Ireland’s government pledged Tuesday to pass a law soon that will allow women to receive abortions if continued pregnancy threatens their lives — including from their own threats to commit suicide if denied one.
The announcement comes after decades of inaction on abortion in Ireland, and just weeks after the predominantly Catholic country faced international criticism over the death of an Indian woman hospitalized in Ireland with an imminent miscarriage.
Health Minister James Reilly said parliamentary hearings on the issue would begin next month, lawmakers would receive a bill by Easter and they would be expected to vote on it by the summer. This would mark the first time that Irish lawmakers have ever voted on abortion, arguably the most divisive issue in a country whose constitution bans the practice.
The government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny promised a swift response after the Oct. 28 death of 31-year-old dentist Savita Halappanavar. Authorities did not make public the woman’s death at the time, but her widower accused doctors at University Hospital Galway of refusing to terminate the pregnancy because the doomed 17-week-old fetus still had a heartbeat.
Halappanavar spent three days in increasing pain and illness before the fetus died and its remains were surgically removed. She then died from blood poisoning and organ failure three days after that. Her husband has refused to cooperate with two official Irish investigations into her death and instead is planning to sue Ireland in the European Court of Human Rights.
For two decades, successive Irish governments have resisted passing any law in support of a 1992 Supreme Court judgment that abortion should be legalized in Ireland in exceptional cases where pregnancy endangers a woman’s life. Ireland’s highest court ruled that a 14-year-old girl who had been raped by a neighbor should be provided an abortion because she was making credible threats to kill herself if denied one.
In 1992 and 2002, governments asked voters to approve constitutional amendments that would permit abortions only in medically essential circumstances, and exclude suicide threats as valid grounds. Voters rejected the proposals on both occasions.
Catholic conservatives oppose the court’s suicide-threat justification, arguing it could be used to expand access to abortion beyond relatively rare cases where a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life.
Peru, while famous for its modern culinary delights and ancient civilizations, also has a far less flattering distinction: it has more reported cases of rape and sexual violence than any other country in South America. Eight in ten of these victims are minors.
Researchers estimate that 35,000 pregnancies occur every year in Peru as a result of rape. Women and girls in this situation are faced with two options: seek an illegal abortion and risk going to jail or carry the pregnancy to term and suffer the psychological and physical trauma that go along with giving birth to your rapist’s child. Women who can prove that a pregnancy is the result of rape receive a “reduced” sentence of three months in jail (the standard prison sentence for illegal abortions in Peru is two years). Perversely, this reduced sentence does not apply to married women who are raped by their husbands, even though marital rape is a crime under Peruvian law. Doctors who perform abortions in cases of rape face up to six years in prison.
A coalition of women’s rights groups have launched a campaign to challenge this cruel violation of human rights.
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) - Abortion never saves mother’s life; there is no such exception as life of the mother.
Abortion bans don’t need exceptions for the life of the mother because of “modern technology and science,” Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said Thursday.
“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of an abortion necessary to save the life of the mother, Walsh said after a debate with Tammy Duckworth, his Democratic opponent, according to the Chicago Tribune. “… There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.”
Walsh’s comments bring to mind Missouri GOP Rep. Todd Akin’s assertion that rape exceptions aren’t necessary in abortion bans because the female body can’t get pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape.” Akin’s comments have severely damaged his effort to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
In February 2011, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) spoke on the House floor about an abortion she had because the pregnancy was threatening her life.
Walsh, whose cable news appearances and tea party rhetoric have frequently drawn headlines, was trailing Duckworth 52 percent to 38 percent in September, according to the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. A We Ask America poll conducted earlier this week found a tiny lead for Walsh, 47 percent to 46 percent.
Why doesn’t the media call motherfuckers out on blatant lies like this. These motherfuckers say anything they want, and then the motherfuckers who vote for them repeat the same bullshit over and over - and I can’t believe this fucking tool is leading in polls.
