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Survivors of Symphysiotomy are still waiting 10 years on.

It has been over 3 years from when I first wrote about the horrors of symphysiotomy in Ireland here on my blog. Back then many people had no idea what it was, or why it happened or the horrendous effect it had on the women it was preformed on. That changed when it was featured on Prime time.

The reason it was featured was that it was then 10 years from when the Survivors of symphysiotomy had been promised a review of their cases. The Article here dated 24/06/2003 show those women sharing their stories.

Symphysiotomy survivors demand inquiry – irishhealth.com.

Some of those women are no longer with us and while we have seen the government promise a bill to amend the statute of limitation to allow for redress there is no sign of it reaching the final stages as the end of the working period for the Dáil draws near, despite The Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Bill 2013 passing Second Stage on 17 April.

So the Survivors of Symphysiotomy put out the word they would be demostrating today and http://tradeuniontv.ie/ were there to cover it.

Survivors of Symphysiotomy

19 June 2013
SoS driven to demonstrate: 8 and 1/2 weeks later, our Bill STILL hasn’t come before the Justice Committee. The Minister for Justice doesn’t seem to be making himself available, so the Bill has yet to be tabled. We are holding a DEMO – our first – this coming Wednesday, 26 June, at 11 a.m., outside the Dail. Please bring banners, buggies and above all, bodies! Let’s shame this Government into doing the right thing by survivors of symphysiotomy.

Ireland is indeed being haunted by the many wrongs it allowed to happen, hopefully those ladies will not be made to wait any longer.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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I am not an Athiest but….

I am not an Atheist but I am going to the Empowering Women Through Secularism conference being run by Atheist Ireland.

Why? because I believe in the separation of church and state and that Ireland should be a secular republic, which respects the rights of all and that we should have freedom of religion and freedom from religion. That our state run or state funded schools, hospitals ect should not be biased towards serving or promoting any religion but should respect the diversity of our nation and all those living here.

Secularism is not just a cause for atheists, I know that being of a minority religious group which the State barely recognizes my rights and the rights of my children are effected by Ireland being purported to be a ‘catholic’ country.

http://ewts2013.com/2013/04/19/topics-at-empowering-women-through-secularism-2013/

Secularism protects freedom of conscience, and advances equal rights for women. And, whether you are a woman or a man, you can help to shape the future of secular activism and women’s rights around the world by coming to Dublin this June.

You will hear and meet and socialise with inspiring speakers and panelists and conference participants from around the world. You will help to shape strategies for positive change, and vote on an international Declaration on Empowering Women Through Secularism.

We will discuss how religion and religiously-influenced laws discriminate against women in areas from healthcare, sexuality and reproductive rights to education, careers and social policy, as well as how to combat violence against women and the history and future of women in atheist and secular activism.
Topics will include

How religiously-inspired laws discriminate against women
How secularism protects freedom of conscience
How secularism advances equal rights for women
Healthcare, sexuality and reproductive rights
Education, careers, and social policy
Combatting violence against women
History and future of women in secular activism
Political strategies, media and building coalitions
Declaration on Empowering Women Through Secularism

I will be doing some tweet coverage of the event and will do write ups on the bits with interested me. I am lucky to be able to attend as I have been given a sponsored ticket via the lovely Geoff Lillis who for an Atheist is a fun person :D I believe he may have some more sponsored tickets for activists who want to attend and you can find his blog about the event here: http://geoffsshorts.blogspot.ie/2013/05/free-ticket-to-empowering-women-through.html

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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StandupIreland and Occult Ireland.

StandupIreland is a group which seems to have formed in November 2012 and who’s focus is on reopening the Vatican Embassy here in Ireland after it was closed in the wake of the child abuse cover up by the Roman Catholic Church.

They state on their website http://www.irelandstandup.org/index.html they they are a lay group of Catholics which are working together and they are very active on twitter.

And that is were I have interacted with them. They have been very active as the XCase Legislation is slowly making progress and they started interacting with me after some of my tweets had been RT by the Irish Choice Network account. This was aprox a year ago and I tweeted that I was going out to an Occult Ireland meet up and this seems to fascinate them. So much so that a year later they are still trying to bemirch me and other people who are pro choice by asking if they are are going to Occult meetings with me.

https://twitter.com/IrelandStandUp/statuses/346044456098750464

sui

It would seem that those behind StandupIreland seem to think that going to Occult meetings or having anything to do with the occult is wrong and something to try and belittle someone over and try and ‘taint’ others by association.

