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.
So 5 hours in to meeting, cllrs have voted to support a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment – the constitutional ban on abortion #corkcc
— Eoin English (@EoinBearla) September 8, 2014
Cork City Council narrowly votes to support a referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment on abortion. (12 – 11) #corkcc
— Alan Healy (@AlanHealy) September 8, 2014
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by taking the National Women’s Council of Ireland action to contact your TDs telling them you want the 8th amendment repealed and by joining us on the March for Choice on the 27th of September.
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
“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. ”
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.
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.
Even with all the candidates which are running in the 3 regions very few of them are openingly prochoice.
* how ever it seems that the person whom Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan has nominated to take his seat if he can not fill the one in the EU parliament is pro life.
But the garda whistleblower, John Wilson, is happy to chat. Wilson, who underwent bowel cancer surgery in March, had intended to run as a Mingist independent candidate here (there is an actual inky Ming stamp of approval, bestowed on 15 approved local election candidates) but has just withdrawn for health reasons. He remains Ming’s “deeply proud and honoured” first sub for Europe.
“I’m pro-life and anti-drugs – I’d ban tobacco if I could”, says Wilson, “but he still chose me. He’s just a really genuine, decent individual . . .”
If you have any more info about candidates, leave a comment or catch me on twitter.
11am 23/05/2014 Updates
South independant Jillian Godsil
Midlands north west Independant Cordelia Níc Fhearraigh
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why? because I believe in the separation of church and state and that Ireland should be a secular republic, which respects the rights of all and that we should have freedom of religion and freedom from religion. That our state run or state funded schools, hospitals ect should not be biased towards serving or promoting any religion but should respect the diversity of our nation and all those living here.
Secularism is not just a cause for atheists, I know that being of a minority religious group which the State barely recognizes my rights and the rights of my children are effected by Ireland being purported to be a ‘catholic’ country.
Secularism protects freedom of conscience, and advances equal rights for women. And, whether you are a woman or a man, you can help to shape the future of secular activism and women’s rights around the world by coming to Dublin this June.
You will hear and meet and socialise with inspiring speakers and panelists and conference participants from around the world. You will help to shape strategies for positive change, and vote on an international Declaration on Empowering Women Through Secularism.
We will discuss how religion and religiously-influenced laws discriminate against women in areas from healthcare, sexuality and reproductive rights to education, careers and social policy, as well as how to combat violence against women and the history and future of women in atheist and secular activism.
Topics will include
How religiously-inspired laws discriminate against women
How secularism protects freedom of conscience
How secularism advances equal rights for women
Healthcare, sexuality and reproductive rights
Education, careers, and social policy
Combatting violence against women
History and future of women in secular activism
Political strategies, media and building coalitions
Declaration on Empowering Women Through Secularism
I will be doing some tweet coverage of the event and will do write ups on the bits with interested me. I am lucky to be able to attend as I have been given a sponsored ticket via the lovely Geoff Lillis who for an Atheist is a fun person 😀 I believe he may have some more sponsored tickets for activists who want to attend and you can find his blog about the event here: http://geoffsshorts.blogspot.ie/2013/05/free-ticket-to-empowering-women-through.html
StandupIreland is a group which seems to have formed in November 2012 and who’s focus is on reopening the Vatican Embassy here in Ireland after it was closed in the wake of the child abuse cover up by the Roman Catholic Church.
They state on their website http://www.irelandstandup.org/index.html they they are a lay group of Catholics which are working together and they are very active on twitter.
And that is were I have interacted with them. They have been very active as the XCase Legislation is slowly making progress and they started interacting with me after some of my tweets had been RT by the Irish Choice Network account. This was aprox a year ago and I tweeted that I was going out to an Occult Ireland meet up and this seems to fascinate them. So much so that a year later they are still trying to bemirch me and other people who are pro choice by asking if they are are going to Occult meetings with me.
It would seem that those behind StandupIreland seem to think that going to Occult meetings or having anything to do with the occult is wrong and something to try and belittle someone over and try and ‘taint’ others by association.
I am baffled by this. I am out as being a pagan and Witch, I’ve been a moderator and admin for pagan communities and a member of the Occult Ireland forum for nearly 7 years. I’ve gone to moots, meet ups, Sabbaths, have run workshops, given talks, have been a speaker at a weekend pagan/Irish spirituality conference, have written the forward for Lora O’Brien’s latest book A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality
have been staff manager at Féile Draíochta (anyone who knows me can easily pick me out in the staff photo).
None of these are anything I am ashamed of and I don’t see why I have to be. Ireland has a long history of it’s citizens being involved in the Occult. Indeed the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which is considered to be the greatest single influence on Western Magic and Occult systems and even Wicca had many Irish members.
Two of the most notable are W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne. They were magical partners before she was married and their Occult correspondences are on view to any who may wish to read them as part of the W.B. Yeats exhibition in the National Library of Ireland on Kildare st. There is a virtual tour of the exhibition online which can be viewed here http://www.nli.ie/yeats/main.html
It seems that in trying to dream up a better Ireland they searched for all possible tools. I don’t think that they would have wished an Ireland into being which was one that lacked diversity and derided their own spiritual explorations.