I can’t even come up with the words to explain just how angry this statement makes me, how disappointed it makes me.
The idea that a man with no medical degree or concept of the possible pregnancy complications that can and DO happen that could kill the pregnant person gets to say something like this as nonchalantly and flippantly as he has is disgusting. The idea that he gets to say this as if he’s some kind of expert on the matter upsets me to no end.
What this quote is implying in a larger sense is that NO ONE should die, ever, because SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY. Does he not realize that people die in childbirth all the time and science and technology still can’t save them? I mean, if people are dying in childbirth then they can most certainly die during a not full-term pregnancy, too.
I don’t understand why the media absolutely REFUSES to call these assholes out. I don’t understand why he is still winning against Tammy Duckworth. I don’t understand why he hasn’t burned just like Akin did.
It’s time that the ignorance these male politicians have regarding the female reproductive system needs to be punished. You don’t get to talk about stuff you have no fucking clue about and not face the repercussions of it.
This post will continue to be updated, so if you don’t see anything of use to you, check back to the source or under my Important Posts page. Any resources of these kind that I’ve missed, please reblog with them or message me. This goes for any category you believe you should add, with both financial and social support systems.Decision-making:
- If you’re not ready or able to talk to anyone, Pregnancy Options has a free, printable workbook to help you make a decision
- Backline offers a full range of reproductive counseling and referrals, and the National Abortion Federation provides information on pregnancy and abortion, and support and referrals for abortion services.
- The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice offers counseling for decision-making, concerns involving abortion, and referrals
- The Abortion Assistance Blog has lists of clinics, abortion funds and people offering rides to/from the clinic, lodging for people traveling a long distance, babysitting, moral support, and referrals
- The Administration for Children & Families has information on adoption
- Here’s a list of adoption lawyers, which you can refine by state
- State Adoption Program Managers
- Knowing how far along you are is important in knowing how much time you have to decide. Ask your local free/low-cost clinic if they perform ultrasounds, or if they can give recommendations. Your nearest Planned Parenthood may offer free or low-cost ultrasounds depending on your income, or provide referrals.
- See if there is a nearby community college or other training site for people studying ultrasound and imaging technology. Sometimes you can get an ultrasound performed for free by students!Giving Birth (also see Health Care):
- See if a doula and/or midwife program in your city or state offers low-cost or volunteer labor and birth support. Here’s a list of volunteer doula programs to start. It’s also possible to negotiate a lower fee with doulas and midwives.
- Operation Special Delivery provides volunteer doula services to those whose military partners have been injured or killed, and those who are or will be deployed or otherwise unable to attend the birth.
- Medicaid may help cover the cost of a birthing center, which provides a safe and comfortable alternative to hospital or home birth. Some birthing centers also offer payment plans.
- There are lots of online checklists for what to bring to the hospital during your labor and birth
- 32 Ways to Save Money During Your Hospital Birth
- You can negotiate with the hospital - what they charge you is WAY more than what it costs them. If you’re paying in cash, they may give you a discount. There are a lot of tips and forums dealing with hospital negotiations online. Here’s one website.
- Look over your insurance options at Healthcare.gov
- Your state’s Medicaid program
- The Affordable Care Act expands insurance and health care options for pregnant people and children, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can find local health care centers, services, and information on their page.
- Many Planned Parenthood locations provide general health care at little to no cost, depending on your income
- Nurse-Family Partnership offers free at-home (or another safe place) pregnancy and childcare assistance until your child turns two.
- NeedyMeds is a directory of programs that offer assistance to people who can’t afford their medications or health care.
- Free Dental Care can help you find low-cost or free clinics
- Look for dental and dental hygiene schools if you are comfortable with closely-supervised students
- Your state’s United Way program may sponsor or help you connect with low-cost or free dental careFood:
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) for food and health care services
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
- If you’re a Native American living on or near a reservation, apply for Food Distribution on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Find your local food bankHousing:
- The US Department of Housing and Urban Development can help find low-rent housing, and provides vouchers to pay for rent.
