This afternoon.

The Alexander Hotel, Dublin 2

Save the 8th launched a new billboard campaign, titled “I had no idea” concerning  the “six months” or “viability” element of the Government’s abortion proposals that would allow for terminations up to 24 weeks on the grounds of a threat to the life or health of the woman.

From pic 2: John McGuirk, communications director for Savethe8; Campaign Chairperson Niamh Ui Bhriain with Mairead Hughes.


Leah Farrell/RollingNews

66 thoughts on “No Idea

    1. dav

      oh reallllyyyy
      “By their own admission, the National Review is a right-leaning site/magazine known for “up-to-the-minute conservative commentary on politics, news, and culture.” Author William F. Buckley Jr. Buckley founded the magazine in the early 50s and, himself, was known for several controversies: He co-authored a book defending McCarthyism and referred to HIV/AIDS as a “gay curse,” calling for immediate sterilization of people with HIV. “

    2. ReproBertie (SCU)

      Something happened in America years ago so lets pretend it’ll happen here too, despite it being illegal and all.

      Your position must be pretty weak if this is how far you have to stretch.

      1. david

        Oh dear Bertie
        Sure it will never happen again
        Where have we heard that
        Tracker mortgages
        It keeps happening again and again and again
        Remove the right and by god its open season

        1. ReproBertie (SCU)

          America is a different country david. What happens there is irrelevant. Unless you’re suggesting we should be worried about pro-life people bombing clinics and shooting doctors here. After all, if it happened once in an entirely different country thousands of miles away.

    3. Listrade

      Yes you did because you posted it earlier and you were informed that US policy doesn’t apply here and the same restrictions would apply to a foetus as applies under current law to the collecting the organs of a stillborn.

      Stop lying. Stop spreading false information.

      1. Sentient Won

        I’m not lying. I have no need to. The facts are clear to those who open their eyes.

        Why trust people who destroy human lives for profit?

        Show me the part in the so-called “General Scheme of a Bill” that intends to prohibit the sale of aborted dead baby body parts.

        1. ReproBertie (SCU)

          Can you find the bit in the general scheme of a bill that says we can’t drown the woman in a bucket after she has an abortion?

          No, because we already have laws against that sort of thing.

          1. Sentient Won

            The US has laws against profiting from the sale of fetal tissue, yet there ample evidence to suggest it is a rife and prolific practice in their Abortion industry.

            Why trust people who destroy human lives for profit?

  1. Cian

    The current legislation (Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013) has no limit on when an abortion can be carried out.

    The proposed legislation puts an upper limit as “viability” (the point in a pregnancy at which, in the reasonable opinion of a medical practitioner, the foetus is capable of sustained survival outside the uterus). This is generally considered around 6 months.

    Current Law: (no limit)
    7. (1) It shall be lawful to carry out a medical procedure in respect of a pregnant woman in accordance with this section in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended where—
    (a) subject to section 19, two medical practitioners, having examined the pregnant woman, have jointly certified in good faith that—
    (i) there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the woman’s life from a physical illness, and
    (ii) in their reasonable opinion (being an opinion formed in good faith which has regard to the need to preserve unborn human life as far as practicable) that risk can only be averted by carrying out the medical procedure

    Proposed Law: (with a limit)
    4. (1) It shall be lawful to carry out a termination of pregnancy in accordance with this Head where 2 medical practitioners certify that, in their reasonable opinion formed in good faith –
    (a) there is a risk to the life of, or of serious harm to the health of, the pregnant woman,
    (b) the foetus has not reached viability, and
    (c) it is appropriate to carry out the termination of pregnancy in order to avert that risk.

    1. Cian

      oops — I omitted “FFA”. The proposed legislation also says this which is not timebound:
      6. (1) It shall be lawful to carry out a termination of pregnancy in accordance with this Head where 2 medical practitioners certify that, in their reasonable opinion, there is present a condition affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before birth or shortly after birth.

      The ProLife posters should say: “I had no idea they wanted to allow abortion up to 9 months!”

    2. david

      Opinion given in good faith
      Picked that out in one second
      Can you imagine good faith in a court of law
      Reasonable opinion
      What is reasonable in law?
      What is reasonable to one is not to another

  2. Malta

    Do they honestly really think that a woman will carry a pregnancy for 6 months and then just say “nah, changed my mind, get rid of it”?

