Abortion in Ireland: The Injustice and Day-to-Day Terror Faced by Countless Women


Editor’s Note: The home site for the Abortion Support Network listed at the bottom of this article has been updated, and now reads and functions correctly.

See all our coverage of the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar here.

As an organisation that hears first-hand from the women who bear the burden of Ireland’s archaic abortion laws, the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar was shocking and sickening.

And yet not as surprising as you’d think.

Given that abortion laws in Ireland are among the strictest in the world, a tragedy of this kind wasn’t so much a matter of if, but when. The circumstances in which Savita died are truly abhorrent. Admitted to hospital experiencing a miscarriage at 17 weeks, despite being told that the fetus “wasn’t viable” she was made to suffer for days, left begging for an abortion that she was refused as long as there was a foetal heart beat.

Haunted by the harrowing details of Savita’s death we’re left to wonder how many more women in Ireland may have lost their lives as a result of being denied a life-saving abortion.

If Savita’s family hadn’t bravely made the decision to go public, would her senseless death have come to light? Have the lives of more women been sacrificed because a fetus was deemed more important? Even when it was known that the fetus would not survive? When, technically in Ireland an abortion is permitted if there is a “real and substantial risk to the life of the mother?” These are questions that we cannot ignore and questions that demand answers.

Savita’s death is the worst illustration of what happens when abortion is highly restricted, and the worst way for the ‘pro-life’ lobby to be proved wrong. How often do we hear that abortion is never necessary to save the life of a woman? A protester at a vigil for Savita hit the nail on the head with a placard stating ‘Pro-Life beliefs killed Savita Halappanavar – Ireland needs abortion rights.’  So did Kartha Pollit in her compelling reflection on the case When ‘Pro-Life’ kills.

But what has been absent from the mainstream media coverage of Savita’s death has been the mass, day-in day-out misery and discrimination experienced by women as a result of the near-total ban on abortion in Ireland.

Because for every tragic death like Savita’s there are many, many more victims of Ireland’s abortion laws who, though they don’t pay with their lives, are made to endure hardship, shame and violations of their basic rights. It’s also important that their plight isn’t ignored.

At Abortion Support Network we’re all too aware of this, because these women or their friends or their partners call us on a daily basis, desperate and often with no place else to turn. We’re a small, all-volunteer organisation based in London and our sole purpose is to help as many of the 5000+ women in Ireland and also Northern Ireland who each year are forced to travel to England simply to access a safe and legal abortion. Or to put it another way, to get a common medical procedure that they should be able to have in their own country.

While many other groups campaign tirelessly for much-needed legal reform in Ireland and Northern Ireland (IFPA, FPA Northern Ireland, Alliance for Choice and Choice Ireland to name just a few), we support the women paying the price right now. We do this by providing practical support in the form of accommodation and confidential, non-judgemental information, and most importantly with money to help towards the costs of their procedure and travel. We help women with this financial support in the same way that abortion funds in the United States do; by simply giving it to women as and when we can. Abortion Support Network is the only United Kingdom abortion fund and was founded by Mara Clarke, an American who previously volunteered with Haven Coalition.

For some women in the early stages of pregnancy we’re able to help them to access a safe and affordable medical abortion at home by directing them to the fantastic, trustworthy and life-saving organisation Women on Web.

As for any abortion fund, the women who call us come from all walks of life. Some of the women we help are in their early twenties or younger, others are in their thirties or forties. Some have children, some don’t. They include women who have experienced domestic abuse or rape, asylum seekers, disabled women, those with wanted pregnancies affected by severe fetal anomalies and women for whom it is simply their choice not to continue their pregnancy.

What these women have in common is that the journey they make to access a safe and legal abortion is a difficult one and they are in need of our support.

The other thing that the women who contact us have in common is that they are poor. In addition to having to pay for a procedure that women living in England, Scotland, and Wales can access for free on the national health service, women traveling from Ireland and Northern Ireland have to pay for their abortions as well as travel costs and in some cases accommodation. Costs for this range from $600  to $3,100, plus any loss of income from missing work or childcare required. It’s common for women to skip rent payments to pay for an abortion, to have to lie to friends and family to get the money they need, to go to loan sharks, to return Christmas presents, and of course for the ones that hear about Abortion Support Network, to make a phone call to a complete stranger in another country to ask for money. At its most extreme this means that women with money can have an abortion and women without money are forced to bear and give birth to children they otherwise decided they could not afford or were not ready to have at that time in their lives.

On top of the financial hardship and stress there’s the emotional toll. Many women have to keep their pregnancy a secret back home. These women are extremely isolated and make the journey alone. The turmoil often includes feelings of shame and guilt. Perhaps because their own doctor has told them that they are being selfish considering an abortion, perhaps because they’ve grown up being told that having an abortion means you’ll go straight to hell.

For some women anger and frustration is the dominant emotion; at being treated like a second class citizen in their own country, or like a criminal for trying to make a decision that they feel is not only right for them, but also for their family. For others it’s confusion, particularly if they’ve visited an anti-choice ‘crisis pregnancy agency’ and been fed the usual lies about being left infertile or getting breast cancer. There’s also sheer panic and despair, for example when they can’t book a plane ticket because they haven’t got a bank card, or if they need to get a passport but it may not arrive in time. Lastly, there’s loss: we have heard from several couples who have learned that their wanted babies are affected by fetal anomalies that are incompatible with life. Still they are denied an abortion.

When you’re on the other end of the phone you listen to their heart-breaking stories and you’re all too aware that there’s only so much you can do to help.

There have been times when women have had no choice but to return home and have a child, because they arrived at the clinic only to discover that they were over the legal limit. It’s impossible to count how many times we’ve heard ‘he wants nothing to do with it’ or ‘I cannot even afford to feed the children I have.’ Some women have to whisper down the phone or call at a certain time of day, because their parents will throw them out if they knew, because they can’t let abusive partners find out, because they don’t want their neighbours to know. We’ve even had women threaten to commit suicide if they don’t get an abortion. For many women the question of ‘choice’ is meaningless: continuing with the pregnancy is not an option.

When a woman reaches out to us it’s impossible to know exactly what she is going through. But sadly we do know what it feels like to have to say no to her, because we we’ve heard from another five women that day and don’t have the funds to help her. We know what it’s like to be left wondering if the reason a woman hasn’t called us back is because the violent boyfriend that she was trying to escape has found out. We know what it’s like to hear a grown man cry because his 14 year-old daughter has been raped.

And now we know what it’s like to weep for a woman whose life has been lost.

Our only hope is that Savita Halappanavar’s death has not been in vain. What must come of her death and the public outrage that has ensued is justice not only for Savita, but justice for each and every woman made to suffer at the hands of Ireland’s abortion laws.


Donations via the Abortion Support Network website are gratefully received: www.abortionsupport.org.uk.

Abortion Support Network is part of the US-based National Network of Abortion Funds.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    I predict that just as Ireland has had a secret enormously high rate of children abused by Catholic clergy, it also has a secret high rate of maternal deaths and injuries blamed on “other causes”.  The mother-killing, child-raping RCC deserves a global birth strike to save women from childbirth deaths and to save children from pedophile priests.  The two scandals cause each other and reproductive freedom is the only solution.  Since politicians are too craven to liberate women and children, women must stage their own birth strike and boycott RCC hospitals, etc.  All nations should do the same.  There can be no safe children until all their mothers are safe. 

  • jackkay

    I was raised a catholic in Ireland so perhaps that has shaped my views although I am an atheist now.

    I respect your sincerely held views but I do not share them.

    I believe that life begins at conception and that a woman’s ‘bump’ is no less deserving of human rights than anyone else. In fact I feel that an embryo/foetus, if anything, has greater rights than an already born person. We, at least have had some kind of a life. Who are we to deny that to the human in the womb?

    The fact that adeveloping Human being may not yet look like us, cannot yet think or argue its corner are not reasons to deny them the right to life because they are an encumbrance to another.

    I believe that embryos/foetuses like children have rights, they do not yet have responsibilities.

     

  • prochoiceferret

    In fact I feel that an embryo/foetus, if anything, has greater rights than an already born person.

     

    So everyone is equal, but some of us are more equal than others? Where have I heard that before

  • crowepps

    The fact that adeveloping Human being may not yet look like us, cannot yet think or argue its corner are not reasons to deny them the right to life because they are an encumbrance to another.

    Oh, for cripe’s sake — on that basis we shouldn’t remove cancerous tumors either.  After all, who are we to save our own lives?

  • jackkay

    In a rescue situation I think most people would agree that the lives of children should have priority over adults.

    I don’t think that is laid down in law anyhere but it seems to be a universal unwritten rule of human behaviour.

    So in that sense children and (in my opinion) the unborn have greater rights than adults.

  • jackkay

    You can’t equate an embryo/foetus to a tumour

     

  • jackkay

    You can’t equate an embryo/foetus to a tumour

     

  • crowepps

    Sorry, but as a universal unwritten rule of human behavior that one loses; infanticide is very common in all human societies, and so is abandoning older children who are unwanted.

