Catholic Church of Ireland Loses Major Abortion Law Battle

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Irish President Michael D. Higgins signed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act into law Tuesday, making abortion legal in cases where the mother’s life is at stake. Despite the shift in beliefs from the Irish government, the Catholic Church is remaining constant in their opposition to the amendment.


Thanks to the Secular Coalition for America for the link

The amendment received tremendous support from lawmakers earlier this month after the death of Savita Halappanavar prompted public outrage. A local dentist, Halappanavar died due to complications during a miscarriage. The beliefs of the Catholic Church and the illegality of abortion in Ireland allegedly prevented the young woman's life from being saved over her child's.

President Higgins stated the amendment is a move toward "basic human rights," completely the opposite view of the Catholic Church. Steadfast in their biblical interpretation of abortion, the Catholic Church has firmly opposed abortion under all circumstances. Despite shifting public support of the law that gives rights to Irish women, the Catholic Church is unlikely to concede in the inevitable battle to overturn the new law.

Regardless of recent uncertainty concerning the direction of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality, the Church's records show no sign of budging in regard to abortion. The Catholic Church has historically denounced any form of abortion, not only in Ireland but throughout the entire world. The beliefs surrounding birth control and abortion are at the core to the church and have remained constant despite changing laws. While the current conversation in the Irish government frames abortion as women's rights, the church sees the topic as a matter of sin and directly deems all abortions an outrage.

Written By: Amy Anderson | policymic
continue to source article at policymic.com

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  1. Pity they didn’t do it before the death of Savita Halappanavar.

    Bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted isn’t something they can be proud of, but it will save the next Savita.

    As for the Catholic church – what evil little shits!

  2. The callous, sadistic f*cks that run the Catholic Church should all be arrested for culpable homicide.

    I hope I will live to see the day where the clout of the Catholic Church has eroded so much that authorities the world over will find the courage to march into their Gilded Cesspits and confiscate every single record that the Church has kept and prosecute every priest and official guilty of more than littering.

  3. The Catlicks will fight to the last bigot over the ‘rules of quidditch’

    There is no hard epistemological position in the bible about abortion. There are some very nice and proper maxims about the sanctity of life and a few vague piffles about ‘conceive’ and ‘bear’ and ‘create’ and so on. It also goes on about not killing children and innocents but this only extends as far as they don’t dishonour their parents and then you can kill the little sods.

  4. Yes, sure, let’s all bring lots and lots of children into the world.Of course god will feed and clothe and protect them.It makes one sick to one’s stomach to see and hear of the sufferings of children in the world.The religiots care more about the fetus than the child,and nothing at all about the wellbeing of the mother.You don’t hear the pope and his merry men clamouring to provide care for the fetuses once they become children.One also has to consider the fact that the merry men do not have a good track record with the care of children…or unmarried mothers for that matter.

  5. This Bill has been widely misreported, even in Ireland. All it does is confirm a right that already exists, to have an abortion when the mother’s life is in real and imminent danger; presumably that decision belongs to the senior doctor on duty.

    Secondly, it confirms the existing right, granted by the Irish and European courts, to an abortion, if the woman is in real danger of taking her own life. However an abortion may only be granted on the word of two psychiatrists and one gynaecologist, who must confirm that the woman’s profession of suicidal ideation is genuine.

    IT DOES NOT, on pain of fourteen years jail, permit abortion under any other circumstances, including fatal foetal abnormality, a danger to the woman’s health, the prospect of the woman’s life being in danger later in the pregnancy, rape, incest, under aged pregnancy, not wishing to have more children, a danger to the woman’s psychological health, the emotional ability of the woman to care for a child, or a threat to her career, education or financial ability to rear a child.

    The Bill, now an Act, actually diminishes the woman’s existing rights to abortion, since it hedges the presently untrammelled right of a suicidal woman, by making her choice of abortion dependent on the word of three senior specialist doctors – a consensus as unlikely to ever be realised as that of four male witnesses to rape in a Sharia court.

    Add to this the fact that every hospital in Ireland has fundamentalist Catholic snitches, who are just itching to report any irregularities to the police, health authorities, government, RC organisations… and you have a picture of virtually non-existent abortion rights.