- Your state may also have similar rental assistance programs.
- The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) provides temporary assistance to households that would otherwise become homeless. You can find help through their list of local grantees.
- RentAssistance.us has a database of over 3,000 government and non-profit agencies that offer financial assistance
- Need Help Paying Bills has lists of charities and government and non-government organizations that offer financial help for anything from rent and utilities, to child care and prescription medication.Parenting:
- Backline can connect you to parenting resources
- Your state’s Department of Human Services may have a program to provide low-income, working parents with access to quality, affordable child care
- The US Department of Health and Human Services sponsors the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) to both states and Native tribes
- eHow has a step-by-step guide to finding child care assistance through Child Care Aware
- You may be able to find parenting and home ec. classes, baby materials, social support, child care, and other resources through your place of worship
- Many diaper and formula companies offer free samples and opportunities to win packages or cashDisabilities (also see Health Care):
- Search for your state’s Early Childhood Intervention (ECI or EI) services. These services are mandated by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
- If you or your partner are disabled, your child can receive Social Security benefits
- Family Village is a directory of resources on disability rights, social support, information, and merchandise
- Parent to Parent USA is a national organization that matches families with trained volunteer support parents who can connect them to local resources, provide information on health care, and teach coping skills
- The Arc provides services, information, self-advocacy and employment opportunities, and referrals through their local chapters to people with intellectual and developmental disabilitiesDomestic Violence and Sexual Assault:
Please reblog so others have these sources.
- RAINN has both phone and online counseling hotlines to connect you to local rape crisis centers. Centers offer support, counseling, and other resources.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides similar services, as well as safety planning if you are not able or ready to leave
- Helpline has articles and resources on domestic violence
- What to do if your partner refuses to wear a condom
- Find homeless shelters, family shelters, residential treatment centers, transitional housing, and other women’s shelters via Women’s Shelters
- I’ve thought about leaving - how can I do it?
- Your local Planned Parenthood or reproductive health clinic can offer counseling, discreet birth control, and other resources for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence
- Some crisis pregnancy centers/pregnancy resource centers can also provide, or refer you to places that provide help with rent, prenatal and infant care, and basic baby items. Always use caution when contacting CPCs - many exist to dissuade you from abortion, and some may try to convert you, require you to be Christian or take Bible classes to receive help, or practice coercive adoption. Use them as a last resort or get a recommendation from someone who has used their services.
“Men’s indifference to learning about contraception and to taking any responsibility for it is a theme that emerges from many reports of projects that have attempted, and failed, to reach and educate men. One of the most successful programs of contraception education for men, a Planned Parenthood project in Chicago, abandoned its attempts to reach men over the age of twenty-five when it was found that these men simply would not participate, even when offered beer, sandwiches, free condoms—and “stag” movies. Instead, the project targeted a younger group, and as part of its research the project conducted a survey of over a thousand men aged fifteen to nineteen:
• These young men were asked whether they agreed with the statement “It’s okay to tell a girl you love her so that you can have sex with her.” Seven out of ten agreed that it’s okay.
• They were asked whether they agreed with the statement “A guy should use birth control whenever possible.” Eight out of ten disagreed and said a guy should not.
• And when asked, “If I got a girl pregnant, I would want her to have an abortion,” nearly nine out of ten said no, they would not want her to have an abortion. These teenage men agreed: Deception to obtain coital access is okay; male irresponsibility in contraception is okay; but abortion is not okay—“because it’s wrong.”
Largely because of attitudes such as these, one million teenage women—one tenth of all teenage women—become pregnant each year, and two thirds of their pregnancies are not wanted.”
—John Stoltenberg, Refusing to be a Man
I love how pro-choicers claim their rights are being taken away when THEY WANT TO TAKE AWAY THE RIGHTS OF UNBORN BABIES.
