they become a victim of sexual abuse.

Even if we could wave a magic wand and every pregnancy would be an intended pregnancy, there are still reasons why abortion maybe needed, due to the risks to a woman’s health not just her life and in cases of Fatal Fetal Abnormalities when a woman does not wish to continue the pregnancy.

We do need a referendum to Repeal the 8th amendment before we can bring in any Abortion Rights, so that women no longer have to travel to the UK, often being separated from family when they need support.

We do need education about all of the many reason’s why abortion is part of health care.

We do need education about how early access to abortion is best for women and the majority of abortions carried out in the UK are before 10 weeks, with the abortion pills which women should be able to access here via their GP.

We do need education to stop the spread of the absurd myth that it is mostly teenagers who access abortion services, esp by our Ministers.

 

 

Painting a different picture

They often say a picture is worth a thousand words and certainly pictures help to set the scene, the tone and context of an article. Which is why sometimes images which are paired with articles about abortion be it in the news, magazines or online can be problematic.

Often the go to image is that of a pregnant person. We have all seen them the headless pregnant woman who is 30+ weeks pregnant, is sometimes called the preggo belly shot. Sometimes the image is just a front close up  the preggo belly or other times the image is in silhouette, eliminating the woman from the image entirely.

The problem with those sorts of image it that it distorts the discussion of abortion before it even begins. The vast majority of abortions happen before 9 weeks, when person really has no outward signs of being pregnant at all. They can often be unfortunately paired with a really good pro choice piece.

Some online news outlets have gotten better at the image they choose, from using airplanes, pictures at protests rather then the preggo belly image or one of a distraught women. But how do we bring about a change in what pictures are used?

Often simply asking works. Campus.ie  recently published an article on Repealing the 8th amendment. It was by Tomás Heneghan and a great read but alas it had been paired with the preggo belly image. So Tomás and Campus.ie were asked over twitter could the image be changed; the suggestion was made for the article to have instead a stock image of a positive pregnancy test. And I’m delighted to say it was changed and it is a worth while read. http://campus.ie/surviving-college/politics/why-we-need-remove-eight-amendment

befunky_11557919223_0455d3ff7d_o.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are now starting to see a new type of image being used on articles about abortion, that of women telling their stories,  which clearly makes the article and the discussions focused on the woman, her rights and her choice.  Which is why the photograph of Tara who shared her story of travelling staring into the camera brave, defiant and unflinching is such a powerful one.

image

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/tara-they-shouldn-t-have-control-over-my-uterus-1.2089490

This means we are seeing abortion being discussed a very different way in the media in this country, one which no longer promotes stigma and shame, and this creates the space to have different conversations which we have not been able to have before. There will be no going back, we can only hope that our legislators can find a fraction of the courage Tara and other women have had to do and set in motion the referendum to repeal the 8th amendment.

Corcaigh Abú; Cork City Council passed a motion to support a referendum to Repeal the 8th amendment

Given the title of this blog, there maybe ancestors spinning in graves down in Kerry, but credit where it’s due.

Late last night during a 5 hour session, in which topics as varied as the lack of librarians to new cycle lanes were tackled after the summer recess, Cork City Council passed a motion to support a referendum to Repeal the 8th amendment to the Constitution.

 

 

The motion was narrowly passed, making Cork City Council the first brave set of counselors to make such a call. Over the last 12 months County Councils all over the country, have passed motions in support of a referendum on Marriage Equality, setting precedent for this type of motion.

The 8th Amendment Article 40.3.3 which is 31 years old restricts doctors from offering health care that women need and has seen over 160,000 women have to travel to the UK and increasingly women risking the 14 years possible jail sentence as laid down in the Protection of Life in Maternity law last year.

The 8th amendment is also responsible for the high court being able to make drastic care orders like those which were imposed on Miss Y. “This amendment is incapable of adaptation to human needs. It’s broken. It’s dead. It needs to come out.” stated Mairead Enright of Lawyers for Choice at a meeting to build a coalition to Repeal the 8th amendment last Saturday, it seem Cork City Council is in agreement with this.

We want to thank those brave, compassionate 12 Councillors who passed this motion and those who voted them into office in the last local election. It is going to take more brave and compassionate people taking action to make this referendum happen, you can take part by signing The Abortion Rights Campaign’s petition to repeal the 8th amendment, by taking the National Women’s Council of Ireland action to contact your TDs telling them you want the 8th amendment repealed and by joining us on the March for Choice on the 27th of September.

thumbnail

Dhara Kivlehan

Dhara Kivlehan married Michael Kivlehan and was starting a family she attended the maternity unit in Sligo and after her mistreatment was airlifted to Belfast hospital were she died.

They meet in Londonin 2002, fell in love, moved back to Ireland and were married in 2005. Dhara died in 2010 it has taken 4 years for the inquest and investigation to happen.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU

 

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU.