    The unborn, being unfinished and incapable of surviving independently until quite late in the pregnancy, can be given no rights.  The woman who is gestating them has to retain all the rights, because there is no reason why society should prefer any individual embryo or fetus being spontaneously miscarried/aborted to the dozens of others which she is capable of gestating at a time when completing the pregnancy is more optimal and survival after birth is more likely.

  • crowepps

    That certainly would fit your description, a developing mass of human cells that doesn’t look human and is incapable of thinking.  Sounds like a molar pregnancy to me, and those not only are incapable of actually producing a live baby, they can be lethal.

    Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a term used for a group of pregnancy-related tumours. These tumours are rare, and they appear when cells in the womb start to grow out of control. The cells that form gestational trophoblastic tumours are called trophoblasts and come from tissue that grows to form the placenta during pregnancy.

    There are several different types of GTD. Hydatidiform moles are, in most cases, benign, but may, sometimes, develop into invasive moles, or, in rare cases, into choriocarcinoma, which is likely to spread quickly,[1][2] but which is very sensitive to chemotherapy, and has a very good prognosis. Gestational trophoblasts are of particular interest to cell biologists because, like cancer, these cells invade tissue (the uterus), but unlike cancer, sometimes “know” when to stop.[citation needed]

    GTD can simulate pregnancy, because the uterus may contain fetal tissue, albeit abnormal. This tissue may grow at the same rate as a normal pregnancy, and produces chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone which is measured to monitor fetal well-being.[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestational_trophoblastic_disease

  • barquin

    You can’t equate an embryo/foetus to a fully developed baby/child. The former simply doesn’t exist without the mother. To suggest a fetus has more rights than the person who is actually bringing this life into existance is disturbing and pretty insulting. We’re talking about a situation where a woman is essentially giving her health, her time, her entire body to this life-changing process, and you think she should be giving her rights too?

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Jackass, your own male life, health, looks, love life and job aren’t even 1% threatened by the grisly and bankrupting calamities facing pregnant women.  ALL abortions are self-defense for women.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Jackass, if you believed your own crap, you’d be attending “baby” tampon funerals 24/7 and storming against all abortidacient caffeine consumption by fertile women.  You better get busy practicing what you preach!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Jackass, I command you to start rescuing all “baby” tampons by collecting, freezing and reimplanting them in your brood mare, if you have one.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    And if she dies in the process, you should be jailed for her murder!  When pedophile priests and mother-killing playboys like you starting doing time for the deadly results of your own hanky-panky, maybe you’ll rethink your Nazi petri dish idolatry.

  • ljean8080

    what about women who sleep around?

  • colleen

    In a rescue situation I think most people would agree that the lives of children should have priority over adults.

    You don’t even agree with that, if you did you would be saving the lives of several children with organ donations. If you believed that you would care that 24,000 children a day die from preventable causes (usually malnutrition related) every single day on this planet. What you actually mean is that women and only women should be eager and willing to die  for your beliefs. And that makes  you  hypocritical, dishonest and cowardly.

  • colleen

    You have a astonishing talent for reducing a possibly interesting thread into something unbelievably crass, sexist, stupid and pointless.

  • crowepps

    Are you saying that women who are ‘sluts’ should be ‘punished’ by forcing them to be mothers?  Isn’t that a little hard on their children, you know, Consequence, Unwanted and Abusable?

  • jennifer-starr

    Okay, I’ll bite. What about them? Are you saying they deserve to be forced into motherhood?  That they deserve to die from pregnancy complications because they slept around?  What?  

    LJean, do you ever think about actually–oh, I don’t know–reading the above article and posting a question that’s actually relevant to the topic instead of posting something random and pointless? 

  • jackkay

    I never said that I expect women to die for my beliefs, I don’t.

    What I don’t think that they should do is have abortions unless

    there’s a risk to their own life by continuing the pregnancy.

    Those situations are very rare.

  • coralsea

    Also, Jack — I would like to remind you that you should never have intercourse with a woman of child-bearing age.  Ever.  Unless you WANT to have a baby with her.  Because as we all know, no birth control is 100% protective all the time.  So if you want to suffer all of those fetuses the possibility of not being born, make sure that you aren’t creating any with your “man juice.”

     

    Really.  I mean it.  I am so very sick of men who bawl about fetuses and say that life is sacred (but not necessarily for women), or that pregnancy is the consequence for women who (gasp) have sex, but that, when asked about their own practices, either say nothing (meaning they screw around) or mutter that it’s up to the woman to prevent pregnancy.  

     

    So, no sex unless you want to father a child (and care for it and help raise it).  Are we clear on that, buddy?  NO SEX!

  • colleen

    Unless you WANT to have a baby with her.

    Because we are talking with a conservative male I suggest that “unless she wants to have a baby with you” is  more to the point. These are men who need to be introduced to the concept of female consent to sex and are often extremely  resistant to the notion. The ‘pro-life’ movement is about control over women. If the ‘pro-lifer’ movement emphasized (or even talked about) male responsibility and self control there would be no ‘pro-life’ movement.

  • colleen

    I never said that I expect women to die for my beliefs

    Oh I see. You just choose this particular thread at random to provide us with your unsolicited opinions about how we should live our lives in sacrifice to your beliefs. My point still stands. If you actually believed the lives of children in “rescue” situations are more valuable than the lives of adults then you would be donating a kidney to one of the many suffering children that need your kidney to live. The men of the ‘pro-life’ movement pretend that there is nothing they can do but ejaculate and bore the crap out of us with platitudes. Prove me wrong.

    As for your last sentence, the ‘pro-life’ movement is always insisting that the maternal mortality rates are a sort of exaggerated liberal myth and that millions of women do not die every year from complications related to pregnancies.It’s one of the things that makes the irresponsible sanctimony of guys like you so disgusting.

  • coralsea

    Jack — I think your comment, “who are we to deny human life in the womb?” is very telling — at least the, “in the womb” part.  It’s easy to tell someone else (especially a female someone else) that she has to carry a pregnancy.  After all — she can’t “transfer” it to you.  So you can be as self-righteous as you wish about the sanctity of life and all of that.  Heck — you don’t even have to talk to a woman or treat her like a human — you just have to wax poetic about the rights of the fetus to have a chance at life (until it grows up and, if female, maybe has to die in the name of fetal rights that you and others like you promote.  Ah — the beauty of Motherhood!). 

     

    Does it occur to you at all that women deserve the opportunity to decide what happens to their own bodies and lives?  It’s all so very, very lovely, this adoration of fetuses.  But it’s all so very, very divorced from the reality of real women’s gritty old lives, where they have to pay bills, take care of people who depend on them, “pull their weight,” — you know, all of those obligations adults have and that women have in spades because, as the traditional “caregivers,” others (e.g., the elderly, children, if they have them, volunteer groups, including religious ones) overwhelmingly depend on them. 

     

    Or, to put it simply, because here in America, at least, a lot of male politicians on the Right still don’t get it: Women are people, too.   They aren’t simply walking incubators, and what happens to their bodies has the potential to affect every other aspect of her life — including fulfilling all of those other obligations that society sees fit to heap upon her as universal “caregivers.” 

     

    Well — I think that her care should at least be extended to HERSELF.  But your comments clearly indicate that you don’t view women as people; or at least, they are of only secondary importance to fetuses (which you, conveniently, don’t have to carry yourself).   How very self-congratulatory of you!

     

    As others here have already said, if a fetus isn’t viable outside the womb, then its life is still basically a function of the mother’s life.  The mother can survive the termination of the pregnancy, while the fetus cannot survive the termination of the mother’s life.  Thus, any rational person would understand that allowing the loss of two lives — as in Savita’s case — rather than ending one that could not survive on its own — is the only course of action, even if it is sad.

     

    Many real-life “survival” stories involve sacrifice and imperfect choices.   It’s easy to glorify others’ sacrifices — especially if they are sacrifices that you don’t have to make.  It’s also easy for the intractably unrealistic to say, “no sacrifice is acceptable,” although in real life, most people would gasp in horror at the idea that in the event of a disaster, if one person is going to die, everyone else should die, as well.

     

    Pregnancy involves real women’s lives.  It isn’t the plot of a book or movie, where readers/viewers are looking for a satisfying dramatic experience, divorced from reality.   Women face the consequences — they need to have the ability to make their own choices, as well.  If you don’t like it, that’s tough. Live your own life and leave the lives of women alone.

     

    The bottom line is that men don’t face pregnancy and all of the risks and difficulties it entails.  As far as I am concerned, they also shouldn’t have a deciding vote in women’s reproductive choices.   That male-dominated organizations such as the Catholic Church, whose members will never possibly have to face the choices that women face, are allowed to call the shots in these cases is utterly ridiculous. 

  • coralsea

    So, LJean — you clearly view pregnancy as a punishment for women whose behavior you disagree with.  What is it with religious folks and sex?  And punishment?  Don’t you have enough to do?

     

    I suggest volunteer work of some sort in which lots of manual labor is involved.  It will help keep your mind off of what others may or may not be doing with their time.

  • jackkay

    I am a man and I believe that abortion is wrong. I’m not in any ‘movement’.

