Tag Archives: current-events

The Brave 100 and counting…

Sunday the 10th of March the news broke that 100 people had put their names to a letter stating they had broken the law in Northen Ireland, either by getting and taking abortion pills or assisting in a woman getting them.

So far the Crown prosecution has seemed reluctant to pursue such cases and to not bring the law under public scrutiny but with the moves made last week to make it illegal for the Marie Stopes clinic or indeed any private clinic to offer abortions in the 6 counties, this wonderful action has happened.

This tactic of people coming forward has happened before in other countries were it was illegal to have an abortion. It happened first in France Le Nouvel Observateur on April 5, 1971 published the Manifesto of the 343 (as 343 women signed it), which was written by Simone de Beauvoir and stated.

One million women in France have an abortion every year.
Condemned to secrecy, they have them in dangerous conditions when this procedure, performed under medical supervision, is one of the simplest.
These women are veiled in silence.
I declare that I am one of them. I have had an abortion.
Just as we demand free access to birth control, we demand the freedom to have an abortion.

Two months later Stern Magazine which was based in Hamburg in what was then in West Germany ran it’s cover with images of women and the title on the front page was “Wir haben abgetrieben” “We have aborted” it had the stories of 374 women.

A year later in 1972 the first issue of Ms. magazine carried an “We Have Had Abortions,” statement signed by 50 women, who asked for people to join them in
a “campaign for honesty and freedom”.

And finally 40 years later we have a statement from women who live on the Island of Ireland stating they have broke the law and had an abortion and those who have helped them do it.

Names are still being added

We salute these brave men and women who may face legal sanctions, but who have decided to come forward and end their silence to help break the taboo and normalise abortion in the North of Ireland and to call for services needed by women.

Connecting with Pro Choice people on the Streets of Dublin

Last Saturday the 2nd of March as part of the 10 days of Action which is part of the
Abortion Rights Campaign I was doing my bit by taking to the streets to help run a stall and hand out leaflets.

Basic street politics, and I must admit it has been a while from when I last did that sort of activity, I’ve had a busy few months taking part in meetings,photo ops, rallies and marches but I hadn’t stood handing leaflets.

Specifically these leaflets for the Action on X rally


So I was a little apprehensive about doing thing and what reaction I may get and then I watched Amanda Palmer’s Ted talk. In which she talks about connecting with people and part of the talk was about her 5 years of being a living statue and connecting with strangers on the streets and how it was about eye contact.

You can watch it here if your interested. http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html

So get out to hand out leaflets and make connections with people, I’ve found it easier to be upbeat when you have some theme music for the day, mine was baby elephant walk which always makes me smile, so with a song in my heart and a smile on my face I was ready to reach out to people.

I stood at the underpass of the Central Bank as people passed through heading to Dame St or Temple bar, it was a busy enough afternoon. I held up my stack of leaflets in one hand so people could read them as they pass and offered one for them to take with the other. Some people didn’t take one but read what I was holding in passing.

I had one group of American tourists tell me I was going to hell, but 7 other American tourists over the two hours I was there told me to keep up the good work. I had some parents steer their children away from me and some quietly take a leaflet form when where they kids had passed me by.

We all have our preconceptions about who is interested in abortion rights, but I had has many young men take leaflets as young women and they were more inclined to stop and talk.

I had one old man admonish me for handing out the leaflet stopping to block me from people passing by and tapping my hand down which was handing out leaflets, while saying “You do know abortion is murder, dear” I told him I disagreed and went to hand out leaflets again and again he tapped my hand down, like I was a naughty child saying ” But dear women who have abortions are murderers” I told him that if he touched me again I would consider it assault and that calling me a murderer was slander. He walked on telling me I was going to hell.

I had several older women talk leaflet and stop to talk to me. One asked me quite bluntly “is this about Abortion” not being sure how the exchange would go I explained the rally is to get X Case legislation in place, as it has been over 20 years and we still don’t have legislation. “Good” She replied and asked were we working for more rights as those who have been raped should have the right to an abortion, I was happy to tell her that yes the Abortion Rights Campaign is working towards securing that right for those who need it.

I had another older woman take the leaflet, stand reading it and say ” Tomorrow is it?” I replied yes “Great, I don’t do the internet thing, but I will let my girls know, can I have some more of those?” So I handed her 5 more leaflets.

