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.

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An article in last Saturday’s edition by Breda O’Brien referred to a list of 37 journalists and producers in connection with a pro-choice march saying that it included “some names associated with RTÉ”.

The piece continued: “if you work for a public service broadcaster, how does calling for support for a pro-choice march ‘ensure that in their use of social media they avoid damaging perceptions of their own or RTÉ’s impartiality’?”

RTÉ has pointed out that only one staff producer from RTÉ is on the list and one freelance who contributes to RTÉ, and that the RTÉ staff producer on the list did not tweet support for the march.

Where errors occur, it is the policy of The Irish Times to correct or clarify as soon as practicable. Readers may contact the Readers’ Representative at readersrep@irishtimes.com

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All those who are interested in ensuring that what happened to Savita Halappanavar never happens again to another woman in Ireland, in ensuring that women's rights to life, health and self-determination are respected on this island, are invited to a national open meeting to launch a national pro-choice campaign on December 8th, to be held in Dublin city centre. 

RSVP to this event

 
 
The head of a European Parliament committee on women’s rights has said Ireland must clarify its abortion laws.

Abortion was a human rights issue, said Mikael Gustafsson, chairman of the committee, which raised its concerns during a meeting with Minister of State for Health Kathleen Lynch in Dublin this week.

“Ireland really has to have a law which says what is happening on this,” said Mr Gustafsson, a Swedish MEP.

“For me personally abortion is all about women’s choice ... it’s really a matter of human rights,” he said.

Abortion took up half of a three-hour meeting with Ms Lynch on Thursday, Mr Gustafsson said.

Childcare and the lack of women’s representation in the Dáil were other areas of concern to the committee, which was visiting Ireland ahead of the start to its EU presidency in January.

Mr Gustafsson said the 15 per cent representation of women in the Dáil was “really low” and without a proper childcare system women could not become “economically independent and can’t take part in decision-making”.

“Not having paid leave for fathers in Ireland is a political signal ... that this is something that is only a woman’s concern,” he told a meeting with the National Women’s Council, the Rape Crisis Centre, the Migrant Council of Ireland and Safe Ireland, which represents domestic abuse groups.

Full article by Judith Crosbie here

 
 
Moving, incredible video of the protest today. 
 
 
VINCENT BROWNE

How anybody thought an investigation panel into the death of a person in a hospital controlled by the Health Service Executive could include medics from that hospital and a representative of the HSE itself would be beyond belief were it not devised by the hapless James Reilly.

So too is the absence of any clear legal basis for investigation, made worse by the absence of legal expertise on the panel.

A commission of investigation such as that constituted under Judge Yvonne Murphy to inquire into child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese should have been instituted. Such an inquiry, limited to the circumstances surrounding the death of Savita Halappanavar, would be brief, inexpensive, conclusive and credible.

If, following yesterday’s removal of the University Hospital Galway consultants from the panel, another cobbled-together panel proceeds, there are likely to be legal challenges, complaints about procedures, refusals to co-operate and, finally, a report (if the process does not collapse) that will have limited, if any, authority.

Whatever the Government does on legislation or otherwise on the X case judgment is also likely to be a fiasco, because the complexity of the issues to be addressed are such, largely because of difficulties with the Supreme Court’s judgment in the X case (if a possible suicide is a justification for abortion, then how is a possible death from other causes not a justification?).

And that complexity arises, in the first instance, from the terms of the 1983 abortion amendment. The case for amending this amendment is now compelling and this will require the Irish people to reconsider their mindset on abortion.

 
 
As was made clear by Sarah McCarthy of Galway Pro Choice on last night’s Prime Time programme on RTE, Galway Pro Choice were approached by the friends of Savita Praveen Halapannavar on 3rd November 2012. They came to us before going public with her story. Their only wish was to try to make sure that what happened to Savita would never happen to another woman again in Ireland.

After an initial phone call on 3rd November from a friend of Savita and Praveen’s, Savita’s friends sent Galway Pro Choice an email containing more details of the case. A meeting between Galway Pro Choice and approximately ten of Savita’s friends then took place, during which they explained the facts of the case as they saw them. They believed that a termination may have saved Savita's life. They requested the assistance of Galway Pro Choice in deciding how to proceed.

Galway Pro Choice presented Savita’s friends with a number of options, including the option of not releasing the story at all. The option of releasing the story anonymously, without a name or place being mentioned, was also discussed. However, Savita’s friends and her husband Praveen felt that going fully public with the tragic story of Savita’s death was what they wanted to do in order to bring home to the public how Ireland's abortion laws can place pregnant women in danger. A phone call between Galway Pro Choice and Savita's husband Praveen, in India, also occurred, in which Praveen reiterated his desire to go public with the story.