    As for my opinion being unsolicited, I came upon this forum through google news, read the article

    and added my opinion. There was an open invitation to comment.

    I imagine that you did something similar.

     

     

  • colleen

    Your poorly formed opinions  demand that women and only women sacrifice for your beliefs. Likewise, you appear unable to actually stay on topic, realise there IS a topic or carry on an honest dialogue.  That just makes you a useless troll.

  • ljean8080

    what I was saying TO Mary,who is always  talking abou men who sleep around,is that if it is wrong for a man to do it,it is wrong for a women.

  • jackkay

    Do you think that name-calling aids dialogue?

  • prochoiceferret

    I am a man and I believe that abortion is wrong.

     

    Well, hey, there are men who believe that women voting is wrong, too. Too bad you’re in the minority who think women don’t deserve the same fundamental rights as you do.

     

     

    As for my opinion being unsolicited, I came upon this forum through google news, read the article and added my opinion. There was an open invitation to comment.

     

     

    “Comment” means “make a meaningful contribution to the discussion,” not “crash the party, drink all the booze, then ramble at everyone about my stone-age belief system.”

     

    I imagine that you did something similar.


    Aside from being well-informed, compassionate, appreciated, and aligned with the long arc of history, yes, what we did is totally similar to you.

     

    I’m not in any ‘movement’.

     

    Which is odd, since your comments smell a lot like a bowel movement.

  • coralsea

    Jack — It doesn’t feel good, does it?  To have your thoughts dismissed and criticized.  Although you may not realize it, as a man, you aren’t treated to that response very often; you are used to having people listen to you and accept what you say because, hey, your a man.  Women frequently are not listened to, especially by the Catholic Church and politicians.  The thought is that we are simply good little minions who are there to support men and care for children and our own thoughts and needs come after everyone else’s — including fetuses.

     

    Now you know that women have our own thoughts and that they may not track with yours.  Deal with it.

     

    You seem like you are probably a pretty nice guy and I am glad that you are compassionate and that you value life.  So do women.  We also value our own lives.  Although the stakes may not be “life or death” as you think of it (e.g., pregnancy = death for specific women), they are, in fact, often life changing.  In the U.S. at least, most of the women who choose to end a pregnancy already have one of more children.  They choose to end their pregnancy because they can’t deal with another child AND care for the others, continue to put food on the table, or follow through with other commitments she has, including commitments to herself (yes — we have our own commitments, autonomous creatures that we are).  Yes — she COULD perhaps physically have another child, but giving birth and raising a child, supporting it and caring for it, are two very different things.  And before you say that she can give the child up for adoption, this, too, can be fraught with issues.  In addition to pregnancy itself having physical effects, she may lose her job (at least in the U.S.).  In the U.S., as well, pregnant women are more likely to be physically abused by a domestic partner.

     

    I could go on, but I won’t.  Read more of this web site if you want to know more.  What I am telling you is that women and their wombs don’t exist in a bubble.   We have complicated lives.  Only we know the extent of these complications, and only we know what will or will not work for us.  You may be well-meaning, but you don’t know the realities we face, and you don’t have the right to impose upon us requirements that can, in some cases, lead to insurmountable or nearly insurmountable obstacles. 

  • give-em-hell-mary

    You have already sanctimonously told us women that we are worth less than any fetuses!

  • jackkay

    So, no sex unless you want to father a child (and care for it and help raise it).  Are we clear on that, buddy?  NO SEX!

    I’d only alter that to replace the phrase “you want to” with “you’re prepared to” and say that the same applies to women.

     

  • prochoiceferret

    I’d only alter that to replace the phrase “you want to” with “you’re prepared to” and say that the same applies to women.


    Unfortunately for you, most women don’t subscribe to your bizarre value system, and enjoy reproduction-free sex with the use of contraceptives (and sometimes, abortion).

  • coralsea

    As I read your latest comment, it appears that you are displeased that I commented on something that you wrote that was apparently only intended for Mary.  Gee — this is a public comment board, so I didn’t realize that it was a private comment.

     

    You might wish to better explain your views, but I stand by my words that when anyone complains about women sleeping around and is using that as an excuse for curtailing abortion rights, they have a real problem with sex and a real desire to “punish” behavior that supercedes any real interest in the fate of the fetus if if ends up being born and proceeds into childhood and then adulthood. 

  • jackkay

    So you believe that having an abortion is justified to be able to enjoy reproduction free sex.

    Yes, I don’t agree with you

  • give-em-hell-mary

    But you keep missing my point that anti-choice sleep-around men don’t have to worry about resulting pregnancies killing or injuring them, while even faithful wives and rape victims do have to fear such dire calamities.  No woman deserves these medical risks, regardless of how she got pregnant.

  • colleen

    I’d only alter that to replace the phrase “you want to” with “you’re prepared to” and say that the same applies to women.

    No, no, no. You fail to understand. ‘Women’ are not yours to command and we really do not share your ridiculous belief system. We’re asking that you, rather than us, sacrifice for your beliefs.  If ‘pro-life’ men stopped having self indulgent sex and donated their kidneys and parts of their livers to save the lives of children, the world would be a much, much better place and your focus on control would be where it belongs. On your useless selves.

  • colleen

    Your agreement or lack of it is completely irrelevant.

  • coralsea

    Jack — what you do is your business.  But, as Ferret says, we are allowed to do as we wish — and we do face the consequences.  If your idea is to make US face the consequences, then, yes — NO SEX FOR YOU. 

     

    Glad you got the first part right — no sex for you if you feel you have to control the consequences.  But why do you continue to try to control women by insisting on the last part for us? That’s just spiteful.  It’s also willfully stupid.  You don’t like what we’ve said here, so you seek to change the argument.  Juvenile. 

  • jackkay

    Colleen

    I don’t think that all women agree with your belief system.

    I’ve been following the debate in this country and women are prominent on both sides.

     

     

  • prochoiceferret

    So you believe that having an abortion is justified to be able to enjoy reproduction free sex.

     

    No, having an aborton is justified because the woman’s body is hers, and hers alone, and this is a free country.

     

    Yes, I don’t agree with you

     

    Perhaps you might find Iran or Saudi Arabia more agreeable to you.

  • coralsea

    Colleen — you are correct.  But since I often write insanely long posts, I didn’t include that one, highly important qualifying statement.  However, you are correct — when dealing with the conservative male, one can’t been too basic with one’s explanations.

  • jackkay

    I don’t think it’s stupid, it’s taking responsibility. If you have sex and get pregnant you have to take responsibility.

    The man has to take responsibility too.

  • colleen

     What you are doing here is not what normal people call ‘dialogue’.

  • jackkay

    Well actually that’s not true because changing the constitution to allow for abortion on demand requires a referendum

  • prochoiceferret

    I don’t think that all women agree with your belief system.

    I’ve been following the debate in this country and women are prominent on both sides.

     

    Funnily enough, even women on the other side agree with Colleen when it comes to their own reproductive decisions.

  • prochoiceferret

    I don’t think it’s stupid, it’s taking responsibility. If you have sex and get pregnant you have to take responsibility.

     

    Yes, like having an abortion as soon as possible if you don’t want to give birth, or arrange for an adoption if you’re okay with pregnancy and giving birth but don’t want to parent.

     

    The man has to take responsibility too.

     

    There are a few mens’ rights activism forums you may want to invite yourself over to….

  • jackkay

    Why do you say “having an abortion as soon as possible”? Is it out of concern for the foetus?

  • coralsea

    Jack — you miss the point!  I said that it was stupid of you to think that it was your business to make a blanket comment that women can’t have sex unless they are willing to have a baby simply because I had cautioned you, as one of the pro-fetus crowd, not to have sex unless you were willing to support the child (and it’s still the woman’s body, and if the pregnancy isn’t what she wants, too bad for you).  It is stupid and willful — and stupidly willful for you to attempt to impose YOUR opinion on women.

     

    We don’t agree with you — get over it.

     

    And while I am writing to you — your comment about the fact that there are anti-choice women out there also means nothing.  There were also African Americans in the U.S. at the end of the Civil War who were dubious about ending slavery.  By your logic, because some disagreed, the rest should have stayed slaves.  Yes — there are anti-choice women.  They have a wide variety of motivations, most of which are founded in various religious doctrines.  Others who are also women of faith believe in a woman’s right to choose and to have control over her own body and health.  A lot of anti-choice folks are authoritarian types who feel best when people are “controlled” — never mind if the control makes sense.

     

    Abortion is a very personal choice.  Women who deeply believe that they must give birth — even at peril of their own health — are free to do so.  Pro-choice advocates aren’t going to block her from her choice (although if her life is truly at risk, we might ask her to think about that).  You need to get away from this idea that it is up to ANYONE to tell a woman what she is required to do regarding her own body.

  • prochoiceferret

    Why do you say “having an abortion as soon as possible”? Is it out of concern for the foetus?

     

    No, because abortion becomes riskier and more expensive the later you do it in pregnancy.

     

    This insight was published in the August 1993 issue of the respected medical journal, DUH.

  • jackkay

    Ok but at what stage of pregnancy would you believe that the foetus acquires human rights and cannot be aborted?