    Ending a pregnancy at that point is a agonising, heartbreaking thing. No one does unless they have to.

    1. ReproBertie (SCU)

      Justin Barrett thinks that women have an abortion at any stage to go on holiday. What has to happen to a person to believe women think like that?

      These new posters were expected. The polls (which everyone says they ignore) show the ‘soft yes’ and ‘don’t knows’ are concerned about the 12 week limit so it makes sense for the Retainers to play on that concern. It’s up to the Repealers to explain that the vast majority of abortions happen long before 12 weeks and that after 12 weeks it’s only if there’s a threat to the health of the woman.

  3. newsjustin

    What typically happens in this discussion is that Repealers fall over themselves to explain how wrong the pro-life message is.

    Then they explain that abortion up to 6 months will ONLY happen in limited circumstances…in the case of the baby having a fatal foetal abnormality or a serious risk to the health of the mother.

    So the pro-life message us wrong…..except in all of the following cases…..

    1. Malta

      So you think these posters are fine?

      Do you accept that only tiny numbers of terminations happen this late?

      Do you accept that anyone terminating a pregnancy at that stage might have a good reason to do so?

      1. ReproBertie (SCU)

        Tiny numbers and having good reasons doesn’t make the posters any less true. The Retain side have shifted from the question of repeal to debating the legislation to follow. The Repeal side need to do the same.

      2. newsjustin

        Yes. The posters are fine.

        Yes. Only a small number of babies will be aborted after 12 weeks. But, as you probably know, the constraints can be abused, as they are routinely in the UK where the vast majority of abortions on healthy babies and mothers are signed-off on the basis of a risk to the health of the mother.

        Outside of a risk to the life of the mother, there is no defensible reason for abortion, never mind allowing an abortion at 4, 5, 6 months.

        1. ReproBertie (SCU)

          “Outside of a risk to the life of the mother, there is no defensible reason for abortion”
          Let’s hear it for the 12 year old mothers!

        2. Listrade

          Signed off by two doctors. Provide proof please that it is abused. it would mean both doctors being complicit in the abuse across a considerable number of doctors.

          Outside of risk of life. Ok, is that based on the current imminent risk only or where the pregnancy prevents cancer treatment or organ transplant? The latter two aren’t covered under the constitution along with numerous other serious medical conditions.

          Which do you feel is the most humane response to FFA: abortion in diagnosis and in a safe environment, close to the support of extended family and being able to make their own arrangements for the foetus. Or forcing the mother to carry the pregnancy to full term in full knowledge it won’t survive and forcing her to give birth, or having to travel to the UK, being an out patient and having the remains posted back to her?

          1. newsjustin

            “Signed off by two doctors. Provide proof please that it is abused. it would mean both doctors being complicit in the abuse across a considerable number of doctors.”

            That is the case. To believe otherwise is to believe that almost all of the pregnancies aborted prior to 12 weeks – 190k+ pregnancies – present a serious risk to the life of the mother.

            On your second point – risk to life – that is down to a woman and her doctor. If a pregnancy is posing a real and substantial risk to a woman’s life, an abortion is allowable.

            On FFA. Obviously the most humane response is not ending the life of a sick child and caring for both mother and child.

          2. Listrade

            It isn’t “obviously the case” it is your opinion. You suspect it isn’t the case, but that doesn’t mean that two doctors don’t believe there is a risk to the mothers physical and mental health based on the very clear guidelines in the UK.

            Again, “obviously the most humane” is your opinion and doesn’t make it the most humane process. I genuinely have no idea what would be involved in carrying a child to full term and delivering it knowing it will die. My opinion is that the most humane process is for the women to have a choice as to how she deals with that situation and not to force her into one specific traumatic circumstance.

        3. Cian

          newsjustin – the current legislation allows abortion and killing of the foetus up to 9 months! (if there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the woman’s life.

          The proposed legislation reduces that to ~6 months.

          Time-wise the proposed legislation makes it safer for the unborn.

          1. newsjustin

            Abortion where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother is tragic, but perfectly reasonable. As pro-choice campaigners are at pains to point out – an abortion after 6 months is a birth.