Galway Pro Choice then put Praveen and his friends in touch with the Irish Times. We explicitly made clear to Praveen and his friends that if they were uncomfortable in any way, at any stage, with any of our activities they should just say so and we would immediately do what they wished. We have informed them in advance of all of our planned activities so far, and they have been supportive of all of them. Savita's friends were present at the candlelit vigil we held on Saturday in Galway, and expressed their amazement that anyone could say that we were 'taking advantage of' or 'hijacking' the tragedy of Savita's death.

Now that these facts have been made clear, any and all implications by anti-choice campaigners or politicians to the effect that Pro-Choice groups are taking advantage of this tragedy should stop. If they do not, they must be interpreted as deliberately misleading statements. As well as being false, they are offensive and potentially upsetting to Savita's family and friends.

Galway Pro Choice would also like to make the following points:

- We must legislate on the X Case immediately; Government statements that it will take months to get legal clarity are unacceptable.

- Minister for Health James Reilly must instigate a fully independent public inquiry now.

- The Expert Group Report should be released to the public immediately.

- The only way to safeguard the health of pregnant women in Ireland is to guarantee access to free, safe, and legal abortion for all women.

We will be holding a public meeting this Thursday, 22nd November, at 7:30pm in the Harbour Hotel in Galway on the urgent need to legislate for the X Case. Speakers include Clare Daly ULA TD; Mary Smith, a retired midwife and pro-choice activist, and Ailbhe Smyth, former Head of Women's Studies at University College Dublin, and women’s rights activist. Sarah McCarthy of Galway Pro-Choice will chair the meeting.

On Saturday, December 1st we will be hosting a national demonstration in Galway on the need to immediately legislate for the X Case. The demonstration will assemble at the Spanish Arch at 2pm.

For more information email us at prochoicegalway@gmail.com or call 0860621503 or 0877060715.

 
 
'Should the constitutional amendment succeed, Ireland I will once again become a beacon in the true sense," claims Dr. Julia Vaughan, one of the leaders of the prooamendment campaign. Another says "it could tum the tide in the Western World" - the tide of permissiveness and morallaxitude. 

These are claims repeatedly made by those involved in the pro-amendment campaign, for they view their efforts not just as securing an all-time constitutional prohibition on abortion but as the start of a moral crusade against those liberalising trends in Irish society which have led to the legallisation of the sale of contraceptives, sex education, a greater public willingness to permit divorce, sexual permissiveness, the breakdown of marriage and an abandonment of formal religion. 

This is a story of how a small group of zealous catholics have mounted a rearguard action against these permissive trends around the emotive issue of abortion - an issue which they, rather than the pro-abortionists, have managed to catapult into the forefront of national debate. '

Full Article Here
 
 
A slightly strained week, which was spent trying to explain to Americans here in San Francisco how it is that healthy young women have to die in Irish hospitals.

Ever since Savita Halappanavar’s lovely face appeared on page three of Wednesday’s New York Times, it has been kind of uncomfortable to be an Irish person in certain circles here. But sure that’s pregnant women for you, always a source of embarrassment. Always making fools of us in front of the whole world.

Perhaps America is tired of Ireland’s excuses. The sad bewilderment among liberals here, when they heard the news of Savita Halappanavar’s death in a Galway hospital in October, is worse than any aggression. The thing is, Americans just can’t understand why surgical treatment for a miscarriage can be withheld from a woman on the grounds that the foetal heart is still beating, when medical staff have already agreed that the pregnancy has no chance of survival, as is claimed to have happened in this case. This is proving rather difficult to explain.

It is surprising how much Americans know about Irish abortion law, or the lack of it. “The mother’s life has priority, right?” they ask. Since Wednesday there has been no clear answer to that question. Is it, “We would like to think so”? Is it, “Well, it depends on where you are in Ireland, and also where in Ireland the pregnant woman is at the time”? Or is it “Er, we’d prefer not to think about that, if you don’t mind. Now bung us a couple of call centres, and leave us in peace”?

Full article here

 
 
'Call for legislation Groups demanding legislation on abortion following the death of Savita Halappanavar have vowed to hold repeat demonstrations in an effort to force the Government’s hand.Thousands of people have taken part in vigils and protests in many parts of Ireland to pay tribute to the Indian dentist and her husband, Praveen, and to highlight a growing public appetite for change.

The weekend’s largest demonstration took place in Dublin on Saturday with attendance estimates ranging between 6,000 and 20,000.

Events were also staged in Galway, Cork, Ennis, Clonakilty, Carlow, Limerick, Letterkenny, Kilkenny and Sligo.'

Full article here