  • coralsea

    Jack is all Butthurt because we don’t agree with him.   I doubt he’d be nearly as upset if he believed he was talking to other men because, you know, guys can agree to disagree, which women need to agree with the all-powerful man!  (Okay — Jack, that last part was an exaggeration.  But have you figured out at all yet what it is like for women and their opinions and needs to be pushed aside, on a regular basis, when we try to explain our concerns?  I will tell you that we are slapped down or dismissed far quicker and more harshly than has been the case with our responses to you.  We get it.  You don’t like abortion.  So don’t have one — but that’s the whole point!  You don’t ever have to worry about being pregnant.)

  • prochoiceferret

    Ok but at what stage of pregnancy would you believe that the foetus acquires human rights and cannot be aborted?

     

    Birth, obviously, at least for the “cannot be aborted” part. The “acquires human rights” part isn’t really relevant here, because even if the fetus were a tiny yet full-grown human with personhood/rights/etc., that still wouldn’t affect the woman’s right of bodily integrity and thereby her right to an abortion. (But if you want to talk about the fetus having a right to e.g. subsidized prenatal care, that’s another story…)

  • colleen

    I don’t think that all women agree with your belief system.

    What belief system would that be, Jack?   If you mean that not all women are pro-choice, I think we’re all aware of that. It’s so difficult to get over half of the human race to agree on anything. There are even conservative women who think that men who rape 12 year olds were seduced. I know a couple of them.  But the fact of the matter is that most of us think legal, safe abortion is a good thing and most of us are angry that hospitals kill women rather than allow them an abortion, most of us think using effective contraception to prevent pregnancies  is a responsible and moral decision.

    Here’s the problem with your argument. Had youfollowed the results of the polls leading up to the last election and the election itself you would have noticed that, when the topic is safe, legal abortion, ‘legitimate’ rape or access to effective contraception,  those women are in a considerable minority.

     

     

  • ldan

    This.

     

    An adult doesn’t have the right to hook themselves up to my body as a life support system as part of their human rights. If one did so, I would have the right to disconnect them.

     

    Are there points in pregnancy where it isn’t medically advisable to have an abortion vs. giving birth? Sure. And it’s a question best left to medical professionals and their patients, not moralizing busybodies like Jack here.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Then let’s also have a referendum on Bobbitting adulterous deadbeat daddies, pedophile priests, and men whose offspring cause the childbirth deaths of their mothers.  Are you up for that, pun intended?

  • colleen

    I would say that your refusal to donate a kidney to save the life OF A CHILD is out of concern for your own selfish person. You too could make a difference. What’s the matter? Afraid it would hurt? Donating a kidney is way less painful and hard on a person than gestation and childbirth.

  • prochoiceferret

    An adult doesn’t have the right to hook themselves up to my body as a life support system as part of their human rights. If one did so, I would have the right to disconnect them.

     

    The bodily-integrity argument. Gets ‘em every time!

     

    The best part is, if they make a case against it, they’re making a case for involuntary living-organ donation. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, “We aimed at the public’s head, and by accident we hit it in the kidneys.”

  • give-em-hell-mary

    The women who agree with you have either never been pregnant, are sterile, lucky, or never heard of the zillion gross and deadly complications like obstetric fistulas.  They could also be lying hypocrites like “anti-abortion” Paula Jones lawyer Susan Carpenter McMillan who had two abortions.

  • colleen

    Glad to know you aren’t part of the ‘pro-life’ movement, Jack.

    I fail to see how your tiny little threat to codify your beliefs and try to force women (and never men)to sacrifice for them makes your beliefs relevant.

  • jackkay

    “that still wouldn’t affect the woman’s right of bodily integrity and thereby her right to an abortion”

     

    OK this is the part I don’t get. The baby didn’t create itself and so cannot be responsible for infringing on anyone’s

    bodily integrity.  That doesn’t wash, it’s just a pathetic attempt to justify the indefensible

     

  • jackkay

    The bodily-integrity argument. Gets ‘em every time!

     

    The best part is, if they make a case against it, they’re making a case for involuntary living-organ donation. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, “We aimed at the public’s head, and by accident we hit it in the kidneys.”



    I don’t follow. Could someone please explain?

  • prochoiceferret

    OK this is the part I don’t get. The baby didn’t create itself and so cannot be responsible for infringing on anyone’s bodily integrity.  That doesn’t wash, it’s just a pathetic attempt to justify the indefensible

     

    Actually, it’s not only very defensible, it’s something you would defend too if you were at any risk of losing it.

     

    The fact that the “baby” (i.e. fetus) is innocent or not or responsible or not is irrelevant. It has no bearing on the fact that the woman still owns her body, and still has the right to an abortion if she wants one.

     

    It’s like if there were some guy (let’s call him Bob) who has a terminal genetic condition and needs one of your kidneys in order to live, and you didn’t want to give it to him. If he were to argue that you should be compelled to give up a kidney because his genetic condition wasn’t his fault, then… well… that would be a pretty stupid argument, wouldn’t it? Your right to keep your own organs (part and parcel of bodily integrity) has nothing to do with whether someone else is guilty or innocent; it’s your right.

  • prochoiceferret

    I don’t follow. Could someone please explain?

     

    Well, you see, Upton Sinclair was an author who published The Jungle in 1906, which was a historically significant expose of the meat-packing industry of the time…

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Google obstetric bladder and bowel incontinence fistulas and symphysiotomies from obstructed labor to get a clue.  You don’t strike me as the type who would tolerate such injuries to your manhood for any fetus, let alone be faithful to wife with such injuries.

     

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Try stuffing a watermelon up your Bobbitt, then violently yanking it in and out for several days with no pain killers.

  • colleen

    You would understand if you were capable of empathy

  • ldan

    There’s a chance I could get in a traffic accident if I head out driving. It’s a calculated risk, sort of like the one I take having sex. Even if I run a red light and smash into someone and they’ll die if I don’t give them a transfusion or a kidney, I can’t be forced to give up parts of my body to another person, even when their injuries are my fault. Now, I might feel really guilty and donate such things. But that’s my choice to make.

     

    That’s not even getting into how much greater an infringement on my bodily integrity it is to be forced to be a full-blown life support system and to build a new person molecule by molecule inside my body. That isn’t a job anyone should be forced to.

     

    It’s forced gestation that’s indefensible. We’re not walking incubators. Having sex doesn’t suddenly change our status to ‘walking incubator’. Willingly having one or many children…still doesn’t change our status. Being raped…yep, still not willing to be relegated to the status of incubator. After all, none of those things would make it defensible for a walking, talking adult to hook themselves up to me as life support, what gives a one-inch embryo that right?

  • jackkay

    Thanks for the explanation but I think that the analogy with Bob doesn’t really convince me.

    His situation has nothing to do with me.

    He’s not my responsibility.

    But if I were somehow responsible for Bob’s kidney disease then that would be different.

    The woman is responsible, along with the man,  for the baby and as evolution has it, she’s the only one who can save it.

    Should she go through with pregnancy, I think so.

     

     

  • jackkay

    Thanks everyone,

    I found it stimulating not having really debated the rights and wrongs of abortion much.

     

    Best

     

    jack

  • ldan

    Gee, I’ll give that opinion all the weight it deserves when I’m weighing my choices. I’ll recall that you think that women should make that sacrifice of their bodily integrity, a sacrifice you will never have to make. Kind of like you don’t care about Bob because he has nothing to do with you; you don’t much care about the consequences to pregnant people because they have nothing to do with you and your life. So explain again how you feel qualified to make decisions for them?

     

    I’ll recall how ‘stimulating’ this debate was for you while I consider the very real consequences that the debate you consider a philosophical exercise has on my life.

     

    Which is to say I won’t pause for a moment to consider your opinion on the matter.

  • coralsea

    But you are willing to push a major physical change on others who don’t want it?  That’s so convenient for you.  Let’s see — I was raped when I was 30.  Fortunately, I didn’t get pregnant, but if I had, I would have wanted the option to control my own destiny by ending an unwanted pregnancy.  How could I be responsible if I was impregnated against my will?  You truly are a hard-hearted bastard if you consider this MY responsibility (or maybe you would break into a string of questions designed to determine to what degree I was responsible for being sexually assaulted).

     

    Now consider that, manner of conception aside, women are responsible for living their lives and protecting their health.  This is a fairly fundamental thing.  Considering the physical and psychological effects pregnancy can cause, how can YOU or anyone possibly say that a woman is obliged to subjugate her own well-being to a collection of cells that cannot, until relatively far into the pregnancy, survive on its own?

     

    The fact that you apparently can suggests that: 1., you don’t value women, and/or, 2. you aren’t particularly bright, and/or 3., you fall into the authoritarian mode whereby you are more interested in control and order than in whether it makes sense, and/or 4., you are ridiculously swayed by a religion based on a bunch of stories translated and retranslated and interpreted to achieve social and political agendas that originated with a bunch of desert goat herders who lived several thousand years ago.

     

    In any case, I’m sick of listening to you.  As I said before, you are willfully stupid, a psychopath who likes to bug people, purposely trolling, or have lived an incredibly sheltered life during which everyone — including and especially women — have coddled and agreed with you.