    Before this row blew up, as a result of the Savita Halappanavar case, they were already trying to prosecute social workers for arranging or encouraging women to go to England for abortions. They have finished the campaign against the Act now, and they are already turning their attentions back to social workers.

    As the article states, the fate of the Act will be left up to the Supreme Court and the divided people of Ireland. The bishops, through militant RC organisations, will keep the lawyers in well paid employment for years to come. There are many anti abortion fundamentalist Catholic groups, of note is the Iona Institute, billed as an intellectual powerhouse of Catholicism, but much more like a clutch of skilful, media savvy spin doctors.

    Notable by its silence is the Opus Dei movement, which is powerful in Ireland, but has uttered not one word (that I have heard), on this matter. Its silence makes me suspicious that the vocal movements are front organisations, or at a minimum very heavily influenced, by this sinister outfit. Spinning off front organisations is an old tactic, beloved of Lenin and Sinn Fein amongst others, the real power clique will not speak its name.

    It is useless for the pro-choice movement to pursue changes in Irish law any further. The strategy now, the only kindly, charitable or productive one for the women who find themselves in the unenviable situation of needing an abortion in Ireland, is to develop a national organisation, privately funded, which will provide counselling, financial assistance, organisation, transport, facilities in the UK, aftercare and support, to those women who are denied the services they require in their own country. It is useless to waste time and energy on trying to change the politico-religious network which controls reproductive law in Ireland.

    Watch for the forming of a new political party, which will make use of the momentum created by the anti abortion campaign, to mobilise the votes of pious folk, militant anti abortion young people and those who cling to the respectability which conformity brings in some parts of the country. That would perhaps amount to 35% of the vote, and a mobilised 35% at that, which would be very useful for maintaining the power of the declining church.

    • In reply to #5 by Kevin Murrell:

      This Bill has been widely misreported, even in Ireland. All it does is confirm a right that already exists, to have an abortion when the mother’s life is in real and imminent danger; presumably that decision belongs to the senior doctor on duty.

      Secondly, it confirms the existing right, granted by…

      I would be hopeful that an individual doctor would be very flexible with his/her assessment of the pregnant woman. This has been the case in other parts, giving tacit agreement to the procedure in most cases. I realise this is a small start, but it is a start.

      • In reply to #7 by Nitya:

        In reply to #5 by Kevin Murrell:

        This Bill has been widely misreported, even in Ireland. All it does is confirm a right that already exists, to have an abortion when the mother’s life is in real and imminent danger; presumably that decision belongs to the senior doctor on duty.

        Secondly, it confir…

        Very, very difficult.. As I said, the medical service is infiltrated with RC snitches. GPs cannot act alone; abortions have to be performed in hospitals and they involve several people directly. There is always a snitch. There is no chance of dedicated abortion clinics being established, the “law” just wouldn’t allow it. I don’t agree that this is a small start, it’s a victory for reactionary Catholic anti-woman and anti-choice theology.

        It isn’t a decision taken in a medievalist oil state, by theologically hidebound “scholars.” The people who proposed and voted on this Act are sophisticated, highly educated professionals, lawyers, doctors and teachers. Many of them are bi-lingual. They understand European culture and English literature and they are literate in social, economic and political values. With their eridution, they would shame fellow politicians in most English speaking societies.

        There is no hope for many years yet; it’s England or the back streets.

        • In reply to #8 by Kevin Murrell:

          In reply to #7 by Nitya:

          In reply to #5 by Kevin Murrell:

          This Bill has been widely misreported, even in Ireland. All it does is confirm a right that already exists, to have an abortion when the mother’s life is in real and imminent danger; presumably that decision belongs to the senior doctor on…

          Then this is pathetic! The people of Ireland have not managed to shake off their RCC shackles by the sound of it.

    • In reply to #5 by Kevin Murrell:

      This Bill has been widely misreported, even in Ireland.

      Thanks for that.

      Fortunately for Irish people living in the real world, the solution remains (hypocritically) the same as ever: England.

      It’s just a bit tough on the woman having to travel to a foreign country, away from the support of friends and family, isn’t it? But why should the Vatican give a fuck about that?

    • In reply to #5 by Kevin Murrell:

      It is useless to waste time and energy on trying to change the politico-religious network which controls reproductive law in Ireland.

      And some thought the same about the primary school system in Ireland. See: Educate Together

      Jeez, don’t you have anything positive to say?!