            So what the proposed legislation does is reduce the criteria for an abortion up to 6 months from real and substantial risk to life to serious risk to health (and in the event of a ffa).

          2. Nigel

            Well yes how reckless and selfish of women to want access to certain kinds of treatments before their conditions become life threatening. Stick that on a poster.

          3. Basil Brush

            Women have access to contraception. They also have access to the morning after pill. As far as I can see your statement ‘before their conditions become life threatenening’ is just an umbrella term for all pregnancies, at any time.

            As far as I can see the far left pro-choice advocates are becoming as militant and blinkered as their far right pro-life counterparts.

            This referendum will be fought and won in the middle. Those of us raised Catholic but sick of the bull. Who have friends who have had both abortions and miscarriages, as well as healthy children and kids born with severe disabilities.

            I just know that neither side will ever agree. The referendum, if the 8th is repealed is just the beginning. We will have abortion clinics in our cities…so at least the banner wavers will have somewhere to go at the weekend to chant and fight.

          4. Nigel

            There are women telling stories about how certain cancer tests and treatments are dependent on negative pregnancy tests due to the 8th. It is not ‘an umbrella term for all pregnancies.’

          5. Basil Brush

            Thanks for being more specific Nigel. Would you mind sending a link if possible? I would imagine, certainly in the case of cancers, it may be difficult to get two doctors agreeing on abortion decision if 8th is repealed nonetheless. Too many factors involved in determining if either life is at risk…

          6. mildred st. meadowlark

            Better that women are given the chance and the choice to choose the best course of treatment – whatever it may be – for her, rather than being forced to put aside her own health and well-being for being pregnant, especially when it comes to illnesses like cancer or cystic fibrosis, for example.

          7. Basil Brush

            I agree. However…if the 8th is repealed and a woman is 18 weeks pregnant and diagnosed with leukemia…it will still be up to her doctors to determine if either life is at risk.

          8. mildred st. meadowlark

            Well I don’t agree with you there. Because once again that infringes on the woman’s right to bodily autonomy, which is precisely what the 8th amendment does now.

            A woman should be able to take her doctor’s advice and use that information to help her make the right decision for her. If she chooses to abort (and make no mistake that would be a hard decision to make if a woman was at that stage of a pregnancy – it would indicate she wanted the child) she would still have to get the approval of two doctors, according to proposals put forward – at least as far as I understand it.

          9. Basil Brush

            I believe Mildred that the removal of the 8th amendment would allow for unrestricted access to abortion up to 12 weeks only. After this it will be determined by two doctors if there are sound reasons to abort. Unless there is a medical emergency and the life of the mother is in danger, then one doctor can determine in that case. Even after repeal…the mother will not be able to decide for herself to have an abortion if she is 13 weeks pregnant or more. This will still be up to two doctors. Here are the legislative proposals on the site….

            Of course thats not to say that once the 8th is repealed…test cases such as this may arrive at the supreme court and bump up the gestational limit. The UKs liberal abortion access was never originally designed as such. It was introduced on the same basis as our proposed law and also socio economic grounds (as to avoiding injury to the physical or mental health of the existing children) and evolved into something else over 50 years…another form of contraception.

          10. mildred st. meadowlark

            Don’t insult women by comparing abortion to ‘another form of contraception’. Its not.

            It can take months for a woman’s body to recover from abortion, and I honestly have no idea how many more times I’ll have to say this, but it is not a decision a woman makes on a whim. Don’t denigrate that by comparing it to taking the pill or using the coil. It is the most expensive and difficult route a woman can take if she wants to avoid a pregnancy.

            And also, would you really want to deny women the choice to decide for themselves simply because you fear we may go the way of Britain in 50 years time? Can we not learn from Britain’s missteps instead, rather than try to emulate them?

          11. Listrade

            The removal of the 8th will do nothing until legislation is enacted. The policy document would still need to go through as an Act and both houses. It’s pretty likely that the 12 weeks issue would be changed in the final legislation. That’s only my opinion, but I can’t see it passing without some restriction (probably 2 doctors again). Also, it is risk to health, not risk to life, major difference and will remove a pretty significant block to women getting treatment.

            The interesting thing is where the policy differs from the UK in other areas, more specifically there is no grounds for genetic disorder as there is in the UK. It is health of the mother and then FFA, these are the only grounds.