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

Mrs Kivlehan was two weeks over her due date when she arrived at Sligo General Hospital on September 20 in labour.

However the results of blood tests taken that afternoon – which showed “grossly abnormal liver function and grossly abnormal kidney function” – were not followed up by her doctors or reported back by the lab for another 12 hours.

Her baby son, Dior, was delivered by C section shortly before 6am the following morning.

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU.

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

The hearing was told two doctors in Sligo agreed that the emergency procedure should be carried to deliver the baby and then Mrs Kivlehan should be treated in intensive care.

The civil action last year heard she was instead transferred to a side room off the maternity ward for a day and a half with no specialist care before being moved to ICU.

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-will-not-stand-for-this-its-a-coverup-shame-on-you-30436928.html#sthash.NpWRoLtv.dpuf

Who is most at risk due to ‘Care’ in our Maternity services?

We know that our maternity services are dangerously under staffed, we know there are no national polices for screening and there are other national policies which are also  lacking. It is not just a case of doctors differ and patients die, it is that depending on where you are in the country, the level of ‘Care’ and the consistency of ‘Care’ varies greatly, even in the same units but from week day to weekend.

But it varies even more so if you are woman who is from a minority in Ireland, this has been born out by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre Severe Maternal Morbidity Report 2011


As Sinéad Redmond   a maternity rights activist and an AIMS Ireland committee member said

“This is a link to the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre Severe Maternal Morbidity Report 2011. Page 10 points out that maternal morbidity (severe maternal medical complications occurring during pregnancy, delivery and the post-natal period) occurred disproportionately among Traveller women and women of colour.

These women also die during pregnancy, delivery and the post-natal period in disproportionate amounts to their representation in the Irish population.

There appears to be no work in progress or completed (or suggested, that I’m aware of) to investigate the causes of this (institutional racism is of course an obvious one, as was apparent in the ‘care’ given to Bimbo Onanuga), and thus no attempts underway to tackle this. ” 

Bimbo Onanuga,

Dhara Kivlehan,

Nora Hyland,

Savita Halappanavar  

All of these women died in a 3 year period, while in the ‘Care’ of our ‘world class’ Maternity services. Their deaths have caused by medical mis adventure, or failure in basic care. I do not think they are the only ones, but these are 4 which we have heard about due to their loved ones insisting on an inquest and investigation.

Ireland is more diverse then it was 15 years ago, but it seems that institutional racism is happening in our health services. I had hoped that we would do better when it came to dealing with people of a range of backgrounds who are here to be part of our society and to raise to have their families.

Aims Ireland has been doing it’s best to point out where our maternity services falls short but it seems that again this is a story which the media is not interested in covering.

 

Survivors for Symphysiotomy address the UN #ICCPR

Yesterday I attended the Irish Council for Civil Liberties media green room for the appearance of Ireland in front of the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

IMAG2760IMAG2764IMAG2759

In the room were a number of groups which had sent in submissions to the Human Rights committees and who had people over in Geneva. Atheist Ireland, Pavee point, Irish Traveler Movement, Irish Family Planning Association I was there to support the spokesperson for the Abortion Rights Campaign and to live tweet from the room.

And what a room it was I found myself talking to several ladies who were there with the Sourvivors for Symphysiotomy. They were easy to spot, ladies of a certain age, turn out smartly for the day, all walking with that slow waddling gait which denotes what the barbaric procedure of symphysiotomy did to their bodies and which they live with every day. They were polite, cheery, hopeful and most of all determined.

IMAG2769

Over the course of the day, given where I was sitting several of the ladies asked were the toilets were, one of the issues they have to live with is that they have to make many trips to the loo, due to the damage done to their bodies. Given the room we were in the nearest toilets were either down stairs or a walk to the other side of the hotel. Both of which were a less then a 3 min stroll for me but for the survivors for symphysiotomy it is a much long trip. Also many of the survivors for symphysiotomy also can’t sit for very long due to the pain and constant discomfort they are in, most of them were not up to stay for the second half of the session.

As I was there to represent the Abortion Rights Campaign I was wearing my badge and when people were introducing themselves they said with org they were with. While I didn’t flinch I found myself worrying that some of the ladies would take it badly that I was there with ARC. But none of them turned a hair and a few of them were very supportive. It was lovely to chat with them, to have them say they are not giving up and we should not give up and to keep fighting; that for too long the Irish state and successive government have done wrong to generations of women in Ireland via the health services and lack there of.

I hope that these brave, brave women get the reparations and justice they are entitled to soon, before we loose more of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which every way you decide to vote please go vote.

10308894_10152035746221044_7325452141470762411_n

 

Voting is important, the more people in your housing estate which are registered and bother to go and collect a ballot, not matter who they vote for or even if they spoilt the vote, it’s noted. The level of participation does make a difference when it comes to allocating resources. It will take 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to to go trade your polling card for your ballot and then what you do with it, it is up to you.