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To feel glad/relieved Ireland is voting through Abortion Bill

(672 Posts)
ARealDame Tue 16-Jul-13 10:17:02

Its only a bare minimum - in the case of a woman's life being threatened - but it is also a massive sea change, on this sensitive issue. The vote in the Lower House was 127:31.

(Mary Kenny wrote very interestingly in the Times about it - saying that although the Church has played a role, much of the opposition was to do with Ireland's fear of "depopulation". Partly because of Ireland's history - famine, mass emigration. But also due to a rural pro-natalist mindset. In agricultural communities another child is "another pair of hands". In cities, another child is "another mouth to feed".)

ComposHat Belgium Tue 16-Jul-13 12:00:51

ot is only in hugely limited circumstances and it is disgraceful that a modern democracy has such draconian laws in place. it is a pity the EU didnt make abortion rights a condition of Ireland's entry.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 16-Jul-13 12:06:13

It's a baby step forward but not even close to being enough.

I feel so much for the campaigners for Termination For Medical Reasons (TFMR) in particular. They are going to keep fighting. I think it will take another European court case to force the government's hand though.

One good thing is that FG hasn't actually suffered that much politically as a result of this though. The vast majority of people are behind them and I think they know that. The conservative pro-life movement just doesn't have the traction and power it used to and hopefully the politicians will bear that in mind in the future and not be such bloody cowards.

rhetorician Tue 16-Jul-13 12:09:11

Mary Kenny might have a point if we were all still working the land. The position on abortion is vastly at odds with Ireland's historically poor record on abuse and mistreatment of children, especially poor and disabled ones. The media is incredibly biased (pro life voices always get to speak first and at length), and it is very difficult to be publicly pro choice.

The Bill is a ridiculous fudge, which gives something small with one hand and takes away with the other. The refusal to even consider fatal foetal abnormality is in humane (as in the D case), especially given the numbers of women aged 35+ travelling to UK for abortions. There for the grace of god...

I really don't think the bill is anything to celebrate.

HighBrows Tue 16-Jul-13 12:09:32

The abortion bill doesn't go far enough, it's extremely limited.

I agree with everything ComposHat has said.

I live in Ireland, our abortion debate is an utter disgrace it has dragged on for decades.

ARealDame can you link Mary Kenny's article I actively despise her!!!

pianodoodle Tue 16-Jul-13 12:34:46

It's not enough. I'm from Northern Ireland and some of the "anti" arguments that come out are just embarrassing.

It puts women in a terrible position.

They're happy to try and force a woman to give birth and be a mother but there's no mention of the father having any significant life changing responsibility forced on them in this way.

ARealDame Tue 16-Jul-13 12:40:13

Sorry Highbrow, I have never managed to do links! Anyway, as its in The Times, which you have to pay for, I probably wouldn't be able to.
But it was an interesting article if you manage to see it, though very short.

I found that article interesting perhaps because I have some Irish relatives who are very "forward-looking" and modern on many sexual issues, and are not driven by religion either. However, they have very strong views on abortion, and Mary Kenny's article made this more understandable for me, because it gave it a wider historical context, so I found it really helpful.

Of course access to abortion will be extremely limited. Amazingly, it does not include for example cases of rape. However, it does allow abortion for those cases "where there is real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, including suicide".

p.s. I would like to point out there is no legal right to abortion in the UK either. It has to be approved by two medical doctors, who must agree that the woman is in such circumstances that she should be allowed to have one.

maja00 Tue 16-Jul-13 12:45:21

I think it is utterly pathetic, and the restrictions on things like obtaining an abortion in threatened suicide are designed to make it almost impossible. It's still going to keep a situation where thousands of desperate women have to travel abroad (if they are lucky enough to afford it) or risk buying abortion pills online.

A deeply misogynistic state imo.

ARealDame Tue 16-Jul-13 12:48:26

And I think it is just a start, so for that reason I feel some sense of a positive development. I would have been interested to hear the debate that took place in Ireland leading up to it, Piano - though on the other hand, I get what you're saying ... it might have been hard to listen to ...

squoosh Tue 16-Jul-13 12:54:50

It's a start, admittedly a tiny one and a shamefully late one but a positive one nonetheless.

I must remember to pop over to the Irish Times website and see what Breda O'Brien's hellfire and brimstone reaction has been. I do have a little thrill knowing her and her Iona cronies must be crushed by this.

I definitely agree that Ireland's archaic abortion laws are something to be deeply ashamed of.

ComposHat Belgium Tue 16-Jul-13 12:55:08

A deeply misogynistic state

I agree and one of the reasons I've never wanted to visit.

KobayashiMaru Tue 16-Jul-13 12:59:24

hmm
nice. Condemn an entire country because of the fucked up laws on one issue. I'm sure I could find plenty to despise in your laws (denying illness benefits to the terminally ill, for a start?)
That kind of attitude doesn't help anything, it makes you just like the other side.

Lottapianos Tue 16-Jul-13 13:04:33

'A deeply misogynistic state'

I agree too. I was born there and lived there until I was 20. The abortion laws are just one of the reasons I would never live there again. The Catholic Church still has a hold on many people's thinking - most people go to Catholic schools even if they don't go to church regularly. The Catholic Church's attitude to women makes my skin crawl. I'm hopeful that things can change over time - I understand that most Irish people are pro-choice. I agree that this bill goes nowhere near far enough.

My sister became pregnant when she was 21 and came to stay with me in the UK to have a termination. I absolutely dread to think of what would have happened if I hadn't been living here - I feel sick at the thought of her having to come over here by herself, with hardly any money, knowing no-one, like so many thousands of women have had to do before and since.

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Tue 16-Jul-13 13:08:02

You also have to remember Ireland is a very new state. It id still less than hundred years since the war of indepenence. It is a small change but it is change.

It was only about 50 years ago that the US allowed black people to mix with white people. Do you refuse to go there too?

ComposHat Belgium Tue 16-Jul-13 13:16:18

no because theose laws are not in place in the US anymore, I have consciously avoided travelling to US states where the death penalty is in operation.

I have no desire to visit a place where women are treated as second class citizens by the law. Maybe if more international pressure was bought onto the irish state then they'd be forced to reconsider once the tourist dollars started drying up?

What does being a'young country' have to do with anything? Why is that an excuse?

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 16-Jul-13 13:18:04

The nature of the debate, now and in the past, is very misogynistic.

The whole floodgates nonsense, openly discussing women faking suicidal ideation, the coroner taking pains to point out that Savita didn't really want an "abortion", I mean she wanted an abortion but she didn't "want" an abortion hmm, the absence of any women who have terminated from the public debate (except for the TFMR women).... Misogyny is the only word for it.

Then we have the Dail which is 87% male and couldn't even stay sober for the debate.

I wonder how many TDs would actually be affected by this legislation, or any legislation? How many female TDs of childbearing age have we ever actually had?

maja00 Tue 16-Jul-13 13:20:17

Lots of people would boycott Israel, Apartheid South Africa etc too - it's not that unusual to take a moral stance against a state you disagree with. Taking a moral stance against a state for laws it had 50 years ago would be a bit odd.

Kobayashi - there's a difference between "the state" and the people of a country. Not sure what you mean by "just like the other side" though - other side of what?

doingthesplitz Tue 16-Jul-13 13:26:33

You're making the place sound like Iran Compos. As far as I'm aware Ireland has held at least one referendum and it was the people not the church or Government who rejected any loosening of the laws around abortion. There are many many women who do not agree with abortion you know. It's not only ment.

doingthesplitz Tue 16-Jul-13 13:27:01

Not only 'men'.

ComposHat Belgium Tue 16-Jul-13 13:39:05

Perhaps we have different views doing from the inside and the outside. From my perspective women's autonomy over their bodies isn't something I see as 'one law' it is a basic human right.
If the Irish state (whether backed by referendum or not) feel that they want to run a medieval theocracy I will exercise my right not to visit. Whilst not on a par with Iran, it is deeply deeply worrying that a country that presents itself as a modern democracy is acting on this manner.

doingthesplitz Tue 16-Jul-13 13:43:51

Well, they have a constitution and the right to life is enshrined in it. They can't change it without a referendum and the majority of voters said 'No'. It's called democracy.

doingthesplitz Tue 16-Jul-13 13:44:55

By the way I'm on the outside as well. But my DH is Irish so we visit there a lot.

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Tue 16-Jul-13 13:46:26

It's bollocks, it's useless and it won't make an iota of difference.

The only thing that will happen is that vulnerable young girls will try to convince their doctors (and their parents hmm) that they are suicidal so they can get an abortion. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those actually commit suicide while trying to be convincing.

And it makes no difference to any pregnant woman who needs medical treatment. Doctors have always legally been able to treat a woman who needed it, even if that treatment caused the death of the foetus. Nothing changes there.

The problem in Ireland is that every vote on abortion is defeated by the extremists on either end. Any bill that is put to referendum will be rejected by 30% because it is too restrictive (want freely available abortion to 40 weeks) and 30% who think it is too liberal (don't want any abortion). The 40% in the middle who would vote for abortion will always lose.

KobayashiMaru Tue 16-Jul-13 13:50:02

the difference between the two is semantic and moot when you think its not worth visiting a country because of it. And please don't, because we'd rather you didn't come if your attitude is so dismissive.

There are a great number of us actively working for change, putting our time, money, effort and emotion into it. We are just as much "the state" as the govt is. And we don't need the patronising attitude from someone from the UK of all places, a place slowly dismantling the apparatus that once made it a democracy to look up to. Don't kid yourself you're any better than we are, you're just different.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 16-Jul-13 13:50:40

Doing there have been 3 abortion referenda in the last 30 years.

The first one in 1983 changed the constitution to totally forbid abortion.

The next one in 1992 followed the X case and the more liberal side won - the right to travel, the right to information, and the suicide clause were all approved.

In 2002 there was another referendum on suicide and again it passed.

Polls consistently show support for a more liberal regime than currently exists.

But politicians remember abortion bring down Fitzgerald's govt in the 80s. They remember the controversy X caused. They are too cowardly to stand up to Iona and Youth Defence.

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