Pro-choice supporters were heckled by a pro-life campaigner at a meeting in Cork city last night.
United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly was among three speakers attending the meeting at the Gresham Metropole Hotel. The other speakers were Dr Mary Favier, Doctors for Choice, and Dr Claire Murray from UCC’s law department.
One man had to be removed after he insulted the platform party at the “It’s My Choice” meeting.
One pro-choice activist had holy water thrown over her at the end of the meeting.
Earlier in the evening, pro-choice campaigners were heckled by pro-life supporters as the pro-choice campaigners lobbied councillors going into a city council meeting in City Hall.
Read full article here
THE ABORTION BILL put forward by Clare Daly was defeated by a remarkable 101 votes to 27 last week, despite the blustering showboating of many TDs following the death of Savita Halappanavar.
We need legislation to allow Irish doctors to make confident decisions on the care of their patients; there’s no getting around that. Our public representatives are aware of that. The question, really, is not if legislation will be enacted, but when. Ireland’s politicians will dither, waffle on about the need for reflection, and hop from foot to foot wringing their hands, their delaying the inevitable conveniently acting as a sort of political appeasement to those who would oppose the legislation.
In short, they’ll sit on the fence up to the point where they can claim they only moved because they were pushed off.
And this is for medically-necessary abortion: termination in cases where pregnancy endangers the mother’s life, including by risk of suicide. Many of those who are advocating abortion legislation stress this. Medically-necessary. Extreme situations. Last resorts. Abortion-on-demand, we are told, is a different kettle of fish entirely.
Even the term is loaded, isn’t it? Abortion-on-demand. It suggests unreasonable women stamping their feet until they get their own way, abortion as another facet of a culture of insufferable entitlement. Its structure dissuades objection, but all the same it begs the question: what’s so terrible about abortion-on-demand?
You might be aware that Labour TDs including myself, did not support Clare Daly’s billon the X case last night. As your TD, I want to explain why I voted No.
In order to succeed in getting legislation for the X case, I, as a legislator, have to work with the reality of the political games that are being played in order to get X case legislation passed into law.
Fine Gael, Labour’s coalition partners would not support Clare Daly’s bill. I believe that Labour Ministers suggested to them that they should support it. But they did not wish to do so – they want to wait to debate the Expert Group Report which has been published recently. This is because Fine Gael and Labour agreed on the Expert Group process a year ago.
Fine Gael now want to see that through. It is clear on reading the Expert Group
report that the Expert Group believes legislation for the X case and regulations for doctors, is the way forward on this matter.
Fine Gael are a very conservative political party. They do not really want legislation. Labour will have to force them to support legislation.
Full letter here
A LABOUR TD has said that the party “has not voted against the idea of legislating for abortion”.
Ann Phelan TD was speaking following the defeat of Deputy Clare Daly’s abortion bill during Private Members’ Business in the Dáil last night.
Deputy Phelan said that the party “is determined to act on the Expert Group report on abortion and I call on all concerned citizens to help us to deliver the necessary legislation and regulation”.
Full article here
In her smart, belted camel coat and dark, swept-back hair, the elegant Tania Kaur cut an unlikely figure as a demonstrator. An Irish citizen of Indian origin, the 55-year-old financial services executive stood outside Leinster House at 5.50pm, clutching her speech, looking around at the remnants of earlier demonstrations about disability rights and oil rigs in Dalkey, and wondered if anyone else was going to turn up.
Within minutes, crowds began to assemble, surging on to Kildare Street, unfurling banners and placards in the winter darkness, candles wrapped in foil or carried in glasses casting their gentle light on the pictures of a smiling Savita Halappanavar.
The mood was angry, the speeches terse. “Her blood is on your hands,” read the placard carried by a little girl in a woolly hat.
Dutch-born Odile Hendriks, now an Irish citizen, held a poster featuring an artfully drawn monkey with the message “Primate has more wisdom?”