I am baffled by this. I am out as being a pagan and Witch, I’ve been a moderator and admin for pagan communities and a member of the Occult Ireland forum for nearly 7 years. I’ve gone to moots, meet ups, Sabbaths, have run workshops, given talks, have been a speaker at a weekend pagan/Irish spirituality conference, have written the forward for Lora O’Brien’s latest book A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality
have been staff manager at Féile Draíochta (anyone who knows me can easily pick me out in the staff photo).

None of these are anything I am ashamed of and I don’t see why I have to be. Ireland has a long history of it’s citizens being involved in the Occult. Indeed the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which is considered to be the greatest single influence on Western Magic and Occult systems and even Wicca had many Irish members.

Two of the most notable are W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne. They were magical partners before she was married and their Occult correspondences are on view to any who may wish to read them as part of the W.B. Yeats exhibition in the National Library of Ireland on Kildare st. There is a virtual tour of the exhibition online which can be viewed here http://www.nli.ie/yeats/main.html

gdwby

It seems that in trying to dream up a better Ireland they searched for all possible tools. I don’t think that they would have wished an Ireland into being which was one that lacked diversity and derided their own spiritual explorations.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Draft General Scheme of the Protection of Maternal Life Bill 2013

Draft General Scheme of the Protection of Maternal Life Bill 2013

Risk of loss of life from self-destruction

Provide that

1. A person shall not be guilty of an offense under….when a medical procedure referred to in… is carried out by a register medical practitioner

at an appropriate location at which mental health services are also provided and in relation to such mental health services at least one of the psychiatrists referred in this head is employed.

one obstetrician and two psychiatrists have jointly certified that in their reasonable opinion

there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the pregnant woman’s life from self-destruction and this risk can only be averted by medical procedure in the course of which or as a result of which unborn human life is destroyed.

one obstetrician and two psychiatrists have revived the opinion referred to… and certified that they are of the same opinion.

2 At least one of the psychiatrists refereed to in… shall be a perinatal psychiatrist.

Thank you to @curtainqueen for her screen shots which enabled me to type up the draft bill from #vinb.

1+2+1+2= 6.

And after the Minister for Health only on Monday denied that women would have to face 6 drs.

It is unworkable and the College of Psychiatrics of Ireland stated they would not take part in such compulsory assessments.

This is farcical and I can’t see any Dr wanting to put a person who is in such dire mental health through such a process. If you think this is absurd then I urge you to contact your TDs on this issue. The Abortion Rights Campgain have a draft letter you can use which you can find here: http://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/2013/04/22/suicidal-women-should-have-to-see-no-more-that-two-doctors/

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The time line of Kicking the X Case Can Further and Further down the road

Again there are more delays in legislating for the X Case, as well as the A, B, C rulings leaving women’s health and lives at risk. The program for Government which the current government of FG and Lab agreed to, states they will legislate for the X case ruling and the two referendum on the X Case Ruling.

5 March 1992: The Supreme Court hands down it’s verdict in the X case.

25 November 1992: The proposed 12th amendment to over throw the X Case ruling is rejected by the Irish people.

8th March 2002: The proposed 25th amendment to cover throw the X Case ruling is rejected by the people.

16 December 2010: The EU Court Of Human Rights hands down it’s judgement in the In the case of A. B. and C. v. Ireland case.

January 2011: Labour leader Eamon Gilmore after the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights and the stern message that Ireland needed to get it’s act together and legislate stated that”Ireland needs legislation to allow abortion in circumstances where the life or health of the mother is at risk.”

13 January 2012: It was announced an expert group would be looking at the EU Human rights court ruling, which included recommendations from the A, B & C cases as well as the X case.

12 February 2012: The 20th year of the X Case judgement and with still there was no movement, The Action on X group held public meetings and started to put pressure on the government to finally legislate.

