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A Fianna Fáil senator has been accused of reaching a new low after he said allowing abortions in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities would be “depriving future Special Olympics athletes of being born”.

Brian Ó Domhnaill said allowing terminations in such circumstances could lead to babies with Down’s syndrome being “left to die on sterilised trays”.

Labour’s Aideen Hayden said it was “incredibly low” to suggest there is any link between disability and fatal abnormalities — especially as the House was preparing for a discussion last night on the Special Olympics.
 

Senator: Abortions would deprive future Special Olympians of life (Mary Regan, Irish Examiner)

Previously: Fada Shortage

Pro-Life’s ‘Lunatic fringe’ And The Special Olympics

Pic: brianodomhnaill.ie

126 thoughts on “Never Go Full TD

  1. Bat For Snatches

    Do these people not engage the grey matter between their ears before speaking?
    This from a man who is purposely holding up an expense inquiry by demanding a constitutional right he can’t even stand over.

    Parlez vous béarla a mhic?

    1. scottser

      the level of stupidity of his argument is such that to make fun of it is to look equally offensive.

  2. les rock

    This guy should be asked to resign immediately. No wonder the fatal feotal bill was defeated when you have idiots like this votibg on it

    1. Joe

      yup. someone on another post said i was hateful towards politicians, i think politicians who make comments like this justify IF i was hateful towards them.

      1. cluster

        Being hateful towards him makes sense – he seems to be keen not to use his brain but has no problem (allegedly) fiddling his expenses.

        Hating all politicians is self-defeating.

        1. Joe

          they can earn their way out of the hate but allot of them can’t do it, Enda Kenny for example.

    1. cluster

      I don;t get it – bullying, stupidity, greed, incompetence were all on show in In the Thick and it was reported that it was very close to reality.

    1. Am I still on This Island

      Tom I posted this elsewhere recently, including the stats of the UK rates. No one really argues that SOME people choose to abort foetus that will have special needs. My sister in law after a lot of trying fell pregnant with twins (Not in this state). At a point in the Pregnancy it was discovered one of the foetus was severely disabled and was unlikely to survive outside of the womb. It was also potentially causing a risk of miscarriage to the viable foetus. She took a tough decision and had the non-viable foetus terminated. Under Irish law and IF the doctors were right she would probably have non-children now instead of one.

      1. Tom

        very sorry to hear about that Island. In terms of the specific case you mention as far as I understand the law [there is an analogous UK case (conjoined twins case) but no Irish equivalent on this point] doctors would most likely be free to intervene to save the life of one of the unborn if the existence of the other was a threat to his/her life and it it was impossible to save both lives. It’s not dissimilar to allowing terminations where the mother’s life is in danger.

        That situation is dissimilar to abortion on the grounds of fatal fetal disability/abnormality though, where an exception to the right to life of the unborn is sought on the grounds of their lack of life expectancy. See Gerry Whyte’s article in the IT today.

        1. Am I still on This Island

          You mean the same Gerry Whyte from the extremist Iona Institute? No thanks I like to make my judgments on facts not supersittion.

        2. Mark Dennehy

          Tom, are you suggesting that we’ll kill grown women to avoid abortions, but we will carry out the same abortions in order to save unborn fetuses?

      1. Tom

        This is a ridiculous point, of course it is. Many, many times in the past disabled people have been branded abnormal or useless or whatever other term of dehumanisation was found handy. Tell me, at what stage does an abnormality become a disability (or vice versa)?

          1. Tom

            Some disabilities/conditions are fatal – should that nullify a right to life?

            It seems as if the logic of “we’re all going to die anyway” is being given a new twist.

          2. Sido

            I knew it. you don’t even bother reading up on the subject – do you?

            You just come here to spout your drivel.

          3. cluster

            The sort of drivel being spouted by Tom et al. helps demonstrate that nothing short of choice for women up to a certain term limit is really workable.

        1. Am I still on This Island

          Fatal abnormality 99.999999% of the time will die withing minutes of leaving the womb.

          Disabilites – Can live into their 60′s

          Simple enough

          1. Sidewinder

            You can live well beyond your sixties with many congenital disabilities e.g. Blindness, deafness, autism, limb absences etc.

            “Fatal foetal abnormalities” is not a sentence, it is a term. The whole has a different meaning to its parts and I think Tom is deliberately ignoring that.

          2. Tom

            Island, sidewinder, those advocating abortion for ffa/ffd or whatever term believe that since someone will almost certainly die in the very near future it is permissible to kill them now.

            It is a “new departure” in terms of a philosophy of rights, to say the least.

          3. DeSelby

            @Tom: Are you really as incapable of understanding English as you portray yourself as being?

          4. Nigel

            ‘believe that since someone will almost certainly die in the very near future it is permissible to kill them now. ‘

            No. This really is not all that complicated. We believe that in such cases it should be entirely up to the mother as to whether she should go through the potential trauma of a pregnancy to deliver a dead or soon-to-die baby or to terminate at an early stage. I know mothers who made both choices. You CANNOT dismiss the health and well-being, both mental and physical, in such circumstances. You cannot wrap it in flowers and lavender as special and protected because of COURSE we care for the mother’s well-being, and then put it firmly in the back seat. It HAS to be her choice.

        2. Sendog

          You really are an idiot arent you?

          Have you actually read up on Fatal feotal abnormalities?

          Il give you an example, a foetus who develops without a skull.
          A fucking skull ffs!

          Tell me how having no skull is a disability?!

          Clearly the skull you have doesnt contain a brain.

          1. Tom

            Without a skull? As in the baby has shoulders and that’s it? Try reading up on it yourself. Some of the conditions involve undeveloped brains – undoubtedly a fatal disability – but your without a skull comment betrays a fair bit of ignorance.

    1. MJ

      + 1000

      These comments make me feel physically ill, and so sad for any couples who have had to travel for fatal foetal abnormalities. What an image.

      1. Pidgeon

        Exactly! Like they don’t have enough sh*te to deal with without this fathead putting his bigoted, and factually incorrect, two cents in.

        1. B Bop

          Yes. I laughed at the madness of political Silly Head till I remembered the devastating & despicable situations couples have had to go through in travelling to random cities in England & having to wait in an upset state for flights back after undergoing abortions.
          And lunatics keep on preaching about foetal abnormalities.

          1. Ronan

            What’s more, they quite often have to pass a group of said screaming lunatics (often Irish) to get into the clinic, screaming ‘murderers’ at them

      2. Sidewinder

        While creating an image that makes families who go through this look cold and heartless “sterilised trays”, he ignores the cold and heartless reality he has created of families having the ashes of beloved and wanted babies delivered to them by courier.

  3. Medium Sized C

    God there are a lot of unpleasant, detached and stupid people in the Seanad. I think the last week or so, I have really come around to the idea of shutting it down.

    1. SBY

      Yes, but he thinks it would be ok for coaches to throw the corpses over the finish line.

      He does not take the special olympics too seriously you see.

  4. Murtles

    I feel another one of those GUBU books coming on and just from quotes from TD’s and Senators in the last 2 months alone. Broadsheet, get in there will ye and start the presses.

      1. Tom

        Defining a human being out of humanity on the basis of their proximity to death or their quality of life. There is many words for that alright.

          1. Tom

            Dictionary def: “causing or capable of causing death”.

            How many disabilities, conditions, illnesses are fatal? And, as a matter of consistency, should those with them have their right to life revoked?

        1. Nigel

          Reducing the mother to a walking womb forced to bear dead or dying babies against their will probably needs a whole new word all by itself.

  5. paul

    What is the definition of fatal abnormality?

    In Britain they legalised abortion for ‘severe disabilities’ and over there up to 90% of unborn children diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome are killed.

    1. paul

      And to preempt anyone that says anencephaly, trisomy 13 is a definition of fatal-

      Babies that have been diagnosed with these abnormalities have survived for months after delivery, free of pain.

      1. General Waste

        For months you say and pain free? Well hell you’ve convinced me!

        Imagine months of a (possibly) pain free life and then a good Catholic burial (have those hypocrites done away with not giving unchristened babies a Catholic funeral?)

        That makes it all fine for a woman to carry a foetus to term when it will live for months. No bother, and sure explaining the death of a tiny infant brother or sister to existing siblings? No bother either. God is good.

        tl:dr – F**k off you fundamentalist crackpot.

        1. Tom

          When someone resorts to that level of abuse I wonder if they really have a reasonable p.o.v. at all.

          1. General Waste

            I’m long past being reasonable with you and your fellow fundies like the good senators Walsh and O Domhnaill.

            Most normal, compassionate people would consider the right to terminations for fatal foetal abnormalities and victims of rape or incest as the decent thing.

            On the other hand, those ruled by daft religious ideology like the Taliban or the Catholic Church show no sign of common decency to their fellow humans. So yes, I’m long past being reasonable.

          2. Mani

            Indeed, Thomas. God above knows you’ve never resorted to that level in your life. Start casting those stones good, boy!

        2. vin

          @General Waste

          Wow, pretty vitriolic, anti-catholic language being used there. Considering religion wan’t even mentioned and the question Paul raised is very valid you might have to reassess who the crackpot is.

          1. General Waste

            Funnily enough the actions of the Catholic Church have made me pretty anti-Catholic. See my second post above as to why I’ve no truck with reasoning with the religious right.

            And make no mistake this is ALL about religion. It’s a pretty transparent pro-life tactic to pretend this isn’t driven by Catholic ideology. Albeit crackpot, fundamentalist Catholic ideology.

      2. Sidewinder

        Free of pain? Wow, I didn’t know you could ask a two month old without a skull if they’re in pain. Are you psychic? You should use your gift for something more, crime solving perhaps?

        1. Tom

          Yeah, the only way of knowing if someone is in pain is by asking them. That’s where science is at.

          1. Friday

            I know you’re being sarcastic, but your statement is correct. Self-report is still the most accurate gauge of the severity of pain. fMRI studies show a “good” correlation with self-reported pain, but, in the words of the researchers:

            Pain is subjective in nature, and it is not unreasonable to assume a search for an objective measurement is nigh on impossible. However, the need for one is nearly universally acknowledged.

            Senior investigator Dr Sean Mackey, associate professor of anesthesia and chief of the Division of Pain Management at the School, told the press:

            “People have been looking for a pain detector for a very long time.”

            “We rely on patient self-reporting for pain, and that remains the gold standard,” he added, explaining that he too, as a doctor treating patients with chronic pain, relies on their self-reporting.

            Additionally, these studies have been carried out on adults with normally functioning brains. fMRI measures differences from the norm, and in a profoundly disabled child (e.g, one with anencephaly) there is no norm to compare it to.

            The traditional way of measuring pain in non-verbal patients is through observing how they move, whether they are grimacing or crying. Obviously this is very difficult to do with an adult, never mind a profoundly disabled infant.

  6. Mark Dennehy

    I wonder what he’d say about the potential cure for Downs syndrome they’re working on and demonstrating (if only at the cellular level) in the lab at the moment?

    1. Blobster

      That sounds like a great (albeit very early stage) breakthrough. Certainly better than other “breakthroughs” in the field of Downs Syndrome which essentially amount to being able to diagnose it in unborn children sooner and more acurately so that they can be aborted more efficiently.

      1. Am I still on This Island

        Perhaps “being able to diagnose it in unborn children sooner” allows parent to better prepare for the challenges that come with a DS child or any child with special needs. Not everyone wants to abort their pregnancies. A bit of balance and moderation goes a long way to making points more relevant.

        1. Bejayziz

          The choice should be there for people who do wish to abort though, people are still going to travel to England for it.

          1. Am I still on This Island

            I believe the stat is 1/1,000 born in the UK have DS , approx 60,000.00 people in the UK are living with DS. Somebody is giving birth to them!

          2. Am I still on This Island

            Pidgeon it is something like 90% of all diagnosed cases of DS in the UK are not carried to term. Tom is somewhat accurate in that case, However these figures do not break down the number that are terminated for health reasons, that were not viable, or are just choice. I gave the example above of 1 of my family who had to terminate a DS foetus for health reasons.

          3. Pidgeon

            @Island – thanks, tried to find stats on it but couldn’t. Sorry for your family member – tough choice to make and hope they are doing ok.

  7. Leigh

    Great caption — what an idiot these politicians really are – give them some rope and they will invariably hang themselves…

  8. Squiggleyjoop

    The athlete’s application for the special olympics was denied after it turned out he had been dead for 20 years.

  9. Tom

    @ mani, simply haven’t resorted to that level of abuse, ever, on this site (& I hope anywhere else for that matter). Show me where I have and I’ll promptly apologise for it. Do keep up.

  10. Tom

    @Deslby- point to the alleged failure to understand english please. I believe I’m the one who provided a dictionary def on fatal.

    1. Mister Mister

      You have no idea of what the difference is between a skull and head is anyway. Maybe it’s a biology book you actually need and not a dictionary.

    2. DeSelby

      Well your inability to reply correctly to a particular point i.e. using the correct reply button speaks volumes.

      I was referring to your (deliberate?) misunderstanding of the term fatal foetal abnormality.

      You provided a dictionary definition of one of the three words. Seemingly you still fail to grasp the meaning of the three words together.

      That is all

      1. Tom

        I get the condition, I’ve spoken with parents with the very same diagnoses. I don’t buy that such unborn children should be killed. That’s all. You disagree.

        If someone will soon die – should they be intentionally killed? No.

        If someone is unborn – should they be intentionally killed? No.

        If someone has a severe abnormality – should they be killed? No.

        All three, together – permissible to kill? No.

        1. Mark Dennehy

          Hey Tom, you keep talking about “someone”, implying a person.

          Tell me, if you don’t have any brain tissue beyond the brain stem itself – no hippocampus, no prefrontal cortex, no temporal lobe, nothing at all – where exactly is this “person” you’re referring to? Are you saying that the brain is not where all that we consider to be what makes up a person is located?

          Or are you saying that the “soul” doesn’t reside there and that there should be legal recognition of this of some kind?

          1. Tom

            Mark, I don’t accept dualism in the spheres of identity and ethics. FWIW, in terms of human rights philosophy, to be a human being is to be a person – personhood is not predicated on some arbitrary standard of consciousness or other.

          2. Mark Dennehy

            Now Tom, you and I both know that this “philosophy” stuff is nonsense. You can argue all day that personhood is not dependant on a set standard of consciousness, but you know that if I put a shotgun to your head and use it to remove your brain’s gray matter (but somehow avoid the white matter) that your legal personhood ends. Your property is passed on to your descendants (or whomever you willed it to), your life insurance policy kicks in, your organs can be given away to others and so on — all happening because legally, without your brain, you’re not a person anymore.

            So if you never had one to begin with…

            (ps. That’s a philosophy lecture that I think we could all enjoy watching)

        2. Nigel

          I think it’s worth reiterating that are no point are the wishes or well-being of the mother, who will have to go through the pregnancy and give birth to the dead or soon-to-die child, considered, not even in passing. They are reduced to the role of voiceless non-entities obliged to conform to the doctrinaire, inflexible rules of people who value the dead or dying child more than them and who seek to exercise absolute power over their bodies and their choices.

          1. Tom

            Good one Nigel – absolute power over bodies and choices, as if the pro-life position is a trojan horse to force women to engage in particular forms of sport, or to choose particular types of holidays or whatever else.

            It’s this simple: bodily integrity and freedom/privacy rights are human rights. No debate. But they, lime any other human right, cannot apply to deprive another human being of their human rights.

          2. Mark Dennehy

            But what if they choose a holiday in the UK and get a recreational abortion at the same time, eh Tom? The pro-life movement doesn’t want to ban your holidays, just have a measure of sensible, rational safeguards on those holidays….

          3. Nigel

            I can find no other way of characterising this absolutists approach to protecting the well-being of dead or soon-to-die babies ahead of the living women who are forced to bear them. Dismissing women’s right to bodily autonomy by trivialising it as you do shows exactly how far it lags behind your compassionate concern for the dead or soon-to-die babies they, not you, will have to bear, regardless of the personal, physical, mental or emotional cost to them.

            ‘But they, lime any other human right, cannot apply to deprive another human being of their human rights.’

            They can when they are inextricably linked, as in the case of human pregnancy. When they finally get around to inventing reliable artificial wombs the situtation might change. Until then, to insist that women’s rights do not count enough is not simply abdicating responsbility to engage fully with a complex ethical issue, it also simply ignores social and historical realities where women have always and everywhere chosen to exercise personal autonomy by procuring abortion no matter how illegal or dangerous. Denying woman that choice is repressive, and always has been.

    1. ReproBertie

      More evidence that pre-conceptions make things stand out and ignore evidence to the contrary.

  11. skinny recesson dog

    This Senator is Judicially reviewing a Standards in Public Office case concerning alleged claims and expenses on the basis that the investigation and prosecuting documents ought to be in Irish and therefore his right to defend in Irish would be limited. The High Court dismissed this line of defence in
    Stiofan O Conaire v Judge Uinsin mac Grairc ,DPP &AG 2010 3 IR. ” Each side is entitled to choose the language in whichit will present its case, Neither sideis entitled to force its choice of language on the other, in this way the equality of treatment of languages is achieved, interpretation services would be available at hearing to safeguard the right to conduct a defence in Irish”

    1. Pidgeon

      Can you give us the stats? Just stating you’re right might work for Iain Duncan Smith but not for everyone – would be interested to see

        1. Am I still on This Island

          Unless you can break down why those terminations took place the stats are irrelevant to support your argument you would need to show how many of those 92% were choice, as I illustrated much earlier I had a family member that was left with no choice but to abort a DS pregnancy due to medical reasons.

          There are multiple scenarios to and complications that can occur with DS foetus that would not otherwise be present that could need to the requirement of termination for medical purposes. You are clearly indication that all of the terminations are by choice again the fact that 1/1000 births in the UK and interestingly 1/800 in the US (1/568) in Ireland show that not everyone that discovers DS in pregnancy terminates.

          1. Tom

            92% is the figure – so roughly half of those aborting would have to be doing so for life-saving or other rare reasons for my claim to be inaccurate.

            Don’t buy it. How about this hypothesis – an abortion culture doesn’t place much of a value on healthy unborn life, never mind disabled unborn life.

            Google the origins of IPPF.

  12. Kieran

    I really thought fatal abnormalities was something everyone could agree on in this debate.

    Guess not.

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