Savita Halappanavar

21 November 2012


It has been a long time since I’ve written anything on this blog that wasn’t a book or film review. I’ve been mainly sticking to tumblr for my randomness. But, I don’t know, I just wanted to put something up here about the death of Savita Halappanavar, and the whole abortion mess in Ireland.

It may not make a whole lot of sense, but I’m angry even thinking about it. Angry that it happened. That it could happen again. And angry that Ireland is receiving international attention because of this, and I’m angry that that even matters to me.

As a cultural Catholic I grew up thinking that abortion was wrong. I do have memories of my mother telling me to ignore protesters outside the GPO, and saying something to the effect that it wasn’t that black and white. In many ways she was right. It isn’t that simple, but at the same time, it is black and white. Those protesters are totally and utterly in the wrong. The ones who use shock tactics into trying to make you feel that legalising abortion will lead to babies being shot in the street. What on earth is right with that?

No pro-choice campaigner is going to make you have an abortion. There will be no forced abortions. Protesting against abortion just means that those people who are going to have an abortion have to travel. Although with Marie Stopes Clinic opening in Belfast at least one good thing is that some women won’t have to go as far.

So called “pro-life” protesters have been saying an awful lot lately that Ireland is one of the safest countries in the world for pregnant women. That the statistics prove that no abortion leads to greater safety. And not one commentator that I’ve heard has called them on that stat and asked if maybe, just maybe, the fact that Irish women wanting an abortion head to England means that statistic isn’t really valid. It hides the fact that Irish women can, and do, get abortions. Just not here in Ireland.

For years now I’ve been in favour of legalising abortion in Ireland. And the more I see and here from the anti-abortion crowd the more in favour of it I become.

And I am sick of all the political parties here using the death of Savita Halappanavar as a way to score political points. Fianna Fail have no right to give out to anyone for not legislating for abortion. How many years were they in power and could have done something and didn’t? And the shower in power now are no better. Calls for clarity and waiting for reports. That’s all bullshit. This issue has been around for decades. That old saying about the people having spoken? Didn’t they do that in the referendum! That was over twenty years ago.

Even if it turns out that an abortion wouldn’t have saved Savita Halappanavar’s life isn’t going to change my opinion. The next politician who calls to my door looking for a vote had better be pro-choice.

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3 Responses

  1. Kelly says:

    Hear, hear, Fence. It's a big ship to turn but I believe change is coming.
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Oregonians don’t tan, they rust

  2. Aarti says:

    Wow, I didn't know that abortion was illegal in Ireland. It's legal in the US, but it seems like the right wingers are becoming more and more extreme in their stance on wanting it gone. I read an editorial in the NY Times about the term pro-life and how it has been warped. You might like it:
    Aarti´s last blog post ..Stop all the clocks

    • Fence says:

      I think one reason it is *still* illegal here is that, in a lot of cases, if you really wanted an abortion you could always "take the boat" to England. So it was illegal, but available for those with the money/resources to travel.

      We've had a huge upsurge in the anti-abortion marketing lately, gotten a lot of fliers from Youth Defence through the door telling me to ring my TD and tell them no to abortion. I'm much more likely to do the opposite.