I smell some hypocrisy.
I love how pro-lifers claim the rights of non-sentient, non-autonomous embryos and fetuses are being taken away when THEY WANT TO TAKE AWAY THE RIGHTS OF THE ALREADY BORN HUMAN BEINGS WHO ARE CAPABLE OF FEELING EMOTION, PAIN, AND HEARTACHE, ALONG WITH THE SOCIETAL AND FINANCIAL STRAINS OF POVERTY, CLASSISM, SEXISM, RACISM, AND PREJUDICE.
I smell some stupidity.
So I escorted at the clinic for the first time this morning—well, more shadowed and learned than anything, and was bombarded by the anti’s any time I strayed too far from Pam or Rita—and while I have plenty of interesting things to talk about, the one that weighs most heavily on my mind is the biggest display of anti-choice hypocrisy I have ever witnessed in my life.
Sure, we all know how little they actually value life, and we all hear the stories about “Once the fetus is out, they stop caring” and so on and so forth, but the truth of their blatant disregard for actual LIFE was shoved directly in my face. While my heart goes out to the people involved, I could not have asked for a better, clearer example of what anti’s really care about.
I’d been standing around, chatting with the two women there that morning, Rita and Pam. I stuck close to either one or the other all morning, because anytime I got too far away, it felt like the anti’s circled me like sharks—when I first got out of the car I was hassled, them thinking I was there for the procedure, so I said loud and clear and directly to the nearest woman wearing a vest, “I want to be an Escort.”
They still didn’t leave me alone of course, wondering why “a girl so young and impressionable would choose to help such a thing” and the like, and shoved multiple pamphlets my way, but I’m pretty proud of how I handled the situation. I was polite, despite quivering with rage, and only got somewhat abrasive when Ed decided to practically corner me, bludgeoning me with questions—which I think I handled well, or at least, Pam seemed impressed.
Anyway, the three of us were standing outside the clinic, when all the sudden there was a HUGE crash at the intersection of Second Street and Market. Four cars were involved. I gasped and grabbed Pam’s arm, and in seconds Rita and I were headed down to the corner, Rita with her phone out and already dialing 911. Pam remained behind to watch for potentials, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the wreck. Everyone but the woman in the Pontiac was out of their cars—two men were very pissed, one older man was practically limping, and the woman… wasn’t moving. I was horrified—I’d never witnessed a wreck before, so this was intense, and there were car parts everywhere—someone very easily could have died.
But then I noticed, we were the only ones there. Some joggers were beside us, watching, but otherwise, we were alone. I turned around, and sure enough, not a single anti had moved to check the scene. Not a one seemed concerned in the SLIGHTEST that someone nearly DIED just FEET away from them. No one cried out, no one batted an eyelash—they simply continued shouting prayers at the doors and deaf ears, and I felt a rage building up inside of me.
It was proof, not that I needed any, but disgusting proof about what the anti’s really care about—controlling people’s bodies. They aren’t seeking to SAVE anyone, to SAVE any babies, they just want to stand around and tell people what to do with themselves, and when a crash which threatens the very thing which they are apparently so devoted to protect—LIFE—happens mere feet from them? They didn’t even take a second look.
I didn’t need an example of the hypocrisy and cold hatred these antis have for anyone but themselves, but honestly? I couldn’t have asked for a better, or more horrific one.*
(*Everyone appeared to be okay in the accident. The woman started moving around and the old man seemed okay, everyone just looked really shaken up. The accident could have been FAR worse than it was, but thankfully everyone made it out okay.)
I honestly have no words.
I just want to repeat the crux of this quote so it’ll sink in: the Catholic church believes that a 9-year-old rape victim getting an abortion is worthy of excommunication but actually raping a 9-year-old is NOT worthy of excommunication.
I was raised Catholic and this shit (aside from not believing in god) is why I don’t practice it anymore.