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Radically Pro-Choice!

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6 May 13

For myself and for my readers, here’s a quick and dirty recap of the history of abortion in Ireland:

• The 1861 Offences Against The Person Act revised an earlier act of 1828 that made raping, assaulting, and killing a crime. They specifically include obtaining or helping someone to “procure a miscarriage”, no matter what the reason.

For those of you who don’t know your Irish history, Ireland was part of the United Kingdom then. So this law from 1861 was actually a British law. Then there was a war of independence, and the Irish Free State was created, followed by the creation of the Republic of Ireland in 1949. (I include this information because an embarrassing number of Americans slept through this bit of world history class. p.s. Northern Ireland is still part of the UK.) While the UK has repealed the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861 (abortion is legal in England, Scotland, and Wales up to 24 weeks), it’s still on the books in Ireland, both north and south.

• In 1983, abortion just wasn’t illegal enough for Irish politicians, probably because it was becoming legal elsewhere, so they decided to amend the Irish Constitution so that it would never become illegal in the future. “There won’t be any Roe v. Wade nonsense in our country!” they said. And so the Eighth Amendment was passed. It meant that it was also illegal for a woman to travel to another country for an abortion. It was even against the law to tell a pregnant woman in Ireland where she could seek an abortion in another country.
• Also in 1983, a woman named Sheila Hodgers was allegedly refused cancer treatment, even painkillers, because she was pregnant. Despite repeated requests for an abortion, she was refused. She went into premature labour; the baby died immediately. Hodgers died three days later.
• 1992 saw the horrific Attorney General vs. X case in which the Supreme Court decided that a pregnant woman could have an abortion to save her life, including from suicide. But that didn’t make abortion in any way available here for women. No guidelines were created. Abortion training for doctors was not implemented. And so in reality the ruling was kind of null. 
But the X case ruling really scared anti-choicers into thinking that even the 8th Amendment didn’t restrict abortion enough. “What kind of malarky is suicide?” they said! “Anyone can say they’re suicidal! That’s not a real threat to a woman’s life!”

• In 1992, the anti-choicers tried to get more Constitutional amendments to exclude suicide as a threat to a woman’s life by putting it out to vote in a referendum. The people of Ireland voted that suicide should not be excluded.
• Also in 1992, the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Irish Constitution were passed. The former decreed that women could travel for abortions, and the latter made it legal to give information on abortion in other countries.
• 2002, another attempt to exclude suicide in a referendum and increase penalties for helping a woman get an abortion, which failed. 
• A woman, “D”, with twins in 2001 learned that one of the foetuses had died in the womb and the other had Edwards Syndrome, which is almost always fatal. She travelled for an abortion, and in 2006 filed a case against Ireland with theEuropean Court of Human Rights. It was dismissed because she didn’t take it to the Irish High Court first.
• 2005-2010: A, B, C vs. Ireland: Three women brought a case to the European Court of Human Rights. There’s a lot of legal mumbo jumbo that I won’t go into, but here’s the gist:  A, B, and C were three women who had travelled for abortions. Each of them suffered from complications afterwards and received inadequate follow-up care in Ireland. Most of their claims were dismissed. But the EU Court of Human Rights found that Ireland had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by not putting anything in place where a woman who qualifies for a legal abortion can actually get one or even go about getting one. (Why is access to abortion a Human Rights issue? Explanation here.) 
You’d think that the ruling would have spurred the government into action to legislate on abortion in the case of the mother’s life, but nope.