      • In reply to #20 by Tyler Durden:

        In reply to #5 by Kevin Murrell:

        It is useless to waste time and energy on trying to change the politico-religious network which controls reproductive law in Ireland.

        And some thought the same about the primary school system in Ireland. See: Educate Together

        Jeez, don’t you have anything positive…

        The Rotunda. Can’t say, about individual hospitals, but you bet your life that every hospital has spies. That’s why the medical profession is so cowed. They know that if they put a foot wrong, such as aborting a non-viable foetus for a suffering woman who is not in danger of dying at that precise moment, then s*@t will fall on their heads.

        What are you suggesting, a sort of Abort Together organisation? I wonder how long that would last. On this matter, no I don’t have anything positive to say. Plenty of other things to love, admire and respect about Ireland, but sometimes, not the way it’s governed.

        • In reply to #21 by Kevin Murrell:

          That’s why the medical profession is so cowed. They know that if they put a foot wrong, such as aborting a non-viable foetus for a suffering woman who is not in danger of dying at that precise moment, then s*@t will fall on their heads.

          Once again, I refer you to the Rotunda hospital.

          The reason should be obvious.

          • In reply to #23 by Tyler Durden:

            In reply to #21 by Kevin Murrell:

            That’s why the medical profession is so cowed. They know that if they put a foot wrong, such as aborting a non-viable foetus for a suffering woman who is not in danger of dying at that precise moment, then s*@t will fall on their heads.

            Once again, I refer you to…

            Firstly, one swallow doesn’t make a summer, and the Rotunda cannot provide reproductive services for the whole of Ireland. Secondly the Rotunda does not perform abortions. Thirdly, making allegations against individual organisations could/would land me and this website in hot water. The vigilant moderators would rightly have to scratch such a posting, before it went on screen.

            If it weren’t the case that the medical profession is cowed, then abortions would be available, even if discreetly. They are not available from medical practitiioners in Ireland, and the prospect of 14 years jail might well be the reason.

          • In reply to #24 by Kevin Murrell:

            If it weren’t the case that the medical profession is cowed, then abortions would be available, even if discreetly.

            Yes, discreetly – to the point that you were unaware of such practices.

          • In reply to #25 by Tyler Durden:

            In reply to #24 by Kevin Murrell:

            If it weren’t the case that the medical profession is cowed, then abortions would be available, even if discreetly.

            Yes, discreetly – to the point that you were unaware of such practices.

            What, do you think that I’m some kind of disassociated atheistic anchorite? I have children of reproductive age, they have partners, friends, networks and have sometimes lived on the wild side. All young people, media etc say that it is impossible to obtain an abortion safely in Ireland. Some hospitals are prepared to stretch the limits of medical intervention a little, but they have to be very careful indeed, hence the refusal to abort Savita Halappanavar.

            A termination for medical reasons is the only termination that can be performed, and doctors say that the guidelines are fuzzy, open to different interpretations and at best highly restrictive. The new law did nothing to change the situation in cases similar to Savita Halappanavar’s. Up to the time her foetus’ heart stopped beating, doctors, rightly or wrongly, did not believe that her life was in danger, therefore there was no right to abort.

          • In reply to #26 by Kevin Murrell:

            The new law did nothing to change the situation in cases similar to Savita Halappanavar’s.

            The new law is a step in the right direction. It’s sets a precedent. And, it’s better than what we had here in the past.

            One only has to look at the reaction from the RCC, anti-choice groups, and Catholic apologists (David Quinn) to see the impact of the new law. It’s not a panacea, nowhere close, but it’s a start. More importantly, it puts the church here in Ireland on the back foot – and in its place with regard to legislation: This is not the era of JC McQuaid.

            And if you are aware of “fundamentalist Catholic snitches” in every hospital in Ireland, perhaps you should inform the HSE.

          • In reply to #27 by Tyler Durden:

            In reply to #26 by Kevin Murrell:

            The new law did nothing to change the situation in cases similar to Savita Halappanavar’s.

            The new law is a step in the right direction. It’s sets a precedent. And, it’s better than what we had here in the past.