  • coralsea

    Good riddance to you, Jack.  I doubt that anything we said will stick with you, since we are only women.  Hopefully, you won’t impregnate anyone. 

  • prochoiceferret

    Thanks for the explanation but I think that the analogy with Bob doesn’t really convince me.

    His situation has nothing to do with me.

    He’s not my responsibility.

    But if I were somehow responsible for Bob’s kidney disease then that would be different.

     

    Bob could sue you in court for medical/punitive damages. But no court is going to compel you to give him a kidney. Do you think it should?

     

    The woman is responsible, along with the man,  for the baby and as evolution has it, she’s the only one who can save it.

     

    Is the woman “responsible” if she had been raped?

     

    Should she go through with pregnancy, I think so.

     

    Should people not follow Scientology, I think so. But it’s not a matter of what I think people should and shouldn’t do—people have a right to worship, or own their bodies, even if other people think it is the most terrible and indefensible thing that ever was. The difference between “I think you should” and “you must” is what living in a free country is all about.

  • prochoiceferret

    I found it stimulating not having really debated the rights and wrongs of abortion much.

     

    Well, you don’t believe in abortion rights, and there’s nothing wrong about abortion, so it’s not surprising you don’t like the climate around here. If you can’t take the heat…

  • purplemistydez

    Yes!!  Any reason is reason enough.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Jackass left because he couldn’t handle the truth!  :D

  • colleen

    I found it stimulating

    We did not.

  • colleen

    His situation has nothing to do with me.

    He’s not my responsibility.

    What a convenient and self serving  belief system.

     

  • coralsea

    Well, I guess now we know that he is holdidng himself up as a smug, self-important shithead who believes that he “bested” us through his rapier-like intellect (Not!).

     

    Actually, I still think he was just plain butthurt that we didn’t agree with him. 

  • irisheddieohara

    Some additional facts for you.

     

    Forty-five percent of postpartum deaths occur within 24 hours. Over 90% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries. In comparison, pregnancy-associated homicideaccounts for 2 to 10 deaths per 100,000 live births, possibly substantially higher due to underreporting.[5]

    In developing countries, the most common cause of maternal death is obstetrical hemorrhage, followed by deep vein thrombosis, in contrast to developed countries, for which the most common cause is thromboembolism.

    Unintended pregnancy is a major cause of maternal deaths. Worldwide, unintended pregnancy resulted in almost 700,000 maternal deaths from 1995 to 2000 (approximately one-fifth of the maternal deaths during that period).The majority (64%) resulted from complications from unsafe or unsanitary abortion.

    What the pro-abortion crowd keeps hidden in the closet as it’s dirty little secret is the number of women who are killed, maim, and psychologically scarred for life by abortion.  Abortion has become a sacrament of the Left which in no way should be stopped.

    And what of the fact that over 50% of abortions are done on female babies?  Doesn’t that count as part of the War on Women, or don’t the unborn women count as women?

    There are better ways to deal with all this than abortion.  The first is to have developed countries stop regarding Third World countries with such disdain and begin to help them develope a serious campaign of improvement in the quality of their medical treatment.  The next is education to make young men stop thinking that a woman’s body is just a sex toy available for a pleasant weekend’s recreation.  Punishment of rapists — severe punishment — is high on my list of activities to help bring women respect that they deserve.  And an end to all forms of media adveritising in which products are sold by inferring that if you use them, you will spend the weekend in bed with a gaggle of women.  Axe deodorants are by far the worst offenders in the media.  Their ads are both juvenile and disgusting.

    Women deserve better than abortion and they deserve better than to be used as sex toys.

     

    IrishEddieOHara

  • irisheddieohara

    A profoundly silly reply.  Don’t you understand that the who moral foundation of the Catholic  Church states that sex outside the bounds of marriage is sinful?  We are constantly reminded of this as men and expected to control our passions.

  • colleen

    We are constantly reminded of this as men and expected to control our passions.

    When do you think Catholic men will start meeting those expectations? It’s been several centuries and y’all just keep getting worse.

  • veggietart

    In fact I feel that an embryo/foetus, if anything, has greater rights than an already born person.


    Really?  You’re not pro-life; you’re pro-birth, anti-woman, and anti-life.  Please sterilize yourself now.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Your pompous contempt for women makes me suspect that you are a sex offender!

  • colleen

    What the pro-abortion crowd keeps hidden in the closet as it’s dirty little secret is the number of women who are killed, maim, and psychologically scarred for life by abortion.

    There is no ‘pro-abortion’ crowd. We are pro-choice. The folks responsible for the women who parade around with signs that read “I regret my abortion.” are organizations like Priests for Life who tell these women that they are sluts and murderers. Their pain is entirely self inflicted and would be greatly eased by a sudden conversion to a ‘faith’ that does not hold the innate inferiority of women as a foundational value. They could become Unitarians or Methodists. Problem solved.

    What we did was make it possible for a woman to have the choice of an abortion and the choice of effective contraception. What we did was make a world were you cannot punish girls who have a child OOW by keeping them as slaves their entire lives and burying them in unmarked graves. Right now we’re making a world where men can’t use positions of trust and authority as a front for raping underaged children or killing women for no other reason than that their bodies cannot sustain a pregnancy.  I can see why you dislike us so much.

  • irisheddieohara

    First of all, you are NOT pro-choice.  If you were, we would be allowed to give women entering the abortion mills information on ministries to help them keep their baby.  We have thousands of ministries dedicated to helping women with their needs, but we are barred from coming near them as they enter the abortion mill.  How is that “freedom of choice?”  Choice means that you have access to all points of view on a subject.  The “choice” you want women to make is how they will kill their unborn child.

     

    Secondly, no one I have ever heard in my days in front of abortion mills has called women “sluts.”  If you are talking about Rush Limbaugh,  he is not Catholic and does not represent Catholic thinking on this issue.  The constant theme I keep hearing from priests and bishops is the need to treat those who have problem pregnancies with respect and charity.  Even those outside the abortion mills who are “escorts” are to be treated this way.  That is the testimony of more than one woman who got out of the abortion business (and it is a BIG BUSINESS and all about MONEY, not healthcare).  They were touched by those in the pro-live movement who treated them kindly.

     

    Thirdly,  it is not a punishment to make a woman keep her child.  You sound now like Obama when he said that he would not punish his daughter by making her keep a baby she didn’t want.  So instead, you are willing to punish the baby by killing it?  Why not find a way to give both a good life?

     

    The only way this is going to turn around is when young boys are taught from an early age that Playboy Magazine is despicable in the way they objectivize women.  That a woman is not a sex toy for a man’s weekend of pleasure and then he just walks away.  That if you make a woman pregnant, you marry her.  

     

    But ultimately, the real goal is to make sex sacred again.  We have made it a play toy, a contact sport  in which women are always the victims and men get to walk away scot free any time they wish.  Abortion is not the answer to these problems.  Respect of women,  love of life, charity, and care for one another is the beginning of a culture of life.

  • irisheddieohara

    And your over the top anger in your  posts makes me wonder if you were

    A.) Raped and left to die

    B.) Molested by a male relative

    C.) Had a pregnancy and it did something terrible to you

    D.) Molested by a priest

     

    What happened to you, Mary?  You are so angry.

  • irisheddieohara

    This is the part that needs real work in this country.  I am old enough to remember when the Sexual Revolution of the ’60’s began.  All of a sudden, the media was filled with magazines and movies glorifying sex outside of marriage.  They never talked about the consequences of it.  It was just made to be seen as great fun.

     

    Of course it was.  That was because it was men, like Hugh Hefner, who wanted to have a steady stream of females at their door for selfish gratification.  And they didn’t want to hear a bunch of rebuke about such a selfish attitude, so they got to work changing the attitudes of the country.

     

    Coral Sea, tell me. Wouldn’t you rather approach sex with the idea that it is something special, reserved for one special person in your life, than to make a game out of it in which women are always the losers?  

     

    It is time that young boys and men are taught that sex is for marriage, that it does not somehow “prove that you are a man” to bed 100 women a year, and that it is dishonorable to treat a woman as a sex toy.  We men should be respecting women and lifting them up in protection, and by that I mean that rapists are no longer turned loose on society to prey again, but are severely dealt with, that pornography is outlawed and those trying to make it are punished, and that the whole attitude of the media regarding women (i.e, we use their naked bodies to sell our Capitalist crap) is done away with.

     

    I like your post.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    My childbirth-ruined, anti-sex terrorist Catholic mom burned all my skin off when I was in first grade as her permanent abstinence-only excuse since NFP nearly killed her with its guaranteed failures.  She was urged to commit Munchausen by Proxy abuse by a playboy priest who was banging all the Orioles’ wives.  I wish she had aborted me instead.

    We billions of victims of Catholic terrorism are entitled to our outrage.  Shame on you for defending RCC genocide and gendercide.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “Wouldn’t you rather approach sex with the idea that it is something special, reserved for one special person in your life, than to make a game out of it in which women are always the losers?”

