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Such was the chant of around 10,000 people who marched through Dublin on Saturday, protesting Ireland's legislative failure to address the abortion issue for twenty years.

By now, we've all heard the horrifying story of Savita Halappanavar, who died when doctors refused to remove her fetus.

So why didn't the doctors remove the fetus?

Because the laws are imprecise.

Ireland's constitution outlaws abortion. But a 1992 ruling from the Supreme Court allowed that abortions should be legal to "save the life of the woman, including if she makes credible threats to commit suicide if denied one."

The problem is that every government installed in the twenty years since that ruling has refused to pass any legislation addressing it. The result is that the only law on the books is a British law from 1861, declaring that the "procurement of a miscarriage" amounts to murder and could be punishable by up to life in prison.

There are some individual doctors who perform abortions cloaked in secrecy, in fear of being charged with murder. The doctors in Halappanavar's case may have been charged if they had done the humane procedure and saved her life.

The women of Ireland have had enough.

Marchers shouted "Never again!" as they held up pictures of Savita Halappanavar, moving through the city to the office of Prime Minister Enda Kennywhere, where they held a candlelit vigil.

At that demonstration, representatives from political and women's rights groups disparaged the Irish government for failing to pass legislation enforcing the ruling:

"Twenty years is far too long. Ignoring women's rights is wrong!"

Other smaller demonstrations were held in other Irish cities, including Galway, where the Halappavanars have lived since 2008.

Now get this:

"Irish voters in 1992 passed constitutional amendments legalizing the right of Irish women to receive information on abortion services in neighboring England, where the practice has been legal since 1967, and to travel there without fear of facing prosecution. British health authorities estimate that 4,000 to 5,000 Irish residents travel annually to England for abortions."
So it's okay to travel to another country to get an abortion, and Ireland won't hold it against you. Aren't you lucky.


* Doctors practicing in secret for fear of their lives.
* Hospitals refusing to perform abortions, even to save a woman's life
* Women having to travel to get abortions.

And this is in a country in which abortion is legal, even as legislators enact nit-picking laws to make it difficult, if not impossible, for a woman to get a legal medical procedure.

Is this where we're heading again?

Information for this diary came from the Associated Press.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Where are all of the feminist men, post election? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart, Joy of Fishes

    This is exactly where the American Taliban wishes to take our country. Support for women worldwide must be an integral part of our domestic and foreign policy.

    Women have fought and died for Civil Rights, Gay Rights, Immigrants Rights, etc...on and on and on.

    It is high time for Progressive men to fight loudly and openly for the Rights of Women.

    Not just fighting Over Our Votes; but actively fighting For Our Rights.

    Women are not Single Issue Voters, as Republicans and even some former Kossack men have asserted. Women are involved in and interested in every issue, just as are men.

    Men need to become much more aware and much more active regarding the deadly threats which women have faced from these religious assholes for centuries.

    Forward. Together. Now.    

    "Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope." ~Robert F. Kennedy

    by Agent99 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:27:39 PM PST

  •  I had enough when at 12 I learned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, Joy of Fishes

    . . . from another girl that if I was pregnant and planning to deliver at the local Catholic hospital, I should be aware that if there be a problem with the pregnancy, they would save the baby and not me.  I was shocked down to my toes and determined to become a nun.

    It is 57 years later.  The RCC is still killing women.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 01:36:15 AM PST

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