Savita

Articles about the death of Savita Halappanavar after she was refused a life saving abortion in Galway an the huge protests across Ireland that followed

20 years of inaction on abortion access - now a tragedy

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There are some stories that are hard to cover - the death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant women, from septicemia whose life might have been saved if an abortion was not delayed is a hard as they come. According to the Irish Times Praveen Halappanavar, the husband of Savita said she had asked for a termination several times over a three day period only to be told "this is a catholic country."

For years we were aware that the failure of successive governments to legislate could result in a tragedy but when the first reports started to circulate that this had happened we were horrified. How did we come to this point?

Savita was one of us - we owe her our Yes to Repeal this Friday

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At the start of the referendum campaign in March, I took this photograph showing the poster image of Savita, who died because of the 8th amendment, and in the background a huge billboard with a CGI / cartoon of what is meant to be an 11 week old foetus.  Both have the common slogan ‘one of us’ - the photograph invites us to consider if the life of this 31-year-old woman of colour, who was denied a life-saving abortion, really has the same value as an anonymous and unknown 11-week-old foetus.

This is the question we will be voting on this Friday, indeed beyond that we are voting on whether a doctor who gives a life-saving abortion in a Savita-like case should have the threat of a 14-year jail sentence hanging over them - as the 2013 law lays down - whether any of the hundreds of pregnant people taking abortion pills at home in Ireland should be doing so under the risk of that 14-year sentence.  That is the law as it stands - to change it, the 8th must be repealed.

How the government were forced to call a referendum to repeal the 8th

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Now that we have a definitive date of May 25th 2018, the date on which we will get to vote to repeal the 8th Amendment it is timely for us to remember how this opportunity to change Irish society into a fairer one came about. 

History is written by those in power, therefore this referendum has comes with a heavily constructed backstory that goes like this. Leo Varadkar, our funky sock wearing leader, with all his social media savvy got together with his wing of the Fine Gael party to progress social change in Ireland. Repeal was the next obvious step. The line continues that having witnessed the historic popular vote on the marriage equality referendum, the government decided to tackle the thorny issue of the 8th amendment. They had not the courage to devise a plan themselves so they gave it to the Citizens assembly, hoping that if they came back with something grossly unpopular then it was the assembly that could be blamed. I diverge from the script here, but it is important to recognise that there is a distinct lack of courage with the elected ones. Now, they are now fully enacting the recommendations, because the Citizens assembly came back with the obvious solution to deal with the issue. That was to repeal the 8th amendment and legislate for safe abortion in Ireland.

Three Years On, We Remember Savita Halappanavar

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Today marks three years since the brutal and needless passing of Savita Halappanavar.

Interview with Anti-Deportation Ireland activists

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Leticia Ortega (WSM) conducts a joint interview with a woman seeking asylum and Luke Budha of Anti-Deportation Ireland (ADI) and the Anti Racism Network (ARN).

 

Inclusive, intersectional, anti-racist feminist class war - Many shades, second sex

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I was recently in the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street for an appointment with a gynaecologist. The doctor requested I get some blood work done, and so I was placed in a chair outside an intake room. After waiting a few minutes, three people emerged from the room, two in medical uniforms and another in religious clothing.

After the one in religious clothing had left the hall area, the two in medical uniforms looked at each other in shock. One of them then says to the other,
“Well I never. . .”
The other cuts across her, “Me neither. Where was she from?”
“Iran. Wow.”

Counting heads - 1000+ attend 'pro-life' rally

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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.

Despite huge spend anti-choice demo attracts only a couple of thousand

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Something in the region of 2000 people who demand that women in Ireland should have to carry to term unwanted pregnancies in any situation organised a demonstration at the Dail this evening. They were trying to prevent the government legislating for abortion in the very limited circumstances of the X-Case - some 20 years after the Supreme court told them such legislation was required.

Tonights demonstration seems to have united all factions of the anti-choice movement with speakers from both Youth Defence and the Pro Life Campaign. This in itself reveals how paniced they are over the public outrage following the death of Savita after she was denied an abortion in a Galway hospital. The semi spontaneous protests that followed saw well over 25,000 take to the street, over 15,000 on a single demonstration in Dublin alone.  A weekend opinion poll showed 85% want X-Case legislation enacted leaving the bigots with a tiny but scary 15% of the population who would sooner see women die than allow abortion.

Beyond the 5 'errors' of the crusade against abortion

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Fintan O'Toole has an article in the Irish Times answering what he describes as the 5 errors of the 'Crusade against Abortion.' I want to go one further and look at what these errors tell us about the methods of those who want to control women's bodies. And more importantly how it is an error for pro-choice activists to allow the debate to be framed through responses to those errors. 

Let us begin by recognising Fintan is not bringing any new facts to the table, simple assembling the refutations to these claim that everyone who has been following the discussions around abortion in any detail is aware of. This is important because the core point I want to make is that when the various aspects of the so called pro-life movement throw out these claims in interview after interview they already know them to be false. They also know they are relatively easy to contradict, as Fintan has done. So why do they consider asserting them over and over to be effective?

Dail blockaded by 100's after 3rd refusal in 6 months to legislate for X-case

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Last night saw hundreds of pro-choice activists blockade the gates of the Dail after TD's once more refused to pass X-case legislation. Twenty years after the X-case and one month after the death of Savita Halappanavar women in Ireland were told once more that the politicians had not had enough time. The political parties, in particular the Labour Party, were once more engaged in a cynical game of playing politics - a game that leaves pregnant women at continued risk in Irish hospitals.

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