    What about leftover disfigured spinsters like me who outnumber single men because of American Empire wars?  No one will ever marry me.  And women always lose when fetal idolators treat them as throwaway brood mares.  Anti-choice men always cheat on and dump their diaper-wearing, mastectomied brood mares — just check out the GOP’s first wives and second wives club!  My dad cheated with half-age hookers.  And why do you assume all pro-choice women carry on like Hugh Hefner?  Most women practice plenty of default abstinence.   What about deadbeat daddy playboy and pedophile priests who get moved around by their bishops to escape scorned women, child support, forced abortion scandals, and angry parents of molested kids?

    “It is time that young boys and men are taught that sex is for marriage, that it does not somehow ‘prove that you are a man’ to bed 100 women a year, and that it is dishonorable to treat a woman as a sex toy.”

    No sex before marriage = closet gays defrauding straight women with sham weddings.  I know several victims.  And I’d rather be a beloved sex toy than a scorned or even dead brood mare!

    “rapists are no longer turned loose on society to prey again, but are severely dealt with”

    I’ll bet you’d never include priests and GOP perps in that category!

    “that pornography is outlawed and those trying to make it are punished, and that the whole attitude of the media regarding women (i.e, we use their naked bodies to sell our Capitalist crap) is done away with”

    LOL! — this would put all GOP men and most priests in jail!

  • arachne646

    Abortion providers are not in it for the money. It is not a lucrative business. My mother, prior to her death, was a family physician who was old enough to have practised when abortion was illegal and had seen what peritonitis and blood poisoning in teenagers from bungled attempts at self-abortions looked like. There are lots of doctors and allied health professionals who do this work when they could be doing other OB/Gyn or midwifery, outpatient surgery, Botox clinics, all kinds of extremely lucrative work with absolutely no hassles, and yet they help women who have problem pregnancies because no one else will. It’s not for the money at all. That’s the propaganda.

     

    The patients get all the UNBIASED information they need from professionals inside the Clinic to make an informed choice to have an abortion, choose adoption, carry the pregnancy to term and keep  the baby, or just wait and come back again later, “Eddie”. Your “information” you give out in front of Clinics in Canada is harassing, inaccurate, made up, guilt-ridden, and just a sales pitch for your side. Professionals ask the patient what she wants, give her information from all points of view, and must get informed consent.

     

    Your sales pitch for the one RCC line on sex is not selling. My 32 year marriage, and my 30 yo son’s happy, single life is the proof. In Canada abortion is legal and free, and birth control is low-cost or free, depending on your income and where you live, and the abortion rate is far lower than in the US. Comprehensive, age-appropriate, sex education in the schools, and happy families of all kinds is the answer, with same-sex marriage everywhere since 2004. That is a real culture of life, for all people.

  • colleen

    Wouldn’t you rather approach sex with the idea that it is something special, reserved for one special person in your life, than to make a game out of it in which women are always the losers? 

     

    I think any woman who marries a man who expects her to live a life of endless pregnancies is a loser, particularly when she is expected to have sex on demand and use no effective contraception. Men who try to sell this life of submission and  self abnegation are the sorts of men we warn our daughters about.

    You talk about marriage like a clueless 13 year old planning her wedding day. Are you a priest?

  • colleen

    But ultimately, the real goal is to make sex sacred again.

    again? You mean when priests (who are, you say, all about respect and charity) insert their penises in the anal cavities of small children and tell them that that is what the love of God feels like? You sound like a poorly written romance novel.

  • crowepps

    The “Sexual Revolution” of the ’60s wasn’t that men and women suddenly discovered sex before marriage or promiscuity, both of which had been incredibly popular for millenia, but instead that for the first time women could escape their previous ‘punishment’ of becoming pregnant.

    You might profitably read some history.  Women have *always* been used by men as their household servants, sex toys and brood mares.  The purpose of the myth of men respecting women and ‘lifting them up in protection’ is to make it clear to women that any who do not do as they’re told will be punished with disrespect and denial of protection.  Those of us who are aware of the reality of the myth of male respect understand that rapists are actually a necessity in maintaining that system, since the threat of attack by other males is what gives rise to the need for a male protector.

    I think you might have something valuable there about young boys and men being taught to be more respectful and responsible about the consequences of their own behavior.  It would make an astonishing difference in the way people interact with each other if men would abandon sexism and objectifying and start treating women as fellow humans who have an equal place in the word, instead of as useful things that can be used until they’re used up.  The problem is that you’re not addressing a blog for men, trying to educate them about how they shouldn’t *want* to contaminate themselves with meaningless, nasty sex, but instead wait for those couple dozen occasions in their lives when it will be special and holy and about worshipping fertility.

    Perhaps instead of scolding women about how they should stop using the defenses necessary to limit the amount of damage caused by those men, you might more effectively focus on persuading the men to stop causing the damage.

    [Edit:  Shortly after posting this ran across the following, which demonstrates pretty graphically why the persuasion and 'missionary work' absolutely must be directed towards the men instead of wasting time scolding women for their methods of defending themselves]

    “California Police Ignored, Mishandled Sex Assaults Reported by Disabled

    In another case from August 2006, caregivers at the Sonoma center found dark blue bruises shaped like handprints covering the breasts of a patient named Jennifer. The patient accused a staff member of molestation, court records show. Jennifer’s injuries appeared to be evidence of sexual abuse, indicating that someone had violently grabbed her.

    The Office of Protective Services opened an investigation. But detectives took no action because the case relied heavily on the word of a woman with severe intellectual disabilities. A few months later, court records show, officials at the center had indisputable evidence that a crime had occurred.

    Jennifer was pregnant.

    By that time, her alleged attacker had vanished.

    For the parents of the 32-year-old patient, the reaction has been disbelief and anger. They are now raising a 5-year-old boy who Jennifer is incapable of mothering. The child is precocious and strongly resembles his maternal grandmother.

    “Every time, I just imagine her being raped and screaming and crying for me,” said the woman’s mother, whose name is being withheld to protect Jennifer’s identity. “It just kills me.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/29/california-police-ignored-mishandled-sex-assaults-reported-by-disabled.html

     

  • colleen

    If you were, we would be allowed to give women entering the abortion mills information on ministries to help them keep their baby.

    The viciousness and violence of the ‘pro-life’ movement is well documented in the courts. You folks attack women going into PP offices for pap smears, you blow clinics up, light them on fire, murder doctors, nurses and other clinic staff, harass and assault women clients, dumpster dive for ‘evidence’ and sometimes mail anthrax or throw acid in people’s faces. I think we all know what you mean when you say “help them keep their baby.”

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Your mother-killing game would be over instantly if our RCC-strangled media informed everyone of the ugly reason behind those chirpy adult diaper commercials for women and the high GOP divorce and Catholic annulment rates:  childbirth-caused bladder and bowel incontinence that afflicts 50% of American mothers as they age.  This ancient scourge only became somewhat fixable 100+ years ago after grisly experiments on slave women.  Obstetric fistulas are why your child-raping cult banned marriages for playboy priests to free them from us unworthy “piles of dung”.  The problem is far worse in developing nations where afflicted women live as shunned lepers.  Female fetuses trigger face- and breast-rotting cancers that slowly disfigured and murdered many women I know/knew.  Childbirth also destroys vital organs, forcing mothers to die in a few years from kidney or heart failure.  These delayed complications aren’t included in statistics.  So stop lying on behalf of spoiled pedophile priests!

    If you cared about us women, you wouldn’t be forcing dangerous, disfiguring and bankrupting pregnancies on us.  And I’m very offended by your perpetual “virgin” mother centerfold cult of Mary.  Your marriage-shunning looksist playboy/pedophile priests are a million times worse than Hefner who isn’t forcing killer fetuses on us!  You grossly objectify us as brood mares!

  • irisheddieohara

    Someone has been feeding you a load of lies.  The way you describe pro-life people outside abortion mills makes it sound like every single day is just one violent physical attack after another on these mills and the people who work there.    We cannot even step on the grass outside an abortion mill without someone inside calling the police for “trespassing.”   You take a few isolated incidents and then paint the whole pro-life movement as violent savages.  Not very honest.

  • irisheddieohara

    I’m truly sad for what happened to you (reading between the line).  Yes, our culture knows very little about loving a person for who they are rather than for being some glamorized, needle thin bimbo with Dow enhanced boobies.  What a shallow society that bases worth on such fleeting (and many times, articifical) beauty rather than prizing the person within.

     

    As for your other comment,  I was deeply offended that those bishops and priests responsible (which were only about 4% of all ordained priests in the Church) were not arrested and brought to trial.  I know a number of other Catholics who shared the same outrage.  The office should not give protetion from the law.

     

    You have no proof that “most priests” are anything other than what they present themselves to be.   Until you have valid proof, your statement is just more anti-Catholic hatred passing itself off as truth.

  • irisheddieohara

    What you describe — men who expect sex any time they want it and with no regard to the woman and her fertility — is not marriage.  It is not the union of two people who love each other, respect each other, and most of all , have control over their passions so that if the woman says “Dear,  I am in my fertile period and I really don’ t wish to be pregnant again.” the man kisses her with tenderness and they go to sleep.

