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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iJohnHenry, Nov 14, 2012.
OK, now can we discuss this one in a reasonable fashion.
Big news story on this subject in ireland at the moment...
Yeah I read the Ireland story, that is heart breaking.
I'm pro-choice for many reasons and the financial aspects aren't a consideration for me.
So sad. I am pro life, but that includes the life of the mother.
These type of facts don't matter to religious people because they care more about the clump of cells than the person carrying it. Just saying.
So... would you have allowed an abortion in that case?
Worth reading. The woman and her husband wanted the baby, but, she miscarried.
Just in case it isn't clear what it means to have an abortion to save the life of the mother.
So basically the doctors waited until the fetus was dead meat due to laws based on religion, and this caused a fatal infection for the mother. I wonder how often this happens in Ireland.
More reading - from the Guardian. There's also been a big fuss in Northern Ireland over Marie Stopes (abortion advice clinic) opening up there. (Despite being part of the UK - go figure!)
It's the hypocrisy that gets me. If you have money in Ireland you just jump on a ferry or a plane hop across to here.
This does put on a new dimension to whether or not Northern Ireland remains in the UK or joins Ireland. Seems to me like it might not just be about issues of nationality and religion, but also civil rights (I know, I know - the UK hardly has a good track record in this regard).
And this doesn't even take into account coathanger abortions and the ensuing mutilations and deaths, which are one of the major reasons for the original push for legalization of abortion in the first place.
Health of the mother indeed.
Tragic. Too bad she didn't have the funds to go to England and have it done. That's horrible.
Let our anti-abortion crowd in the US see this and learn from it. This is why we allow abortions and will never stop.
Not quite with this... but my understanding is that you have two situations that have the same outcome but from differing starting points. (The catholic church in the South and the hard line protestant church in the North.) I'm not entirely convinced they'd want each other...
Yes. If someone is going to die then at this point a choice must be made on who it is. Mother or child. Sad either way.
Women in Ireland will simply drive through the 'border' (2 to 6 hour drive depending on where they live) to the new Slopes clinic in Belfast.
The laws on the abortions are tighter in NI than the rest of the UK, but it's a stepping stone to acceptance and future change for both Ire and N Ire.
Actually, the choice was (a) dead fetus or (b) dead fetus + dead mother.
The docs knew the fetus was NOT going to survive, but they were required to not do an abortion yet because the fetus still had a heart beat. And by the time the fetus actually died, it was too late to save the mother.
But I do applaud you for at least saying that a mother's life is more important than that of a fetus, even a healthy fetus.
Well sure she is, for she can bred again, if she lives through the debacle*.
*Your results may vary.
Probably not that often as they'd generally just come to Britain.
While I am pro-life, but would also agree that in the very rare case that the mother is going to die abortion is, though not ideal, permissible, and tragic none-the-less, I would not agree that the fetus is of less human value or less important than the mother. The fetus only differs from the mother in a few ways:
3. Level of Development
If these things determine a humans importance, than someone who is disabled has less importance and value, or a child less than the parents, etc. They are both equally human, just at different stages in their life.
(Off to work now, only to come home tonight with I'm sure a million disagreements)
Actually, this is a huge news story in Ireland at the moment. All of the evasions, half-truths, euphemisms, and downright lies which have traditionally cloaked official discussion and debate on this topic have been blown apart by this appalling and shameful story.
I'm Irish, and I'm pro-choice too. However, even now, while I suspect that it is very much a minority viewpoint, I also think this case may well serve as a catalyst to reform our antiquated laws, (and stand up to those who believe that medical treatment on reproductive matters should be influenced by religious doctrine). Certainly, in the wake of this case, I imagine that the rights of the mother will certainly be strengthened in law.
As they always have done. Note, as a general rule, they tend to care little about the 'clump of cells' once it is born.
My impression is that it may well be a bit more nuanced than that. I strongly suspect, (but cannot know) that some hospitals would have a more liberal ethos and flexible interpretation on such matters, especially if their traditional background had been Protestant (such as the Rotunda, in Dublin).
However, this particular hospital is in Galway, a city on the west coast. The hospital in question is a university teaching hospital, and has close ties to the medical faculty of the adjoining university. This matters, because, since the 1950s, the ultra-right wing, uber-proto-fascist Catholic organisation, Opus Dei, made serious inroads into some of the professions, not least the medical faculty of the university, in Galway.
Certainly, when I was an undergrad, and involved in student politics, it was thought that the medical faculty of the university was extraordinarily right wing and extremely Catholic, and this outlook has had a pervasive influence on the ethos of the hospital ever since, since many of the staff had come from the medical faculty of the university
Two things, worth noting here. Northern Ireland is part of the UK, but, despite Mrs Thatcher's contention that it was 'just as British as Finchley', actually, it is not. Some laws which were passed in the UK never took effect in NI - to limited abortion rights, one can add a very delayed introduction of the repeal on the criminalisation of homosexuality.
In essence, because NI defined itself on religious grounds, (irrespective of which side of the divide one found oneself on), matters which had those of a religious persuasion frothing at the mouth (divorce, abortion, gay rights) tended not to be.......implemented in this bastion of enlightened values. Ironically, I have a horrid suspicion that religious leaders on both sides of the sectarian divide would have found themselves in total, blinkered agreement on these issues.
Northern Ireland is strikingly different from both the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Oddly enough, despite this grotesque, shameful and appalling tragedy, the ROI has actually improved an awful lot in the last 30 years. Thirty years ago, contraception was illegal, married women were their husbands' property in law, divorce was prohibited by the Constitution, gay rights were non-existent because homosexual acts were illegal, teachers who got pregnant outside of wedlock could be fired by the Catholic school which employed them.....and so on.
