The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) revealed yesterday (16 Dec 2014) that over the last 12 months alone they have seen 26 asylum seekers or women with travel restrictions who indicated they wanted an abortion but were unable to travel abroad. At least 5 of those women were forced to continue the pregnancy to term.
In mid August the story emerged that a suicidal migrant who was pregnant as the result of rape was forced to continue the pregnancy for weeks after requesting an abortion despite both a failed suicide attempt and a hunger and thirst strike. After been forcible rehydrated she 'agreed' to a C-section as an 'alternative' to the abortion she had first requested 8 weeks into the pregnancy. (See www.wsm.ie/migant-x for more details).
Thousands of people took part in demonstrations against her terrible treatment across Ireland, treatment that reflected the racist patriarchal authorisation nature of the Irish state. Astonishingly the forced birth brigade rather than maintaining a shamed silence actually protested that the state had not forced her to continue the pregnancy to its conclusion.
Saturday 23 August saw a second large pro choice 'Our Bodies Our Rights: Rally to Repeal the 8th Amendment' march through Dublin bringing the number who took part in emergency mobilisations in Dublin alone over 3,000.
In reaction to our outrage at the state force feeding a women in order to compel her to give birth against her wishes Minister Charlie Flanagan has declared "There doesn't appear to be an appetite for a further referendum" (Transcript)
It's hard to imagine a worse way to dismiss holding a referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment. It was the 8th amendment (along with the states racist treatment of migrants) that led to the force feeding of the migrant women who had been raped, was suicidal and wanted an abortion. Instead she was forced through an additional 23 weeks of pregnancy and force fed when she stopped eating & drinking. This barbaric treatment eventually lead to her 'agreeing' to a C-section.
This is as complete a story about what happened to 'Migrant X' that we are aware of. Migrant X is a young migrant women who it emerged was refused an abortion by the Irish state despite apparently meeting the grounds of the X-case legislation and instead forced to carry the pregnancy and agree to a C-section. The pregnanacy itself was the result of rape, Migrant X attempted suicide after being refused the abortion and later went on a hunger and thirst strike. Once what had happened to her became known there were sizeable pro-choice solidarity demonstrations called across Ireland and at Irish embassies overseas.
We have been given information that the migrant woman at the centre of the current forced pregnancy was 'committed' to a psychiatric hospital following her initial request for termination. It’s already known that the initial request was made when she was 8 weeks pregnant. It was this crucial period in which she was being held incommunicado which led directly to the Caesarian option being possible to impose as an ‘alternative’ to allowing her to access the abortion she had asked for.
Long time followers of this site will be familiar with these posts. For rather transparent reasons to do with North America funding the bigot brigade ridiculously exaggerate numbers who attend their anti-choice protests and then massively under estimate the numbers who attend pro-choice protests. They have to keep the yankee dollar convinced after all that the people of Ireland are with them rather than running as fast as possible in the opposite direction. No dollars, no full time paid positions, offices and very expensive advertising campaigns.
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.
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