     

    What you describe sounds more like a cheap whorehouse in Nevada than a marriage

  • colleen

    The way you describe pro-life people outside abortion mills makes it sound like every single day is just one violent physical attack after another

    I see that you refuse to accept responsibility once again. It’s what we have come to expect of the ‘pro-life’ movement. There have been literally thousands of such “isolated incidents” and they have all been documented. The piggish behavior of the ‘pro-life’ movement is all over youtube and, as I said, it’s well established in the courts. Would you like some links?

    We cannot even step on the grass outside an abortion mill without someone inside calling the police for “trespassing.”

    good. That’s one reason we have clinic escorts. The ‘pro-life’ movement has a long history of violence, abuse and  domestic terrorism. Life just isn’t fun for priests these days. You can’t fuck children anymore without all sorts of criticism, you can’t kill or enslave women to bolster your absurd pretense of moral authority and, even in Ireland, your behaviors have so disgusted the laity,  they’re leaving the Church in droves. And all you can do is deny responsibility and lie. Must suck to be you.

  • colleen

    What you describe sounds more like a cheap whorehouse in Nevada than a marriage

    What I describe is the reality of marriage and particularly marriage to a religious conservative male. It’s certainly not the entire reality. Many marriages are much, much worse. That’s reality. It’s not just Catholics, fundy protestants  never hold men accountable for anything either. And as you demonstrate every time you post, the men of the religious right want others to eat their sins. the ‘pro-life’ mpovement is an excuse for weak men such as yourself to avoid social responsibility while simultaneously demeaning and bullying women because it gives you pleasure to do so.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    My anti-choice, anti-sex Catholic terrorist mom chemically burning all my skin off and pestering Johns Hopkins doctors to also amputate my arms so she’d get more pity from playboy priests is not my idea of peaceful and loving.  No cult has raped, starved, infected, enslaved, and murdered more children than the “pro-life” RCC.  Someday soon all you holy mother killers and child rapists will be kicked off this planet!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Dr. Richard Sipe’s decades of treating troubled priests has revealed that 90% have affairs with adults, 50% at any given time, and at least 10% rape children.  He knows 50 women forced to get abortions by their lover priests to hide the priests’ double lives.  Catholic adoptions are kept secret because many of the kids were fathered by priests.  Get off your high horse, you hateful Catholic basher of us women and children!

  • colleen

    As for your other comment,  I was deeply offended that those bishops and priests responsible (which were only about 4% of all ordained priests in the Church) were not arrested and brought to trial.

    I’m always amused when someone pretends that the Church has stopped raping children. The charges and investigations are global, they have been going on for well over a decade and every week there are new cases and new revelations come to light. As usual you deflect responsibility and deny reality.

     

  • give-em-hell-mary

    You pompous husband-outsourcing mother killer!  NFP is a pedophile priest Munchausen by Proxy malpractice hoax:  women ovulate 2 and 3 times PER MONTH, leaving them NO infertile cycle.  Semen contains chemicals triggering ovulation, thereby explaining frequent pregnancies from rape.  No straight man would marry to practice decades of abstinence-only to avoid unwanted and deadly pregnancies!  My fed-up dad went to hookers on the side along with the parish priests!  NFP forces husbands to rely on whorehouses, you lying hypocrite pig!  Moreover, NFP made both of my “accident” brothers Klinefelter Syndrome XXY intersex GAY chimeras!  NFP is why Catholics have the most gay offspring!

  • coralsea

    Eddie — I am not a Catholic, nor am I a Christian (or a Jew or a Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist).  I am a plain old Pagan/Wiccan.  I know that it must trouble you deeply that you cannot burn us at the stake anymore to satiate your fears of biology, but I don’t really care what you think, sir.  Although I am happy for you if you are content with your RCC worldview, it has NOTHING to do with me or with others who choose to follow different paths.  Not to be insulting, because I do understand that faith is a multi-layered thing, but you follow a book that was written in part thousands of years ago by desert goat herders to fit the social and political structure of their time and place.  And then, the Bible was edited repeatedly by all sorts of people who had all sorts of agendas — rather like the tax code.  How anyone in this day and age can feel that the Bible is the be-all and end-all authority on anything (along with your infallable pope) is beyond me, but then, people have many reasons for following religions.   One of these reasons has to do with an apparently genetic need on the part of some folks to have lots of black-or-white rules and someone to tell them what to do.  

     

    I am aware that part of Christianity is founded on “converting” people.  As far as I am concerned, this is highly annoying.  I am quite happy with my own beliefs and I really am not interested in hearing about yours for the millionth time.  There are many others like me — not Pagan/Wiccan, but either following other (or no) religions.  We don’t care about your take on morality, which we view as often skewed to favor men.

     

    Oh — and POOR MEN, constantly having to control your passions!  You sound like the Taliban!  I swear — some Christians are so absolutely twisted up by sex it’s pathetic.  And THEN you try to make it OUR problem?

     

    Crawl back in your hole, you sanctimonious prat — and jerk yourself a soda to “ease your passions.”  In the U.S., at least, we don’t have to follow someone else’s lame-ass religion or ask a man for permission to live our lives.

  • coralsea

    Eddie — Mary has a terrible story to tell.  She endured treatment that no one should have to endure, and if she has strong feelings, can you blame her?  She doesn’t need your “understanding.”  She needs you and others like you to listen to what the ideology pushed by the RCC has done to her and to countless other women, although in many of them, the damage is less visible.

     

    (Sorry, Mary — I don’t need to answer for you, but I also don’t want him to be able to wave off all criticism because of one woman’s horrific experience.)

     

    I really, really doubt that you can understand how much anger and frustration some women feel when some religious jerk sanctimoniously attempts to lecture us and control us.  The whole “be a good girl now” thing is insulting beyond belief.  That men like you don’t appear to ever get just how insulting and patronizing they are explains many of the problems both women and men have with the RCC and with some other organized religions.

     

    As I said before: go back to your hole and jerk yourself a soda.  We don’t care about your tired, sexist dogma.

  • coralsea

    Eddie — Here you display yourself as one of those Madonna/Whore Catholics.  Women should be protected.  Boys should be taught not to engage in competitive sex.  Sex can only occur in marriage.  Purity!  Censorship!

     

    Again — I don’t care about your religion.  It means nothing to me.  What I do believe is that people need to be respectful of themselves and of others.  This doesn’t mean no sex or sex only in marriage, however.  It means that you and whatever sex partners you have enter into the relationship (or quickie) without coercion or head-games and with an understanding of what you want from it.  This means that neither girls/women nor boys/men should feel obligated to engage in sex out of peer pressure.  In my own opinion, most young teenagers shouldn’t be having sex because most of them don’t have sufficiently strong conceptions of themselves and what they want; however, there are exceptions.  I knew girls who were 15 or 16 who went into relationships in full confidence and didn’t suffer from sexual activity and weren’t “used”.  (Several of them, with whom I am still in touch, speak fondly of those high school days.)   As for adults, I know some who are relatively adventurous sexually — this is who they are, and they have fulfilling relationships, some of which may even result in marriage.   Why should they refrain from these activities, this companionship and the fulfillment of physical needs, simply because YOU are clearly hung up on sex. 

     

    Nowadays, it is fairly common for people to engage in “serial monogamy,” where they engage in relationships for a time and then move on.  This may frighten you, but considering that we now live a lot longer (47 was the average life expectancy in 1900), people may change over time and become less compatible.  This can be messy — especially if there are children — but so can a miserable marriage.  In fact, in the 1800s in America, the average marriage lasted only about 15 years due to death in childbirth for women (oh!  how Holy!!!), death of men in occupational accidents, and death of everybody (especially children) of illness, many of which came from bad sanitation.  While marriage was the ideal back then, it isn’t as if people had a lot of time to get tired of each other.  However, if you have ever spent any time at all doing genealogical research, you should know that many marriages just sort of, ah, ended, because (usually) the husband got sick of the wife and kids and decided to go West (or go further West) and, often marry someone else (or just shack up with someone).   So the modern track record with marriage isn’t really all that bad.

     

    The bottom line is that everyone should be taught to respect everyone else.  Unfortunately, certain organized religions, such as the RCC, tend to be misogynistic and — as we see in your case — elevate men to believe that they should have control over women.  Fortunately, there are many men who grow up to be loving and caring and fair.  Sex between consenting adults is absolutely NONE of your business (unless you are one of the adults).

     

    Women don’t need to be placed on a pedestal as pure and delicate art objects.  We simply need to be listened to and heard, something you seem unwilling or unable, from your RCC training no doubt, to do.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Thanks, CoralSea, you said it better than me!  I wouldn’t be pestering everyone with my story if I was the only victim of the RCC and a wacko family.  When victims find each other and begin comparing notes, they learn not only that they are not crazy but also that the abuse is deliberate, global and planet-threatening.  Eddie is an apologist for pedophile mother killers, no matter how much lipstick he smears on his pig dogma.