Over all I had mostly positive encounters with people smiling, giving me a thumbs up or waving a leaflet they had gotten from one of the volunteers, so the next time I take to the pavements it will be with a lot less trepidation as I did feel that the majority of people I encountered were pro choice bearing out the recent polls.

Minister Alan Shatter and the absolutely irrefutable evidence

“Does the Taoiseach intend to introduce legislation in the new year to amend the redress board legislation to extend it to those who suffered barbaric cruelty in the Magdalen laundries?

The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform now has irrefutable evidence that this State and the courts colluded in sending young women to what were then known as the Magdalen asylums. They ended up in the Magdalen laundries and were treated appallingly.Some of them have never recovered from the manner in which they were treated and their lives have been permanently blighted.

Initially in this House the Minister for Education and Science denied that the State had any involvement in this. There is now absolutely irrefutable evidence as a consequence of court records and files that have been examined in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform that the State was directly complicit in many women being placed in these totally inappropriate circumstances.”

So The Department of Justice, Equality, of which he is currently the Minister of has irrefutable evidence, absolutely irrefutable evidence of court records and files that have been examined which his dept has and has examined.

Great any chance of them being released, there Minister?

Another XCase Date, 21 years on and still no legislation.


6 February 1992: X and her parents traveled to England and arrangements were made for an abortion to take place in London. On the same date, the Attorney General obtained an interim injunction stopping the teenager and her parents from leaving the country or arranging the termination of the pregnancy. Once they were informed of the injunction the family returned to Ireland.

The AG’s order was based on Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, more specifically on the 1983 amendment that puts the right of the unborn child’s right to life on an equal footing of the mother’s right to life.

Whelen has since said that he had no choice but to seek the injunction as he had a duty to uphold the Constitution. He told an RTÉ documentary that his problem was “stark” after being contacted by the DPP.

This weeks has been filled so far with the abuses of women and children by the state and the church, be it children in industrial schools, children abused by priests, children put up for adoption who can not never find out their parent’s names, women put into laundries and used as slave labour or women driven abroad to have children and to have them adopted.

We have had 90 year of being our own country and honestly it seems to be little more then a litany of abusing and ignoring those who need compassion and care.

We still have people who are being mistreated in asylum holding places, old people’s homes, children’s care homes, and those in care due to disabilities.

In all my born days, despite the struggles watching the Dáil proceedings today, for the first time I find myself wanting to live in a different country.

The X Case: 21 years ago, 2 referendums, 1 supreme court ruling still no Law.

Last year the Journal.ie did a timeline of the events surrounding the X Case you can find it here: http://www.thejournal.ie/twenty-years-on-a-timeline-of-the-x-case-347359-Feb2012/

Today is the 4th of February 2013, here is what happened 21 years ago:

4 February 1992: The victim and her parents decide to travel to the UK to undergo an abortion. The family informed the Gardaí of their decision and asked whether the foetus could be tested after it was aborted to provide proof of the paternity of the accused in the rape case.

The Gardaí then asked the Director of Public Prosecutions whether such evidence would be admissible in court. The DPP liaised with the Attorney General Harry Whelehan.

The parents of the 14 year old child, were talking her to the UK for the good of her health and life and were trying to make sure the man who had raped her would not go unpunished.

That was 21 years ago and we have had 2 referendums and 1 Supreme court ruling and X Case has not been legislated for and there is still no law.

The current government have legislating for X in their program for government but again we are seeing more delay tactics.

Cabinet update on abortion law delayed | Irish Examiner.

Dr Reilly has said he hopes the measures will become law by July.

Abortion Training for Irish Doctors.

A little while ago I wrote about Irish Abortion Providers and what type they may be and how “even with all the Drs we train in this country none of them are trained to carry the procedures needed.”

There has thankfully been some movement on this.


Doctors offered UK abortion training

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Two Irish medical students have applied for a course offering training in abortion care at a London clinic.

The one-week externships, at the largest London clinic of the British Pregnancy Advisory Services in Richmond, will allow students witness how abortion procedures are carried out.

According to Medical Students For Choice, which supports the BPAS programme, it gives students the opportunity to learn about aspects of women’s healthcare that are not part of routine medical training courses in Ireland.