• 2007: Miss D, a 17-year-old-girl whose foetus suffered fromanencephaly (missing part of the brain, skull, scalp) wasn’t allowed by the Health Service Executive to travel for an abortion. It went to the high court, and she won the right to travel.
• An “expert group” was charged by the Irish government in January 2012 to make recommendations on “how to implement the judgement” in the A, B, C vs. Ireland case from 2010. The 14 men and women are general practitioners, psychiatrists, solicitors, Ob/Gyns, and other medical personel.
• In June 2012, an Irish group (heavily funded from the US) started a billboard, poster, and flyer campaign “Abortion tears her life apart,” claiming that “there’s always a better answer.” 
• October 2012: Savita Halappanavar, an Indian woman living in Ireland, miscarried in a Galway hospital. She repeatedly asked for a termination and was refused. By way of explanation, one of the midwives told her that Ireland is a Catholic country, therefore her pregnancy could not be terminated while the heartbeat was still present. She died a few days later from septicemia and organ failure.
• TD Clare Daly proposes a bill called “Medical Treatment (Termination of Pregnancy in Case of Risk to Life of Pregnant Woman) Bill” in November 2012. It is defeated, 100 to 27.
• November 2012: the “Expert” group’s recommendations were published. They outlined four options: 1. Non-statutory guidelines, 2. Statutory guidelines, 3. Legislation, 4. Legislation plus regulations with the pros and cons of each. 
• An inquest of Ms. Halappanavar’s death was held in April 2013, when it was decided that she died from “medical misadventure.” 
• May 2013: The “Heads”of a Bill called “Protection of Life” is published. It has to go through nine stages to become law. According to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, this won’t change the law. According to everyone else, this will SO change the law. 

Let’s look at the proposed Bill. Anti-choice people think it’s terrible because it will supposedly “open the floodgates” of abortion, while pro-choice people think it’s terrible because it criminalises abortion in Ireland even more than the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act did, and makes it so difficult to obtain a legal abortion, it won’t make a difference to a great number of people to whom it applies. 
1. If you’re ill, say from cancer, and being pregnant prevents you from getting treatment, and therefore could lead to your death, you may have a legal abortion if an Ob/Gyn and another doctor say it’s ok.
2. If you’re about to die and it’s time sensitive, one doctor can make the call.
3. If you are about to die from “self-destruction” ie suicide, first off, you have to be lucky enough to be somewhere registered by the Mental Health Commission where there happens to be an Ob/Gyn who can perform an abortion AND TWO psychiatrists. If one of those three people doesn’t think you’re suicidal enough, have no fear, you soon will be. Because to appeal their decision, you have to be evaluated by another Ob/Gyn and two more psychiatrists. Oh, and that process takes two weeks, so good luck not jumping off a bridge.
4. If you’re found guilty of having obtained the abortion pill yourself, and having taken it in Ireland, you will face 14 years in prison. Think that’s depressing? Get this: The average rape sentence in Ireland is 5-7 years. So if you are raped and get the abortion pill illegally, you could spend twice as long in jail as your rapist. 

Let’s say a woman took the abortion pill and she’s having complications. She’s bleeding or she has signs of infection. But she’s scared of being sent to jail for terminating her pregnancy. So she doesn’t seek medical attention, or she lies to them. That woman may not receive the proper treatment. You can see how this bill that’s supposed to protect life actually has the potential to do a lot of harm to women’s health.

But great news, ladies! We can still travel! Well, not those of us who can’t afford it. Or who asylum seekers who can’t leave the country. Or undocumented citizens who can’t leave. Or women in abusive relationships who are under the control of their partners. Or women who have no one to look after their children. 

So that’s where we’re at now. If you’d like to donate, get updates from, or get involved in the Abortion Rights Campaign, click HERE. If you’d like to contact your TD, click HERE for a handy tool to find out who your TDs are. And if you are anti-choice and have a comment to make, I don’t mind saying that it won’t be published, so don’t waste your time.

http://thinkofmeoften.blogspot.ie/2013/05/a-brief-history-of-abortion-in-ireland.html (via iamnotafeministtbh)

very very important and everyone should read this if they wish to understand fully what’s going on and what the situation is at the moment

(via shivikins)

This is very ciscentric, but Yeah so this is how fucked up things are here, and the lifers are frothing at the mouth about it. It’s horrible.