  • coralsea

    I know that your life has been difficult, but you have obviously emerged with a strong soul and a strong character.  I did not endure anything like you did, but I do know what it is like to be “strong in the broken places.”  It is always a mixed blessing.y   One garners strength, wisdom, and understanding (finally, at least, if one is strong and not totally destroyed by the abuse), but at least some of the pain, hurt, and doubts (how could anyone do this to me) are still there in the background.  It’s the mark that never goes away, but it can be channeled, often, by connecting with others, talking it through, and seeing that others’ outrageous treatment of you was all about them and THEIR deficiencies. 

     

    All the very best to you.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Thanks again for your kind words!  I’m happy to see the truth finally emerging in every nation.  Who would have thought 20 years ago that the Irish would turn against the RCC?

  • colleen

    I wouldn’t be pestering everyone with my story if I was the only victim of the RCC and a wacko family.

    You do not pester with your story. What you are doing is brave and admirable. My love to you, Mary….

  • jennifer-starr

    The story you tell is one that needs to be told, Mary–and I admire you very much for telling it. 

  • rebellious-grrl

    What you perceive as anger is resistance to patriarchal culture. I don’t see Give em hell Mary as angry, but resting the patriarchal abuses of the Catholic church. 

  • rebellious-grrl

    I’m sorry. Sending you many hugs. Thank you for being brave and telling your story. 

  • ahunt

    We are constantly reminded of this as men and expected to control our passions.

     

    And you all do it sooooooo well.

  • ahunt

    Well, by all means…let us make these women into virtuous mothers who do not sleep around.  How?

  • ahunt

    So, no sex unless you want to father a child (and care for it and help raise it).  Are we clear on that, buddy?  NO SEX!

    I’d only alter that to replace the phrase “you want to” with “you’re prepared to” and say that the same applies to women.

     

     

     

     

    So therefore,  a married woman is only obliged to have sex with her husband if she wants to bear a child. Who knew?

  • wendy-banks

    He can certainly do the world a favor by getting sterilized however.

  • goatini

    He tells us that we are worthless except as silent obedient breeding livestock and chattel, then has the gall to act all butt-hurt about “name-calling”.  

    Because, you know, we are supposed to know our place, therefore any iota of dissent is “name-calling”.  

  • goatini

    But thanks for letting us know that you see our only acceptable role as sexual beings as one of property.  

  • goatini

    Why doesn’t she just shut up and suffer in silence?

    Why doesn’t she offer her pain and suffering up to the Blessed Virgin in silence?

    Doesn’t she know that Catholic girls must never hear about the infliction of such suffering being described as unjust, cruel, vicious and depraved?  

    Doesn’t she know that bearing her burden in silence and offering her pain up will win her a better place in Heaven, if only she can confess and do penance for her sins of pride?

    (See how far these Catholic Taliban types will go to attempt to silence women who speak truth to power?)

     

  • irisheddieohara

    Just as the right wing rushes to publish their Capitalist lies and nonsense and support their money grubbing agenda,  so the Left wingnuts who are determined that no baby leave the womb alive,  have rushed to judgment on this sad case rather than wait for all the facts to come out.

     

    Honestly, people, be ashamed of yourselves.

     

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-reporter-who-broke-savita-story-there-may-have-been-no-request-for

  • prochoiceferret

    Just as the right wing rushes to publish their Capitalist lies and nonsense and support their money grubbing agenda,

     

    Yes, there’s certainly no shortage of those.

     

    so the Left wingnuts who are determined that no baby leave the womb alive

     

    Where are these folks? Are you talking about the situation in China?

     

    Honestly, people, be ashamed of yourselves.

     

    Unfortunately, the people at LifeSiteNews are unlikely to take heed.

  • irisheddieohara

    I’m talking about you folks who see abortion as the answer to everything.  Or as “Give ‘em Hell, Mary” said here one day  “Abortion is our defense against pregnancy.”  

    Really?  I never knew that pregnancy was an enemy.

    As for delusional,  I would direct you to look at the pictures of dead babies on the Internet and tell me this:  how is anyone who looks at these and says “That’s not a baby” not delusional.

     

    Delusions and lies right to the Right and the Left.

  • julie-watkins

    isn’t considering pregnancy as an “enemy”. It is the recognition of non-significant risks involved in pregnancy. The way evolution works, it’s not often that a process that cripples or kills a large percentage would long survive in the gene pool. However, a larger brain and an upright stance are both such survival traits that they breed true, even if both traits also cause dangers in the birth process. (A large head is harder to get through the birth canal; changes in hip structure that allow upright stance means the birth canal is narrowed.)

    In other words, what the process of evolution has done is that individual fertile women involuntarily are made to sacrifice to enhance species survival. Not that it’s a concious process: evolution doesn’t has a goal, it just happens by chance. But it possible for scienentific observations to make speculation on why some genes are more likely to survive.

    Concious people, however, have more control of their choices. When you don’t acknowledge the risks and burdens of pregnancy you’re showing your misogyny.

  • prochoiceferret

    I’m talking about you folks who see abortion as the answer to everything.

     

    Which folks? The only people I know of who see abortion as the answer to everything are are GOP political strategists.

     

    Or as “Give ‘em Hell, Mary” said here one day  “Abortion is our defense against pregnancy.”  

    Really?  I never knew that pregnancy was an enemy.

     

    Probably because you’ve never wanted not to be pregnant when that was a real possibility.

     

    As for delusional,  I would direct you to look at the pictures of dead babies on the Internet and tell me this:  how is anyone who looks at these and says “That’s not a baby” not delusional.

     

    Do you think Rene Magritte was delusional?

     

    Delusions and lies right to the Right and the Left.

     

    No, mostly to the Right.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “When you don’t acknowledge the risks and burdens of pregnancy you’re showing your misogyny.”

    Beautifully said!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “Abortion is our defense against pregnancy.”

    I’m pretty sure I didn’t say exactly that and you are twisting my words.  I have stressed contraception and sterilization to avoid the dangers of pregnancy, and because of the dangers, abortion provides additional self-defense when needed.  ALL abortions are self-defense because of the dangers.

    “look at the pictures of dead babies”

    I would direct you to look at pictures of unwanted, battered and murdered mothers and already born children.  My own scalded body, courtesy of my anti-abortion mom, was the worst case seen at Johns Hopkins but her secret Munchausen by Proxy chemical burning was misdiagnosed as a “skin disease”.  There exist hideous embarrassing naked photos of me in medical archives and in my perverted American Nazi engineer grandpa’s “medical” collection.  I wish mom had aborted me instead!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “Left wingnuts who are determined that no baby leave the womb alive”

    You must be blind, because most leftists have kids and are happy to support other people’s kids through various safety nets.  Leftists have the same abortion rates as right wingers, but just don’t lie about it like Rep. DesJarlais!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Thank you so much!  The ongoing senseless suffering of so many others keeps me on this issue!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    My friend who died of face cancer, worsened by her pregnancies with daughters, used her own story to bear witness at radiation danger and reproductive freedom events.  Thanks so much for your support!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Thank you! — anger by itself is only useful if it motivates progress.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “Doesn’t she know that bearing her burden in silence and offering her pain up will win her a better place in Heaven, if only she can confess and do penance for her sins of pride?”

    I heard such sadistic sermons all the time from my Munchausen by Proxy mom!  This is how the RCC also gets away with centuries of molesting kids!  I

  • give-em-hell-mary

    ♥♥♥ Hugs for you too! ♥♥♥

  • ljean8080

    away from the father who was molesting her?

  • ahunt

    Really?  I never knew that pregnancy was an enemy.

     

    It most certainly can be “an enemy.”

  • give-em-hell-mary

    I told you before that Ann spent her limited cancer treatment funds on custody lawyers and trips to his state for custody hearings.  She was denied custody because she sacrificed the nose on her face to give birth to Amy!  Because the ex was guilty of other transgressions, the custody was eventually transferred to Ann’s two feuding adult sons (Amy’s half-brothers).

  • lindzanne

    And, surprise,  not one of these trolls have even kind of attempted to either address or justify the death of Savita and what it says about Ireland, which what the post was about.  Because they can’t.  Good job making a bunch of points that are as far away from reality as they could possibly be in an attempt to avoid that particular situation and the truth it hightlights, though.  And good on all those who are so resoundingly and effectively countering their b.s!!  

  • jackkay

    lindzanne

    I just want to say that I sincerely hope that the full facts surrounding the death of Mrs Savita Halappananvar come to light, whatever they may be.

    I didn’t talk about it because I don’t know enough about it.

    There are 3 separate enquiries about this case here in ireland and her husband Praveen is looking into

    pursuing another case at the European Court of Human Rights

     

     

     

  • katwa

    None of the pro lifers in this thread have actually addressed this article. Instead they’ve completely derailed it into a debate about how women should have less rights than fetuses (wow! At least it’s being honest, I suppose), how women should be broad mares because biology, and how no woman wants sex from her husband unless she wants babies, so clearly any couples having sex while using contraception is the man using her as a sex toys!

    If these tools are going to post on this article, can we at least hear what “pro-lifers” think about the death of this woman (and the fetus!) that resulted by having abortion illegal?

    Do you think women dying like this is an acceptable compromise in order to have a law that makes you feel like babies are being saved? (Having abortion be illegal doesn’t really save any fetuses, but at least sluts have to risk their life, or die, to end their pregnancy, right?)