June 2012: The anti abortion groups had rolled out a well funded campaign and the pressure on politicians to yet again ignore the X Case Ruling, the two referendum and the recommendations of the EU human rights courts ramps up.

11 July 2012: The first pro choice Rally in years is held outside the Dáil.

22 July 2012:THE minister of State Kathleen Lynch has said she believes the Government will have no choice but to legislate for abortion in certain circumstances.

23 July 2012: Gilmore states they will wait for the expert group to report back before moving forward and

29 September 2012: the March for Choice happens in Dublin, bringing pro choice activists out on the streets.

15 November 2012: Gilmore states legal clarity is needed in regards to abortion.

17 November 2012: Enda Kenny states he won’t be rushed on the abortion issue.

18 November 2012: James Reilly has said he believes the Cabinet will make a decision on whether to legislate for the X Case early next year.

27 November 2012: The Expert group finally reports to the cabinet.

28 November 2012: An opposition bill proposing abortion legislation is defeated in the Dáil.

1 December 2012: The red C poll is published stating that the majority of the Irish people want the X Case legislated for and wish for abortion legislation beyond just the risk to the life of a woman.

11 December 2012: Ireland is told to expedite legislation by the EU.

19 December 2012: The Government is to proceed with “legislation with regulations” following the Expert Group report on abortion.

21 December 2012: It is announced that the Health committee will have hearings in the new year.

9, 10 11 January 2013: Over 3 days experts, advocates and clergy speak to the committee for health about the introduction of abortion legislation.

31 January 2013: Mr Reilly said he still hopes to have the legislation passed by the Dáil’s summer recess.

15 February 2013: Enda Kenny repeats that any legislation will be with in the Constitution that is with the remit of the 8th amendment.

2 march 2013: Pro choice groups query the delay in bring forward legislation.

4 March 2013: The evening before the 12 years of the anniversary of the verdict of the X case, protester hold a rally at Dublin Castle were the EU ministers for Health are meeting.

5 April 2013: The Master of the Rotunda Hospital calls for legal clarity.

17 April 2013: X Case legislation delayed again, may not be en acted by the summer recess.

How much long must the lives and health of women be at risk in Ireland?

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Survivors of symphysiotomy exception bill accepted.

It was almost a decade a go that the then Minister for Health Mr Micheal Martin promised there would be a review of the procedure of Symphysiotomy in Irish hospitals.

Last night saw a bill accepted by the Dáil, which removes the time limit for those women who were abused and left suffering for the rest of their lives so that they can now seek out redress. Many women didn’t know what had happened to them, it was their first child. They were failed by the hospitals and often their own GP over the years who didn’t treat them properly or explain what was done to them.

This was done to over a 1,000 women and about 200 remain still. Why was it done?
Contraception was not legal here until 1984, and there is a limit to the number of C sections a woman may have, so to get around that symphysiotomy was used.

Contraception was banned as Ireland was considered a Catholic country.
Again catholic dogma resulted in substandard of care of women in Irish Maternity hospitals leaving them in agony.

Why did women put up with it? Because they were told to, often the term to offer up your suffering would be used when it came to ‘women’s issues’ and ‘The Curse’. To this day Irish women are hesitant to talk about OB/Gyn issues and reproductive issues, this needs to change, we need to be better informed and to share our stories.

The Survivors of symphysiotomy, did not give informed consent, they were not told which procedure and why and the repercussions of it. I am glad the bill has been accepted and more people know of what happened, when I first wrote about symphysiotomy 3 years ago most people had no idea what it was, hopefully now we are aware we will try and make sure that women living here in Ireland never suffer such abuses again at the hands of health care professionals.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Statement from Galway ProChoice: Savita inquest proves urgent need for legislative change.

Back in October I linked to the Statement from Galways Prochoice as the news about Savita broke and a statement explaining how they had been approached initially by Savita#s friends now they have a follow up.

For Immediate Release:

Savita inquest proves urgent need for legislative change.

The media reports from Savita’s inquest this week have shocked and saddened many across the country. Hearing the different accounts of how and why Savita died brings home more than ever the urgent need for legal clarity and compassion in cases where a pregnant woman’s health is at risk.

