Extraordinary stuff. The Party that failed to act for 20 years on the X-case legislation wanted emergency legislation rushed through the Dail in 24 hours to facilitate a Garth Brooks concert. The concerts now appear to be all cancelled following an announcement from the promoters but the entire episode shows how politicians found great urgency to act when it came to a populist money making cause that they could not locate anywhere when women's lives were under threat.
It’s election time in Ireland and as usual the excitement of the electoral game has resulted in some on the left losing the plot. I’m referring in particular to the continued endorsement erstwhile leftists are giving to a virulently anti-choice MEP candidate, one Diarmuid O'Flynn. Diarmuid you see is considered sound on the issue of the bank bailout debt. That alone is enough to not only overlook his anti-choice politics but to attack those who raise this contradiction as ’posturing’ ‘minoritarian’ ‘arrogant’ ‘postmodern’ ‘moralists’ who lack an ‘alternative strategy’.
The insults quoted are all from a single afternoon Facebook row and were leveled at anyone who dared to question people on the left endorsing an MEP candidate who stated "The only occasion on which I can foresee abortion arising in the EU is as an equal rights/civil right issue. I would vigorously oppose any such imposition on Ireland.”
About a 1000 people took part in the annual March for Choice in Dublin on Saturday 28 September. Because there was an all island final on huge numbers of people saw the march through town and quite a few stopped to clap the march passing. The march was organised by the Abortion Rights Campaign.
Despite spending in the region of a million euro and getting the backing of the catholic church its now clear that the anti-choice extremists of Youth Defence & the Pro Life Campaign were resoundingly defeated when the Dail finally voted though legislation implementing the X-Case judgment of 21 years ago. This time last year they were confident that they already had enough Fine Gael TD's on board to block the required legislation but they reckoned against the wave of public anger that followed the death of Savita Halappanavar after she was denied a potentially life saving abortion in a Galway hospital.
These photos are from the Action on X protest outside the Gender Equality Conference held in Dublin Castle as part of Ireland’s EU Presidency. Action on X is one of a number of pro-choice organisations in Ireland campaiging in advance of anticipated legislation in line with the X-case.
The anti-choice movements have been repeating over and over the message in recent months that 'abortion is never a treatment for suicidality' This is frequently coupled with citing the realtively low current rate of suicide among pregnant women. But like other myths of the anti-choice movement it has emerged that until abortion became accessible to Irish women, through travelling to the UK, 10% of suicides of women in Ireland were of pregnant women, a figure far in excess of the general population.
Several hundred people took part in a demonstration in Dublin last night (Monday 4 March) demanding the government legislate for abortion access as laid down in the X-Case judgement over 21 years ago. Government after government have refused to introduce this legislation due to politicians own conservatism and their fear of the huge resources of the US funded anti-choice movement. But the massive mobilisations that followed news of the death of Savita Halappanavar after she was refused an abortion in a Galway hospital in the Autumn have forced the Labour Party & Fine Gael to finally begin the process of introducing legislation.
Saturday in Dublin saw another desperate attempt by the anti-choice coalition to prevent legislation coming to the Dail (Irish parliament) to allow abortion where a women's life is under threat. Despite months of preparation, a spend that must have ran close to a million euro, and the parish priest at every mass in the country telling catholics they should attend, less than 15,000 turned up. Compared to the 150,000 women who have had to travel to obtain abortions in the last decades this amounts to almost nothing, a handful of bigots bussed in from all over the country. [Italian translation]
This photo is one I took a couple of weeks back at a national pro-choice meeting in Dublin called as part of the process of launching a new national campaign. I was stuck at home with an injured leg when I got a sequences of tweets & txts asking me if I could come in as there wasn't anyone else available and we wanted a photo to send out with the press release. So I called a taxi and in I went.
Every now and again something winds you up a little too much and you find yourself being a little obcessive in response. On hearing RTE had reported a daft figure of 8000 as attending tonights anti-choice rally this happened to me. It was very clear this was a massive overestimate but then how to produce an actual calculation of an event in the past. But then the anti-choice movement gave a hand and posted a video of the entire rally, shot it appears from the roof of Buswells.
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