“Will our kids have to fight this bigoted s**t too?” asked another placard. A Cork woman said her outrage was being exacerbated by a sense that Savita’s husband was being “cruelly treated . . . He is now being used as an excuse by all sorts of people for not doing the ‘right thing’. But so often you see people who have been abused in some way being forced to go to law as he has .”
Dr Sinéad Kennedy spoke of the vigils held in Savita’s memory in New York and now taking place across Europe, after which Justine Murphy sang a moving version of the Irish lament, Siúil A Rúin.
Then Savita’s countrywoman, Tania Kaur, took the microphone. She was representing no religion, faith or political organisation; she was not a theologian, a physician, a lawyer or a politician, she said. “I don’t think I’m a militant in any way.”
She was just a woman “moved by the need to protest against a system that had failed to protect” her countrywoman, a system which in the past had “failed many women who have suffered at the hands of the cowardly and lethargic legislators”. The crowd cheered.
A woman named only as Suzanne spoke of finding herself pregnant at a time when she felt unable to give a child “the best life possible”.
Lacking the money to travel for an abortion, she ordered pills off the internet. “It sounds quite dangerous – taking Viagra is actually more dangerous . . . But I could face life in prison for making the best decision that was possible for me . . . I have no regrets . . . It is for politicians North and South to decide whether they trust women or whether they keep control over our bodies as they have done since the beginning.”
James Burke, standing up with his wife, Amanda Mellet, told the crowd that it was exactly a year since they had discovered the baby they were expecting had Edward’s Syndrome and only then realised they would have to travel to England for a termination.
To loud applause, he asked the politicians to “stop waffling and think what such a diagnosis would mean to them or their families”.
After barnstorming addresses by Mary Lou McDonald and Claire Daly, Sinéad Redmond, eight months’ pregnant, was the last to speak.
“How are pregnant women feeling? Scared. Untrusted. In danger. Civil and criminal law has no place in my medical care,” she said to loud applause. “It had no place in Savita’s medical care either – but it was [there]. A woman died a preventable death in an Irish hospital in 2012.”
While praising those who had turned out, Dr Kennedy said they needed to gather in their tens of thousands next Wednesday, when the Dáil would vote on Claire Daly’s retabled legislation.
There would be a live link-up to the Dáil chamber, “to hear exactly what they’re saying inside”, she said.
“One chance” is what the Government would get, “and after that, if they don’t act, I think we’re going to bring this Government down.”
Over 2,000 attend another vigil and protest at the Dail. We will not be ignored. Never again! The next protest is on Wed 28th at 7pm - details HERE.
Tweets during Sinead Redmond's emotional speech
Sinead Redmond, Pro-Choice activist and heavily pregnant talks about the 8th amendment as a '152' year old relic. #Savita
New campaign @SavitasLaws http://www.savitaslaws.com/ and Facebook #Savita #rtept #legislatenow
Redmond talks about website 'Savita's Laws' established this week. #Savita
Pregnant speaker says civil and political opinion should have no role in her care #savita #dail
That last line came from a speaker who is 8 months pregnant. "My life and health are worth protecting." #Savita #LegislateForX
Very moving speech by Sinead Redmond & what I feel as we in the fucking dark ages #savita
Great emotional address from @sineadredmond calling for immediate legislation & removal of 1861 act #Savita #SavitasLaws #NeverAgain
"This is not a time to be calm. This is a time to be angry. A woman died a preventable death in an Irish hospital in 2012" #Savita
"I cannot sleep with rage, with fear"- 8 month pregnant Sinead Redmond #Savita
Sinead Redmond, of Unlike Youth Defence, says "we need movement and we need it now. Never again." #savita
Sinead Redmond cries "SHAME ON THEM!" on the steps outside Leinster House. Crowd erupts with shouts of 'shame' #Savita
"Civil and criminal law has no place in my pregnancy, in my medical treatment"- Sinead Redmond's voice breaks with emotion #Savita
Video of Clare Daly at the protest tonight
Photos from the march tonight