The strength and bravery of Praveen Halapannavar throughout the investigative process have been remarkable. Despite aggressive cross-examination, Praveen’s account of Savita’s final days has been largely vindicated. Savita was denied a termination when she requested one, and this was at least partly because of the legal ban on abortion in Ireland. System failures have been acknowledged, and a midwife in the inquest was brave to admit the truth: that Savita was indeed told that ‘Ireland is a Catholic country’ in an attempt to explain this decision to withhold treatment.

It has been clearly revealed this week that Ireland’s ban on abortion was a leading factor in Savita not receiving the care that she required. Dr. Astbury, the consultant managing Savita’s case, confirmed that termination of pregnancy would have been the intended treatment for Savita’s condition. However, she was forced to deal with a ‘balance of probabilities’ – delaying treatment against her patient’s wishes as Savita got progressively more unwell. It was only after consulting with other senior colleagues after Savita’s health rapidly declined did she feel in a position to provide a termination. However by then it was too late and Savita was moved to ICU with severe sepsis.

This case highlights that a ‘real and substantial risk to the life’ of a woman can develop within a matter of hours. In cases such as these, how can doctors efficiently interpret this law and what constitutes a substantial risk? 40%? 60%? How long must doctors really be expected to wait and consult before providing life saving terminations? The law here in Ireland simply does not protect doctors, or the women living here.

The inquest this week has also revealed some of the system failures at UCHG in Savita’s care. Medical staff failed to follow up the results of a blood test taken on her admission to the hospital, and her vital signs were not monitored closely enough. It was also revealed that there was a delay in sending the blood cultures to the lab for testing and one test for lactate was refused as it was in the wrong bottle. This refusal was not communicated to the ward. Nonetheless, the ban on abortion in Ireland was a crucial cause for delay in what has been revealed this week would have actually been the intended treatment for her condition.

Legislative change is urgently needed to prevent more unnecessary deaths.

Rachel Donnelly of Galway Pro Choice said:

“Dr. Katherine Astbury, Savita’s obstetrician, made clear at the inquest this week that she felt constrained by Irish law from acting to protect Savita’s health. This situation can no longer continue. We must have X Case legislation by the summer, and then we must have a referendum to remove Article 40.3.3 from the Irish Constitution as soon as possible.”

Orlaith Reidy of Galway Pro Choice stated:

“Savita’s case proves beyond any doubt that the lives and the health of women in Ireland are being endangered by the constitutional ban on abortion. This is not about scapegoating individual medical personnel. No doctor should feel that for legal reasons they have to wait until their patient is at death’s door before administering treatment. We need a referendum now to remove the 8th Amendment from our constitution and ensure that no woman ever again has to go through what Savita did.”

For more information please contact Galway Pro Choice:

Tel.: 087 706 0715

Email: prochoicegalway@gmail.com

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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3somes and Blowjobs and Liveline, Oh my!

This week flew in with the kids being on Easter break so I’ve not written about this yet, but sure hear goes.

Yes I was on national radio this week for the first time, such was my ire at at the attitude on Liveline that I emailed the show. The segment was about the fuss Michelle “Fornication” Mulherin TD raised over one of the many articles on http://spunout.ie/.

For those of ye who don’t know what spunout.ie is, it is a website aimed at 16 to 25 year olds.

SpunOut.ie is a website dedicated to helping you make informed decisions about things which may be happening in your life. It is also a place to have your voice heard about things which are bothering you or to provide solutions to some of the big, or small, problems facing Irish society.

SpunOut.ie provides young people between the ages of 16 and 25 with the information and skills to deal with the difficult things life throws at us and lends a megaphone for our voices to be heard to change our own lives and the world.

An important part of SpunOut.ie is to give a voice to those who wish to tell their story in order to demonstrate to others that they are not alone, and that we all experience similar difficulties through the course of our lives.

We publish articles on sex, mental health, alcohol + drugs, education, employment and much more.

They are a registered charity and get a funding grant from the HSE which contributes to covering some of their over all costs.One of the many articles on the site was about 3somes, the pros and cons and addressing the facts. The notion that any tax payers money was being used to ‘promote’ 3somes to teenagers had Mulherin outraged.