            One only has to look at the reaction from the RCC,…

            Snitches, by their nature tend to be clandestine, therefore hard to catch, even if one had the resources and the motivation. I do know, because they say so, that doctors are very scared of the whole abortion issue. They tend to say that, “there is always someone looking over your shoulder,” and the subterfuges engaged in by the anti-choice lobby to trap social workers in recent months, would make it highly unlikely that they don’t have the medical industry well covered. As I said, if there were no snitches, there would be freely available abortion in this country.

            The new law is a not a step in the right direction it is a retrograde step, as I showed in #5 of this correspondence.

            The reason that the RCC fought so hard to stop the law, and the reason that they will continue to do so, is that they do not want any mention whatsoever of permissible abortion on the statute books. They follow Churchill’s resolve, “we will fight them on the beaches and on the landing grounds.” And, sure enough their pre-emptive strike has scared off any further attempt to legislate, probably in my lifetime.

            I don’t think that this string is of any further interest to the readers.

            PS By the way. If I had any problem whatsoever with the health service in Ireland, the HSE is just about the last place I would go to have it resolved.

  6. From the article:

    Steadfast in their biblical interpretation of abortion, the Catholic Church has firmly opposed abortion under all circumstances. Despite shifting public support of the law that gives rights to Irish women, the Catholic Church is unlikely to concede in the inevitable battle to overturn the new law.

    Considering that most abortions happen naturally, it must the will of Jesus that causes them ! How do the RCC theologians square that circle?

  7. Reply to Nitya and Stevehill

    The shackels are falling off fast, but it takes time to uproot a belief system that has shielded the people from the effects of imperial domination for 700 years, whatever the price extracted for that service. Most people do not believe, but they aren’t prepared yet to disbelieve. That’s a step that might have to wait for a generation.

    To Steve: there are charites and information services which give information about abortion over the water, but there are too many stories of women bleeding to death in taxis going back to the airports in London, or being too scared of 14 years in prison to seek medical help when they return to Ireland. The answer is to have a total service, represented in every town in Ireland, which would provide a route to England, and, once there, a range of services which every other civilised country offers.

  8. Thing are moving oh-so-slowly, but at least they are moving in the right direction, and religion is gradually losing its ability to tell everyone how they can and can’t live (or die) based on a bronze-age fairy story.

    • In reply to #16 by wanstronian:

      Thing are moving oh-so-slowly, but at least they are moving in the right direction, and religion is gradually losing its ability to tell everyone how they can and can’t live (or die) based on a bronze-age fairy story.

      I agree, change is inevitable, eventually. Meanwhile energy, time and money have to be deployed by charitable and progressive people in this country and in the Irish diaspora, to deal with the problems of pregnant women who need immediate help. It will be twenty years before this issue can be revisited, unless something very awful happens, and perhaps not even then.

      There are going to be very many unwanted or dangerous pregnancies in that time span, and making the trip to England emotionally, culturally, medically and financially safe and achievable, is the only option now open to caring people.

  9. The Catholic Church is so out of touch with peoples basic need that it’s well up the back passage of the Pope. They do not give a damn about a woman who died because doctors could not perform an abortion for her. I loath the Catholic church more and more over the years.

  10. Kevin Murrell comment 5 IT DOES NOT, on pain of fourteen years jail, permit abortion under any other circumstances, including fatal foetal abnormality, a danger to the woman’s health, the prospect of the woman’s life being in danger later in the pregnancy, rape, incest, under aged pregnancy, not wishing to have more children, a danger to the woman’s psychological health, the emotional ability of the woman to care for a child, or a threat to her career, education or financial ability to rear a child.

    After looking at the bill you’re spot on. It does nothing other than perhaps give slightly more protection to any doctor who might be treating another Savita. Thanks for pointing it out so brilliantly.

    The risk of suicide for example. Many women are in despair over their pregnancies and desperately need/want abortions but aren’t fully suicidal – that is a huge step for many people. What do the psychiatrists do, give them their basic human right by lying or exercise their professional judgement and force them into a pregnancy they really don’t want. Many women may not be fully suicidal at 12 weeks but suicidal at 27 or after the birth – what are the etical considerations then? As for the risk of permanent harm, that isn’t considerd at all – even tho it may leave the mother permanently disabled.

    I don’t think this is a step forward at all, merely a knee jerk response to their murder by religious negligence of Savita. Ireland needs womens human rights free from religious interference and this isn’t really giving them anything.

    I

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