(via mssswitch)

Reblogged: lancrebitch

9 December 12
I want my brother to know that it’s not wrong to cook.

Reblogged: think-progress

20 November 12

traversant:

archetypalboner:

“Women are more likely to be attracted to personality and men are more likely to be attracted to physical appearance.”

Woah maybe that’s because we teach women to see men as people and we teach men to see women as objects.

Ding ding ding ding ding.

(Source: revtomdildomolar)

Reblogged: face-down-asgard-up

15 November 12

Spin and the Single Woman

vaginanews:

In the aftermath of the election, I’ve been paying special attention to the spin on the role women played in the outcome. 

The focus is definitely on single women, who voted in unprecedented numbers and broke hard for Obama. As with many aspects of the race, it seems everyone knew it was going to happen but Republicans; Google ‘Republican single women’ and you’ll find several good articles, writt

en months ago, predicting exactly that. (You’ll also find what I can only imagine are some interesting dating sites.)

Here are a few articles I found especially interesting. If you have others, post them in the comments! (In the meantime, I’m working on the mothership… Stay tuned!)

Pre-election:
http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/blow-all-the-single-ladies/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/02/mitt-romney-s-problem-with-unmarried-women-voters-could-sink-him.html

Post election:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-oped-1109-daum-20121109,0,1257773.column

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/11/09/why_did_romney_lose_fox_news_blames_single_women.html

Reblogged: vaginanews

29 October 12

cgdageek:

downlo:

birdsy-purplefish:

brain-food:

Breast Cancer Superheroine Campaign by ~Maísa Chaves

“Nobody’s immune to breast cancer.
When we talk about breast cancer, there’s no women or superwomen. Everybody has to do the self-examination monthly. Fight with us against the enemy and, when in doubt, talk with your doctor.”

I’ve blogged these amazing breast cancer campaign illustrations before but I couldn’t find the original artist or the high resolution pictures so i’m blogging them again for the proper credit. Although technically a few of these ladies can’t get breast cancer in the comic book world the idea/concept is brilliant and i’m glad these ad campaign’s exist. 

Superheroine boobies being used for a good cause and not just porn?

I don’t know what to make of this.

Mixed feelings about this. The illustrations are very well done and educating people about self-exams is good. But why couldn’t the images have included the characters’ faces? Breast cancer awareness campaigns have this nasty tendency to focus on saving tits more than saving women. There is still something of the straight male gaze in these images, despite the intent.

I do not like this campaign. At all.

Reblogged: cijithgeek-deactivated20121104

28 October 12

Reblogged: movemountainseveryday

Tags: feminism
Posted: 10:49 AM

An atheist movement cannot be inclusive of atheist women… and also be inclusive of people who publicly call women ugly, fat, sluts, whores, cunts, and worse; who persistently harass them; who deliberately invade their privacy and make their personal information public; and/or who routinely threaten them with grisly violence, rape, and death.

An atheist movement cannot be inclusive of atheists of color… and also be inclusive of people who think people of color stay in religion because they’re just not good at critical thinking, who blame crime on dark-skinned immigrants, who think victims of racial profiling deserved it because they looked like thugs, and/or who tell people of color, “You’re pretty smart for a…”.

An atheist movement cannot be inclusive of trans atheists… and also be inclusive of people who think trans people are mentally ill or freaks of nature.

An atheist movement cannot be inclusive of atheists who are mentally ill… and also be inclusive of people who think mental illness is just a failure of willpower.

An atheist movement cannot be inclusive of poor atheists… and also be inclusive of people whose basic attitude to systematic poverty and economic injustice is, “Screw you, Jack, I’ve got mine.”