Apart from abortion, which is still illegal (and is an explosive topic), which is why the political class have run for the hills, indeed, ever since the "pro-life", i.e. anti-abortion lot managed to hijack the debate on such matters and persuade the political elite to propose an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting abortion (it was already illegal by statute) in 1983. Predictably, it passed by a huge margin - few of the political leaders of the time, or since, wished to be thought anything other than 'pro-life'. However, since then, most politicians - because of fear, sheer, simple, political cowardice - have feared to touch this issue. The dreadful 'X' case of 1992 brought it all back into sharp focus (a 14 year old child who had been raped, and became pregnant by her schoolfriend's father, a businessman, was prohibited from leaving the country to obtain an abortion in the UK).
The main problem in Ireland (which is now, finally, changing, albeit belatedly) was that the sense of identity of the country became entangled, or linked, with the Catholic religion. Poland had a similar dynamic, in both cases because the foreign ruler - the country which ruled them - had a different religion; the salient division wasn't on grounds of ethnicity, or language, but religion, hence religious identity also served as cultural and political identity. This meant, that, after independence, Ireland cultivated a strongly Catholic identity, and the Catholic Church was ceded enormous control in areas of social policy such as health, education, anything to do with women, and social policy in general. So, Ireland developed a system where the state funded health and education but, by and large, the Catholic Church actually ran these institutions.
Unlike other countries where Catholicism existed, but with a parallel secular tradition (France comes to mind), the state didn't run its own system as well; in Ireland, the state system of education and health was the Catholic system. This meant that Catholic values permeated every aspect of life, a dreadful outcome to my mind.
Changes and demands for reform (caused by increased travel, TV, end of censorship, increased access to higher education, EU membership, the women's movement, etc. etc.) have only come about in the last 30 or so years. Actually, the country has been transformed in the course of my life; obviously, it still has a long way to go.
She did have the funds. She was a dentist. Both she and her husband are professionals, who worked in Ireland. Because ante-natal care in Ireland is generally excellent, they thought they were in safe hands. They hadn't expected to encounter an insanely ludicrous and rigid interpretation of Catholic dogma from professionals who should have known a lot better.
I'll go further. I expect that this dreadful case would never have generated the same explosive debate in Ireland if the woman was 1) Irish (and thus, as such, might have been socialised into being a lot more 'deferential' to medical and other professionals, as a lot of older, poorer Irish people have been), and 2) from a class that was not educated, articulate or professional. In other words, if such an action (denying a termination to a miscarrying woman) had occurred to a lower class Irish woman, I very much doubt that this case would have hit the raw nerves it did.
Yes, indeed. I have made a similar point. But I agree with you.
Thank God for cheap flights, and the proximity of the Ancient Saxon Enemy, without which, Ireland would not have been able to deal with its abortion issues and problems, while yet seeking to convince itself, with its usual Catholic mendacity and selective myopia, that it was a 'sacra insula' uncontaminated by harmful contact with the rest of the sinful world.
I could be wrong about this but didn't that act confer Irish citizenship at the moment of conception? ie. the zygote is an official Irish citizen? How can you possibly sort this all out if legally a single cell can be an Irish citizen with all the legal rights that entails?
The tangled webs we weave for ourselves. Well, this lot have come back to bite us, many years later. I think the political class hoped that, given our proximity to the UK, cheap flights would deal with this issue, which would save them from having to address it. And, broadly speaking, it has. Perfidious Albion, yet again, has saved us from ourselves.
I will say that anyone who lived through these truly horrendous debates - the anti-abortion lot were always extremely well funded, and fought viciously (hate mail, lurid posters, polished and vehement spokespeople swarming across the airwaves) - does not wish to repeat them. They were simply dreadful and aroused vicious, passionate, profoundly unpleasant and singularly horrible emotions and gave rise to profoundly unpleasant actions.
I knew a number of left wing TDs (the Irish word for MPs), both male and female, who were pro-choice, and who used to receive vast volumes of hate mail - of the 'thou art damned' variety, and, occasionally human faeces tucked into letters; one woman TD was physically harassed by these lunatics busily chanting outside her home. When the distinguished lawyer Mary Robinson - known to be pro-choice - ran for election as president in 1990, it was suggested by some of her more deranged right wing opponents that she would run abortion clinics from the President's residence, a disgusting slander on a brave and honourable woman.
I also have a dreadful suspicion that even if a referendum on this issue were to be held, it might well be defeated (again). The (second) referendum repealing the prohibition on divorce was passed by less than 1% in 1995 - 50.3% in favour, versus 49.7% against. Nowadays, yes, of course it would be passed by a far larger margin.
Sigh. I'm the sort of nerd that has a copy of the Constitution on my bookshelves, so, on consultation of the relevant text, the actual amendment to Article 40 (Article 40.3.3) that was passed in 1983 actually reads as follows: "The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."
Nowhere it is mentioned that the zygote has Irish citizenship - and, unless that has been inferred from legal discussions in the plethora of cases that we have had since then, I'm not quite sure where it comes from.
Looking at the text of that ghastly amendment, I'm not sure that the 'pro-life' (anti-abortion) lot have a strong case in this instance, as the rights of the mother were clearly not vindicated at all, and, in fact, were completely ignored by the medical staff on the grounds of an especially rigid and inflexible interpretation of Catholic dogma.
Care more about and believe the clump of cells has more rights than the mother.
I'm probably wrong. I was under the impression that a foetus has citzenship in Ireland and it's been reported here that this idea starts at conception.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott
And some are now claiming a cluster of cells as Dependant's on their tax forms.