“At the moment in Ireland, there is a lot of stuff they don’t go over [in medical education] such as how to do it [abortions] and the circumstances in which an abortion can be performed,” said MSFC member Amelia Reid. “A lot of medical students are scared about finding themselves in a situation where they need to know what to do to save a life.”


A BPAS spokeswoman said the only criteria for taking part in the course was that the medical student had completed one year of medical school, had a basic medical knowledge, an understanding of confidentiality and ethics, and was able to explain in writing why they wanted to take part. She said they were not looking for students “at an advanced point in their studies”, although such students would not be excluded.

The spokeswoman said students would get a “complete overview” of the patient’s experience at the clinic, from pre-abortion counselling to choices for contraception afterwards.

She said BPAS opened the course to applicants in Irish medical schools after last year’s course — the first British course run by BPAS — attracted considerable attention from Ireland. As part of the course, students will also work with Antenatal Choices and Results, a charity that supports parents whose unborn baby is diagnosed with foetal anomaly.

Richard Lyus, who will mentor students on the BPAS scheme, said they were looking ahead “to a time when the law enables doctors in Ireland to provide abortion care to all women who need it”.

“We hope these placements will give Ireland’s next generation of doctors important insight into the needs of women in this situation, which they can make use of in the course of their careers,” said Dr Lyus.

Ms Reid said MSFC has a presence in all of the medical schools in Ireland, with the exception of University College Cork.

She said approximately 250 students in Ireland joined MSFC’s database since it set up here two years ago and that it hoped to provide financial assistance to Irish students accepted on the BPAS course. The educational aspect of the course is provided free of charge, courtesy of BPAS.

If you want to know more about Medical Students For Choice you can find them here:

And if you want to know more about Doctors For Choice you can find them here:

Up to 30 abortions a year to save the lives of mothers via @independent_ie

Up to 30 abortions a year to save the lives of mothers via @independent_ie.

UP to 30 abortions are carried out in Ireland each year.

The master of Dublin’s Rotunda hospital, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, told the first day of hearings of the Oireachtas Health Committee on the contentious issue that between 20 and 30 abortions a year are carried out to save the mother’s life.


Up to 30 Abortions a year.

Up to 30 abortions a year to save the lives of women.

Up to 30 abortions a year to save the lives of women, are carried out here in Ireland.

Abortions, not procedures, not terminations, Abortions, carried out in Ireland, by Doctors.

Never again can anyone say that there are are no abortions preformed in Ireland, that Ireland is abortion free.
Anyone trying to assert that fact is engaging in double speaks and frankly lying.

Have we finally matured this much as a nation?
I bloody well hope so.

We have had legal pagan weddings for the last two years…

We have had legal pagan weddings for the last two years but it seems that some of our TDs are unaware of this fact.


An article in the Limerick leader this morning quotes Willie O’Dea TD as being supportive of legislation to allow for Humanist soleminisers.

An amendment to the 2004 Civil Registration Act, the bill passed in the Dail last week, comes on foot of representations from the Humanist Association of Ireland.

Figures from last year’s census show that 5.3% of the population of Limerick city described themselves as having no religion.

Speaking on the bill, Deputy O’Dea commented: “I have never attended a humanist wedding but I recently attended a humanist funeral in Limerick. I was impressed by the dignity and solemnity of the occasion. People of the humanist persuasion espouse an ethical philosophy of life and are required to act with reason and compassion. I do not doubt that many of them live their lives far better than people who claim to be members of particular religious organisations.”

But it seems that there are some groups he think should not be able to apply to have soleminisers.

Mentioning scientologists, “pagan associations and the Universal Church of Satan”, Deputy O’Dea said “most people would find it undesirable that such organisations might be authorised to solemnise marriages … in this country simply because they happen to be part of a religious group as per the broad definition set out in the principal act”

Oh dear.

I’ve already emailed the Deputy to make him aware that we already have legal pagan marriage in this country for the last two years.


Legal Pagan Marriage

With effect from 15th December 2009,
the National Coordinator of Pagan Federation Ireland,
has been registered on the Register of Solemnisers,
under the terms of Section 53(3) of the Civil Registration Act 2004.

Consequently, it is now possible to be legally married
in a Pagan ceremony in Ireland

If you wish to be legally married in a Pagan ceremony,
please contact paganfederationireland@gmail.com
to discuss the necessary requirements and availability.

In fact I know of a fair new which have even happened in his constituency,
I guess he wasn’t invited.