— Greta Christina, “Why Atheism Plus is Good for Atheism” (via everminding)

(Source: freethoughtblogs.com)

Reblogged: creatorbreakdown

27 October 12
If you can’t relate to why someone doesn’t want children, I suppose that’s one thing. It’s quite another to express to that person that you don’t understand their decision. This is a paraphrased version of some of the more frustrating comments I’ve received: “Kids are great. My life never really had meaning until I had children.” This implies, of course, that if you’re childless, your life has inherently less meaning and purpose. That’s a premise I wholeheartedly reject. Now, perhaps these parents don’t intend to make you feel this way, but their need to persuade you into having children indicates a deeper issue. I suppose if I express that I don’t want children, it forces them to question why they did, and they perceive my choices as antagonistic to a huge part of their life. Even though, of course, my choices have zero effect on them.

Reblogged: stfusexists

Posted: 5:22 PM

Reblogged: cijithgeek-deactivated20121104

24 October 12

wristwatchesareneat:

CNN: Women’s Ovulation Cycles Decide Who They Vote For

Innocently titled 'Study looks at voting and hormones', CCN ran an article today that was not only bland and inconclusive, but also blatantly ridiculous.

In a study that will be published in the peer reviewed journal 'Psychological Science', Kristina Durante of the University of Texas has some interesting conclusions to share. She concludes that during menstruation, married women are more likely to vote for Gov. Romney, and single women more likely to vote for Obama.

The reason? When ovulating, single women ‘feel sexier’ and consequently take more liberal stances on abortion and marriage equality, and married women take more conservative stances in order to, as Durante puts it, ‘overcompensate for the hormones motivating them to have sex with other men’.

Those conclusions on their own might seem almost comical if not completely inane, but the fact remains that from all appearances, the data doesn’t support the conclusions. I will premise this critique with the fact that I have not as yet read the study in question, mainly because it hasn’t been published yet.

That being said, I can say a few things with certainty. The sample of 800 women - at least 500 of which were University students - is not a statistically significant population, which in English means that any results recorded by the study cannot, generally speaking, be applied to larger populations (like the whole of America, for example).

Furthermore, there are multiple variables that could have easily confounded the data. For example, Durante posits that single women feeling ‘sexier’ is the reason they vote for Obama, however it could just as easily be the result of heightened levels of oestrogen and oxytocin, neuro-chemicals that have strong links to empathy and sympathy (which could result in a more Liberal vote).

The more conservative vote of the married sample could be the result of coercion, or could just as easily be the consequence of a poor sample (ie, all the subjects could have been fielded from a deeply conservative community). So not only are the conclusions ludicrous, but the data itself seems just as shaky.

Moreover, I’m not going to hesitate to call this what it is - sexist. It’s one thing to study the impact of hormones on things like relationships, agression or even voting. To measure the impact of a variable on an outcome is the basis of scientific inquiry. It is however entirely different to collect confounded or dubious data and extrapolate ludicrous conclusions that imply that women do not have the faculty to vote without the hindrance of biological interference.

In her essay, 'The Second Sex', Simone de Beauvoir notes the strange way that the validity of women’s opinions are often restrained:

In the midst of an abstract discussion it is vexing to hear a man say: ‘You think thus and so because you are a woman’; but I know that my only defence is to reply: ‘I think thus and so because it is true,’… It would be out of the question to reply: ‘And you think the contrary because you are a man’, for it is understood that the fact fo being a man is no peculiarity… Woman has ovaries, a uterus: these peculiarities imprison her in her subjectivity, circumscribe her within the limits of her own nature… [Man] thinks of his body as a direct and normal connection with the world, whereas he regards the body of a woman as a hinderance, a prison, weighed down by everything peculiar to it.

One would think that something written in 1949 would have little relevancy in 2012, but then again one would be wrong.

UPDATE: Due to a large amount of criticism, both in comments on the website and abroad, CNN have taken down the offending article. Some of the material has been duplicated here.

This is a really great take down of why that article was fucking terrible and so was the study it was referencing.

Love,

Rabble

Reblogged: wristwatchesareneat-deactivated

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh