An estimated crowd of up to 10,000 people, according to the organisers (so expect the usual disputes), march for Savita through Dublin city within the past two hours

Via Parvenov, Fergal Laura Hutton (Photocall Ireland) Parvenov, Cormo, Sclarkey, Randomirish, Aaron McAllorum, Aoife Mulqueen, Choice Ireland.

Meanwhile, Independent TD Clare Daly’s rather incredible piece of oratory at Leinster House:



Meanwhile, outside the Irish Embassy, London, this afternoon:

Via Henri Williams

90 thoughts on “Enough?

    1. Jon Pierson

      I have to say that’s the best one I’ve seen so far, too. I didn’t see it last night because I was surrounded by, I’d say, 15,000 to 20,000 other people. I think they were just getting an early start on the Christmas shopping because I think there were only 7 people on the protest. I’m surprised RTÉ even bothered to mention it.

  1. orieldude

    While it’s great to see that there’s a popular groundswell of strong opinion demanding the required legislation, it bothers me somewhat that the medical professionals involved seem to be avoiding all opprobrium here.

    I’m open to correction but my understanding is that in this instance the law does clearly allow for a termination, as do medical ethics. Therefore, in the absence of any other facts, it seems to be a pretty clear case of medical negligence, which is now being allowed to hide behind the more general issue.

    1. Sendog

      The Master of the Rotunda and the Master of Holles St along with the head of St. James Emergency Dept have all called for legislation.

      1. orieldude

        OK… I don’t really see how that changes my point. I am aware, as presumably everyone is now, that the current situation is woefully inadequate.

        However abortions are being carried out in this country lawfully (here the semantics over the word abortion kicks in) for precisely the medical reasons that would have applied in this case. The State doesn’t compile statistics, so we don’t have precise numbers, nonetheless, from a medical ethics point of view, it is clear that Ms Halappanavar should have received the treatment she needed, and that no law would have been broken. Yet the staff involved, so far, seem to be allowed to wash their hands of their responsibility.

        Medical professionals are as good at closing ranks as any other profession.

        1. Kim V

          Point-missers miss the point.

          Something like 12 to 14 Irish and Irish-based women a day go to Britain for abortions. For a million reasons. And I’d say (knowing at least one of them) that none of those women take the decision lightly. IRELAND IS ALREADY A PRO-CHOICE COUNTRY. Its abortion rates are more or less the same per capita as other nations across the EU. It’s over.

          If Ireland were further away from Britain, as in, not readily accessible by boat and plane, this would have been sorted 20 years ago.

          1. Kim V

            To be clear, what I’m saying is, legislating for X isn’t enough. If we really want to open our eyes to what we really want and need as Irish citizens. If we want to keep pretending abortion isn’t something irish women choose every day, then wahey! Let’s split hairs about the difference between a woman’s ‘life’ and her ‘health’.

          2. Orieldude

            Oh I’m sorry – I didn’t see the rule that the the point I want to make should, in fact, be whatever point you think it should be.

          3. Blobster

            So you’re saying that people at this protest(?) want more than legislation for the X case, they want abortion on demand?

            It’s that conflation of ideas that’s one of main reasons the X case wasn’t legislated for…….the “flood gates” argument.

    2. Tom

      That’s based on the assumption that we actually know all the facts – a relatively arrogant assumption at the best of times.

      There are circumstances where the termination of a child (piercing the sack) can increase the levels of septicaemia, speeding up the eventual death of the mother, possibly making this more of a Euthanasia case rather than Abortion .. then again, maybe the doctor was super religious to the point of ignoring his Hippocratic oath.. the point is, we really do not know

      All I do know is, Fr Reynolds is a rapist, and Lord McAlpine is a paedo .. right?

      1. orieldude

        I made that qualification.

        However if there were also a medical risk with intervening I think it’s safe to assume that would be public knowledge by now. Furthermore, if that was the reason, her husband would have been told there was a risk in having an abortion.

        1. Tom

          Thats another Assumption that I am not sure is wise to make.

          You are assuming you must know all the facts.

          If you are right, and all the facts are intend in the public domain, then, yes we find ourselves in a relatively clear cut case of medical negligence.

          However, this seems ore and more unlikely.

          I mean, from what I can gather the patient and the spouse of the patient demanded an Abortion (Termination, evacuation, whatever you wanna call it) – and this was refused.

          This raises 2 questions –
          * Should a Doctor perform operations just because the patients demand it?
          * Was there a Medical reason for not performing this one, or was another remedy believed to be more effective in these instances?

          It seems bizarre to me that this seems to be ignored by the baying mob

    3. Pad

      There is no legislation. There are Medical Council guidelines which cover being struck off as a doctor, but you’d still be liable for criminal charges.

      1. orieldude

        Incorrect. ‘Lawful’ abortions are being carried out.

        The State submitted to the ECHR that (quoting): “the procedure for obtaining a lawful abortion in Ireland is clear. The decision is made, like any other major medical matter, by a patient in consultation with her doctor.”

        1. Shorty

          The government told the court there was nothing at all murky about Ireland’s abortion laws: “The procedure for obtaining a lawful abortion in Ireland was clear. The decision was made, like any other major medical matter, by a patient in consultation with her doctor.”

          But when the court requested basic details, the government was unable to supply them. Asked by the court how many of these “lawful abortions” take place in Ireland every year, the government, as the court put it, “revealed a lack of knowledge on the part of the State as to, inter alia, who carries out lawful abortions in Ireland and where”

        2. smiffy

          ‘The State submitted to the ECHR that (quoting): “the procedure for obtaining a lawful abortion in Ireland is clear. The decision is made, like any other major medical matter, by a patient in consultation with her doctor.”’

          And what did the Court rule on that point?

          1. Orieldude

            I don’t know. Maybe inform me?

            Does it mean that the medical team were actually in a very grey area after all?

            If so that would be the whole ‘I’m open to correction’ part in my original post, wouldn’t it?

            Jesus wept.

    4. well

      I’m for allowing women to prempt something like this occouring ,as a result i think thay should be allowed to terminate on the grounds something like this may occour during the pregnancy.
      I call it choice.

      1. orieldude

        I’m making a specific point about the conduct of the medical professionals involved in a specific case. But thanks – your opinion on a woman’s right to choose is utterly invaluable to me.

        1. Paul Q

          Dude keep it up. Though the endless onslaught of inane comments may overwhelm you like an army of zombie orcs.

    5. eoin_mclove

      couldn’t agree more mr dude. what we need in this country is more trials by media. particularly the type that involves random anonymous people cherry-picking facts to push their own agendas. great stuff!

      1. Ella

        Since trials by judiciary, advice from expert panels, the will of the people expressed through constitutional referenda, grassroots protest, and a human rights mandate have made absolutely no headway with the craven political classes, maybe trial by media is what we’re reduced to.

      2. Orieldude

        It takes a special kind of arrogance to turn my original point into what you have written. Congratulations – I’ll get the lads in the medal factory in on overtime.

        1. albee

          Thank you for your original post. I’ve been highly entertained by the ensuing posts. Mostly by the fact that no one addressed your question (which I am not going to do either, as I don’t have an answer, and to be honest, I read it so long ago, I can’t really remember the question….)

          1. eoin_mclove

            but that’s the whole point. you can’t answer it because the details are still unclear.
            the reality is that if you look at the last cmace from 2008 the number one cause of direct death is now sepsis. whether earlier intervention and evacuation is impossible to know at this point.

        2. eoin_mclove

          no. no it doesn’t. there are many things i could be accused of but arrogance, special or otherwise, is not one of them.
          to clarify. you are anonymous. without knowing the facts and (i assume) without any specialist knowledge in either obs or medico-legal matters you insinuate that this is a case of medical negligence. how that baseless allegation is couched does not alter what it is.

          1. orieldude

            First of all I qualify my statement by saying “In the absence of any other facts”.

            Second the facts we do have available hardly make the suggestion of potential medical negligence ‘baseless’. It may not turn out that it was sadly inevitable – but again I say that if that were the case that information would have been released or leaked by now – it’s the information that gets a lot of people off the hook and nature abhors a vaccuum.

            Third you refer to cherry picked facts and own agendas. I have no agenda (you’re welcome to guess what my position on abortion is) and for you to presume to know takes arrogance. Furthermore I opined, with qualification, on the basis of all the facts currently available. No cherry picking at all.

        3. eoin_mclove

          that is very true ella. but we’re not discussing the craven political class. what i was referring to was the fact that the details of this are not yet known. all we have is rumour and the newspaper interviews of this poor woman’s husband.

        4. eoin_mclove

          i glanced further down the comments after my last post. i’m afraid that ABM agrees with you about the negligence thing.

    6. Jon Pierson

      Now, I’m not a lawyer but I do have a law degree in Irish law. For what it is worth, my interpretation of the Constitution – the only law in place – is that a woman’s LIFE must be threatened. It seems to me that her life was not actually threatened during the three days that she suffered in agony whilst she and her husband begged for the merciful relief that would have been granted by a termination, all thanks to the Roman Catholic Church, misogynistic, irrational, man-made rules that oppose abortion.

      I do not believe that there was any sign of an infection prior to the foetus’s heartbeat (present only due to the placental connection) ceasing although it almost certainly took hold when her cervix was wide open for three days.

      The fact that her health (mental and/or physical) was seriously compromised, is neither here nor there as far as the Roman Catholic Church is concerned and, as we all know, The Roman Catholic Church’s rules trump everything else, including best medical practices.

      We are all in the 21st century but living under 1st century BCE man-made rules of morals drawn from myths of supernatural and superstitious religions.

  2. Ferret McGruber

    We just need Quinn’s Cavan supporters to count the protesters. Should put the number close to a quarter of a million.

  3. Byrnezo

    How dare people who have been highlighting how current abortion laws endanger the life of women use the example of a woman’s death due to those laws to campaign for a change.

  4. well

    A few of the prolife crowd showed up too and shouted at us from the side, the looked like the smallest people in the world at that moment.

        1. Blobster

          To be fair, Ivana Bacik has failed repeatedly to be elected to the Dail. She basically repels votes. Clare Daly’s chances of re-election took a nose dive around about Wallace-gate.

          1. bangalore

            Actually that isnt the case. She was put up in the same constituency as Eamon Gilmore so most labour first preferences went to him. It was a badly managed vote, what usually happens is that activists would encourage one half of, in this case, labours voters to give Gilmore first preference and the other to give Bacik first preference to increase their chances of 2 seats. that didnt happen last time around

      1. BLC

        Everytime someone points out that ABM is trolling, a little of the puff goes out of him. The whole act is getting more and more tired.

          1. BLC

            If LOL covers “made an involuntary gurgle of amusement which turned into a weirdly grinning racking cough”, I LOLed.

  5. Arthur

    Broadsheet ! long time supporter of the LGBT conspiracy and the inhabiter of a half man half dog incarnation, this time you have gone too far, way too far .

  6. nige

    Any lawyers out there to answer a question? As far as I can see, the 1861 act provides that to procure a miscarriage is a crime. It doesn’t appear to make any allowance for situations when the mother’s life is endangered. As we know from the X case, the constitution allows abortion where there is a real and substantial risk to the health of the mother.

    So, my question is, if the 1861 Act’s provisions are not in accordance with the constitution do they fall in their entireity as unconstitutional, leaving a position where there is no criminal (just a constitutional) offence of procuring a miscarriage?

  7. ABM

    There were prolifers at the march too. This isn’t a liberal-only zone. Prolifers are just as outraged at the decision making or lack thereof

    1. Blobster

      That’s a fair point.

      Many, rightfully, were there to show respect for a woman who died tagically. The pro-choice campaign’s attempts to conflate the campaign to legislate around the X case with wider abortion on demand type legislation is one of the reasons the X case was never legislated for. The “flood gates” argument.

      1. E

        Ah here. Don’t pin the failure to legislate on the pro-choice movement. Surely we’ve demonstrated pretty well over the last number of years that no matter how hard we protest, thems in power don’t actually feckin’ listen to us.

        The flood gate argument is a smokescreen and an excuse to pass the buck. Had a government decided to legislate on X and say ‘thus far and no further’ it was every bit as much in their power as it was to ignore us entirely.

        1. BLC

          But the X Case was about allowing an abortion if the woman is suicidal. To legislate for that would put us one small (and perfectly justifiable) lie away from abortion on demand.

          It’s fun to call people political pygmies and so forth, but this little difficulty is presumably the reason why no-one has legislated for the X case. And it is a real difficulty.

    2. The Vajazzler

      Yeah, there were four of them yelling baby killer at the crowd at random points. Looked really pathetic. Kudos.

  8. Seanny

    Well Enda….a political pygmy….lol I love it. Yep, hiding behind all the hypocritical shite of the decades, God but we are a pathetic country. A country full of hypocrits at their best. None are innocent here, let`s not fool ourselves any further. I am a Dubliner born and bred. I moved to rural Ireland 8 or 9 months ago. Jesus, but I stepped back in time by 20 years at least. The locals are still licking the arses of the paedophiles that have destroyed our children with the cinsent of the Catholic Religion. Well, I didn`t hear anyone speak out against it, did I ? I could write a book on it, ìt`s disgusting. Do they think they`re going to get into Heaven any quicker ? Fools. It`s the same old, same old. The whole country should hang its head in shame. We`re only short of murdering this woman. Yeh, abortion doesn`t exist in Ireland…wake up ye bunch of idiots, they`re on the boat or plane to England. But it`s ok as long as it`s not performed here, what a shallow bunch we are. People of Ireland, examine your concience, and pray for forgiveness.

    1. KingOfCong

      Yes…the people who live in cities here are above all these problems. You have a lovely view of things. Ireland is tiny…we have cities in name…they are not really.

      ummmm…..hard to be cynical about this one…..we need to find a solution and not wait for the next government to make the decisions.

      1. Continuity Jay-Z

        I can see the headline “Enlightened Dub Burned at the Stake Bringing Age of Reason to Culchies”.

        Lay off the heroin you imbecile.

    2. American in Solidarity with Free Irish

      I agree completely with the last comment. Well said. I am an American of Irish descent, and have chosen to free the children of abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church. Therein is the problem. Denounce the Patriarchy, and you will be free. I stand side by side with you and Americans are here with you in solidarity.

    3. Blobster

      Self-hate much?

      You’ve seen people in rural Ireland licking the arses of paedophiles? I think that book your going to write is going to be a rambling one.

  9. KingOfCong

    Yes…the people who live in cities here are above all these problems. You have a lovely view of things. Ireland is tiny…we have cities in name…they aren’t really.

  10. rom

    Sorry who do these marches go down O’Connell St. Its like we are pissed off but don’t want to inconvenience people. Don’t mind doing it in central Dublin. Close down Dublin port for a few hours and cause a bit of a problem. Take a lesson from the french.

  11. Kevin

    Such a sad story but great to see so many people showed up, as a ‘pro-lifer’ I didn’t attend because I thought that the parties involved running it would use it as means to get their pro choice opinions across, but it seems I was wrong and it really seems everybody was just pushing for legislature so this doesn’t happen again, which I (along with all the pro-life people i know) completely believe must happen and soon so lives can be saved.

  12. Manasi Nandakumar

    It is indeed heartwarming to see people standing up for someone who might have been a complete stranger to them till yesterday and doesnt even belong to their homeland. I hope Savitha gets justice and that people start seeing abortion as medical solution rather than murder, especially in cases of teenage pregnancy, pregnancy as a result of rape and cases like Savitha’s where the mother’s life is in danger due to complications. Though I completely stand against female foeticide which is a social evil being practiced even today in countries like mine.
    It is time we stop religion governing the law making of a nation.

  13. Susan

    It was good and right to be there and I am glad I went. Clare Daly’s speech was absolutely electrifying.

    Glad to hear that some people whose opinions are more restrictive than mine are having second thoughts about this situation. Hopefully they will realise that the blanket ban is no longer practicable. Even Catholicism allows for double jeopardy. I suspect that the reason Catholicism has held such sway in the past is that it clicks in to a certain, established, narrow-minded, form-following, substance-despising Irish arrogance. We adopted it because it suited us.

    Interestingly enough, a woman was holding up posters saying “The Gathering – But Not for Pregnant Women” (they were made to look like the gathering posters) and a guy just walked past, said “Shame” and pushed down her arm. At first I thought it was a forced gestation activist but now I’m more inclined to think the thick fuck didn’t look closely enough at the poster.

    Anyway, the shame goes all to him.

    1. Jon Pierson

      Irish Catholicism is myth. 84% of people (including 300,000 children [how did they know?]) claimed to be Roman Catholic in last year’s Census. Of these, an Irish Times poll (June 2012) found 75% do not believe in the Creed. Belief in the Creed is a fundamental tenet of Catholicism and so not believing in it means you are not a Catholic. It also found 66% do not believe in transubstantiation. Belief in transubstantiation is a fundamental tenet of Catholicism and so not believing in it means you are not a Catholic. It turns out that 8% of Irish “Roman Catholics” do not believe in God. Now, I’m an atheist so I’m not that up to speed on religious requirements but I would have thought that believing in God would have been in at least the top ten on the to do list for Catholics. It would be funny if the Roman Catholic Church did not use the Census to “prove” Ireland is a Roam Catholic country.

      1. Blobster

        I find the reaction of some, including yourself, to the fact that 84% of the people ticked the catholic box on the census to be hilarious.

        What we know for sure is that 84%, given the option chose to tick the box to self-identify themselves as catholic. No more than that.

        What “kind” of catholic – good/bad/informed/clueless/lapsed/strident/ninja they are we can’t say from the census, but the fact remains they ticked the box.

        I can see why this might upset, even confuse some who don’t like the catholic church. The general feeling (especally if one simply reads internet sites like broadsheet and restrict oneself to a circle of contacts who share similar views) is that the church is dead on its feet and deserves to be so. The truth, as always is a little more complex.

        By all means debate mass attendances, survey, etc. But, please accept that 84% of people did tick the box.

        1. Jon Pierson

          First of all, the question about someone’s religion should not even be on the Census, such questions were outlawed from the US Federal Census in the 1970s. It is no business of the State to enquire what religious beliefs, or none, any of its citizens hold.

          However, it is the “self-identification” as Roman Catholic that is hilarious. There are two volumes of interest here, the first is the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the second is the Code of Canon Law. The first is the rule/instruction book for those professing to be Roman Catholic. Some of its requirements for members of the Roman Catholic Church, include a belief in the Roman Catholic God (8% of Irish “Catholics” do not believe that God exists), the belief that Jesus is the son of God (15% of Irish “Catholics” do not believe that Jesus is the son of God), the genuine acceptance and belief in the Creed (75% of Irish “Catholics” do not believe in the Creed) and the belief in transubstantiation (66% of Irish “Catholics” do not believe that the wafer they are given at communion – if they go to mass at all, and 18% rarely or never attend, so another rule broken – defies the second law of thermodynamics and physically transforms in to human flesh.

          Now, you may say that those ticking the “Roman Catholic” box have the right to do so. Certainly, the Roman Catholic Church clearly doesn’t care what its “flock” believes so long as the money keeps rolling in. However, by agreeing – swearing – that you believe everything mentioned above – and more – as every “Roman Catholic” has at first Holy Communion and Confirmation – and every time they recite the Creed 75% of them do not believe in – they are both liars and hypocrites, something that I am not.

          Secondly, I am ambivalent towards the Roman Catholic Church. I couldn’t care less whether it thrives, dies or merges with Islam. What I care passionately about, however, is human rights. It is outrageous that individuals’ fundamental human rights are adversely affected by the influence of any organisation, either religious or non-religious. It is not for others to enforce their beliefs (and they are only irrational beliefs, not scientific fact) on anyone.

          Obviously, it would be absolutely wrong for a State to “abolish” religions, demolish places of worship and indoctrinate the young with the State’s own ideas. However, for some reason, the opposite is accepted with hardly anyone batting an eyelid. 97% of Irish schools, paid for by all the taxpayers, are in the hands of religious organisations that are free to use mind control and hypnotic techniques to indoctrinate children as young as 4-years-old to believe that their version of religion is as truthful as the (little) science that is taught.

          As someone hoping to practice in the law, I am barred from from service as a judge because to be a judge there is a Constitutional requirement to swear a religious oath, as there is to be President or a member of the Council of State.

          International human rights instruments make it crystal clear that women must have the freedom of choice, especially when it comes to choosing whether or not keep an embryo/foetus in their womb.

          These are just a few of the human rights trampled on by the Irish State as a direct result of the Roman Catholic Church’s influence on the two main political parties. If those “Roman Catholics” who do not accept the rules of the religion they claim allegiance to were to tell the truth on the Census, the percentage of Roman Catholics, that is to say true, adherent Roman Catholics would be in or around 16% to 17% and, one would hope, an understanding of how much “right” the Roman Catholic Church has to meddle in State affairs would be achieved.

  14. Class Act

    To put this shrillness of debate into context – there are people standing outside of Bernardos furriers in Dublin on Saturdays shouting “murder”, “shame”, and “conscience” too. Some of the same people as in that crowd and commenting here, clearly.

    Enda Kenny is right. Measured response please. And a superb article by Noel Whelan says it all:

    The nature and extent of modern media and the emotions that abortion engenders mean that even before the full facts are established Ms Halappanavar’s tragedy has generated much national and international coverage. Some of it has been careful and sympathetic; and much of it has been intemperate, intolerant and politicised.

    The extent of the misinformation and caricature was reflected in a clip from an Indian radio station, played on RTÉ, in which a newscaster spoke of Savita being left to die because of the abortion laws of “devoutly Catholic Ireland”.

    1. Blobster

      Noel Whelan’s article is calm and discusses the facts of the abortion debate thus far in Ireland instead of attempting to put his own spin on the “facts” of the Savita case. A worthwhile read.

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