It seems to have outraged some of the listeners and callers to Liveline also. I had been following the story about Spunout.ie from the night before and while I am not a regular live line listener I did tune in and got so cross that I emailed the show stating I am a stay at home Mam in my late 30s, with two teenage kids and I support the work Spunout.ie do.

They emailed me back asking for my phone number and then one of the production staff rang me and I was asked would I go on the show. Here is the podcast, I am on the last 10 minutes.

http://podcast.rasset.ie/podcasts/audio/2013/0325/20130325_rteradio1-liveline-controvers_c20177046_20177056_232_.mp3

Yes I did say, anal sex, oral sex, 3some and the phrase ‘promoting blowjobs’ live on national radio to Joe Duffy, who doesn’t intimidate me at all, sure he grew up in the same part of Dublin as my Dad and is about the same age and all. I did ring and tell my parents afterwards, as a polite heads up and they laughed and said they were proud of me.

You see back in the mid 80s they ran parenting courses in primary schools for other parents, including the sex educational model and they have always been advocates of sex education, so I didn’t lick it off a stone.

When I listened to the podcast when it went up I was happy to have been able to plug some more helpful sites where people can get information. I mentioned the sex ed program the HSE put together but has a difficult time distrubting to parents the first section of it is Busy Bodies
aim at parents and children before puberty and I also mentioned The Facts and the other programs which can be gotten for free, which the HSE have spent money on.

I also mentioned that the NHS in the UK spends money on Sex Education websites http://www.respectyourself.info/ and I mentioned http://www.scarleteen.com/ as good resources for young people, so much better at them learning about sex and sexuality then just by looking at porn.

Looking back I am glad I took part on the program, as Amanda Palmer has said “We are the Media” and we do have to challenge the the notion that Ireland is still a very conservative catholic country and part of that is having our voices heard, even on Liveline.

And having had Joe Duffy say “That if you are asked to be in a 3some, just say no.” still makes me laugh.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Police launch probe after 100 women admit taking or buying abortion pills

Police launch probe after 100 women admit taking or buying abortion pills.

The PSNI said it is examining the open letter, signed by more than 100 people, which was published by Alliance for Choice.

The signatories provided their name and location for the document – which lists people who have taken the abortion pill or helped women here to procure it.

The 1861 Offences against the Person Act, which carries a life sentence, makes it illegal to procure drugs to cause an abortion.

Abortion is currently illegal in Northern Ireland unless a woman’s life is at risk or there is a risk of permanent and serious damage to her health.

A PSNI spokeswoman on Sunday confirmed that police are “assessing” the contents of the letter.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Brave 100 and counting…

Sunday the 10th of March the news broke that 100 people had put their names to a letter stating they had broken the law in Northen Ireland, either by getting and taking abortion pills or assisting in a woman getting them.

So far the Crown prosecution has seemed reluctant to pursue such cases and to not bring the law under public scrutiny but with the moves made last week to make it illegal for the Marie Stopes clinic or indeed any private clinic to offer abortions in the 6 counties, this wonderful action has happened.

This tactic of people coming forward has happened before in other countries were it was illegal to have an abortion. It happened first in France Le Nouvel Observateur on April 5, 1971 published the Manifesto of the 343 (as 343 women signed it), which was written by Simone de Beauvoir and stated.

One million women in France have an abortion every year.
Condemned to secrecy, they have them in dangerous conditions when this procedure, performed under medical supervision, is one of the simplest.
These women are veiled in silence.
I declare that I am one of them. I have had an abortion.
Just as we demand free access to birth control, we demand the freedom to have an abortion.

Two months later Stern Magazine which was based in Hamburg in what was then in West Germany ran it’s cover with images of women and the title on the front page was “Wir haben abgetrieben” “We have aborted” it had the stories of 374 women.

A year later in 1972 the first issue of Ms. magazine carried an “We Have Had Abortions,” statement signed by 50 women, who asked for people to join them in
a “campaign for honesty and freedom”.

And finally 40 years later we have a statement from women who live on the Island of Ireland stating they have broke the law and had an abortion and those who have helped them do it.

Names are still being added

We salute these brave men and women who may face legal sanctions, but who have decided to come forward and end their silence to help break the taboo and normalise abortion in the North of Ireland and to call for services needed by women.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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