            Given that the test for Down’s syndrome is between 11&14 weeks (but usually around he 12 week scan appointment), that means that even of the legislation passed as the policy, it would be after the 12 weeks and therefore would not be a condition legislated for abortion.

            So much for those posters we saw.

          12. Listrade

            It’s not necessary under the policy for it to be a risk to life, it only refers to risk to health. That is a significant lowering of the current standard. At the moment it only allows for emergency terminations where there is an imminent risk, not a preventative one to enable cancer treatment (or other illnesses).

            So the decision will be much clearer as it will be based on what is best for the mother’s health rather than having to evaluate whether she is facing imminent death, which is where the lack of clarity is at the moment.

            It is clear that, say, cancer treatment is in the best interest of the mother’s health as opposed to no cancer treatment. It puts the mother’s health (mental and physical) first, whereas at the moment it is only her life where practicable.

          13. Cian

            Listrade – you are mostly right, but I’d like to stress that the proposed legislation talks about “risk to the life of, or of serious harm to the health of , the pregnant woman,” (my emphasis).

            The UK legislation has a much lower threshold – just “harm” which can mean almost anything. The proposed here is “serious harm”. So it is a much higher threshold that the abortion regimen in the UK.

        4. gavin

          “Outside of a risk to the life of the mother, there is no defensible reason for abortion”…wow you must just exude confidence, what with being able to see and understand every future possibility before it happens. Its this very reason Ill vote Yes.

      3. david

        And that is the reason for this referendum not abortion on demand
        Its Davila who was refused a termination even though the law stated in circumstances like hers it was allowed
        The doctors that refused to save her killed her
        Maybe they should face trial

        1. Cian

          david. more lies.
          When Savita asked for an abortion her life was not at risk. The doctors could not legally terminate.
          They left her until either the foetus died, or until she had developed sepsis and her life was actually in danger – before they would terminate. Unfortunately for Savita the sepsis was missed (mixed up blood results) and she died.
          Yes – had the doctors realised that her life was in danger due to the sepsis they could have terminated…. but they literally had to wait until her life was at risk before treating her.

        2. Lucy

          You should be barred from commenting on this site. Repeatedly using her death so callously shows you to be a scumbag. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    2. Listrade

      ok, the prolife message is technically correct. So how about we say it is disingenuous and deliberately misleading people on the basis that it doesn’t add the qualifying information that a late stage abortion is conditional on exceptional circumstances. And as Cian points out above, it will be no different to the existing legislation apart from for FFA.

      I’m sure it’s much the prolife campaign much better and upstanding moral people to be deliberately disingenuous, manipulative and deceiving rather than just wrong. Really, it’s a good look, keep it up.

      1. ReproBertie (SCU)

        John McGuirk will argue that there’s just not enough room on a poster to go into the detail. He argued that very point on an Irish Times podcast.

        1. The Ghost of Starina

          He’s so slimy. I don’t know how he deals with reconciling himself to the knowledge that if there is a God, He sees McGuirk’s slippery tricks, lies and half-truths.

        2. Malta

          Almost as if it’s a very complicated matter and as such is unsuitable for the Constitution…

    3. Daisy Chainsaw

      Newsjustin is very ProLie. Any lie Baby Bitshook can spew is okay with Newsjustin.

      1. IonaLotOfProblems

        Very Prolife. Not an ounce of compassion for the women of Ireland that are going to need abortions… just mistrust… Reminds me of my father actually.

    4. Nigel

      Yes typically the No side blares something wrong or dishonest or as in this case simplified to the point of dishonesty and the Yes side have to explain what’s actually going on. Oddly enough, I think the calm rational explanations are apreciated and effective, which is why the grassroots stuff going on all over the country is likely to be more productive than posters, though these big blaring agressively coloured and misleading posters everywhere do seem to discourage some Repealers into thinking the Yes side has capitulated. They haven’t.

  4. John f

    With just a month to go until the vote I can see both sides getting increasingly nasty with each other. I can see the valid arguments on both sides and for the most part those expressing them seem very genuine and sincere. Let’s hope things don’t descend into a Jeremy Kyle style poostorm.
    However it they do I will be watching on, sitting and eating popcorn.

  5. nellyb

    It’s likely designed by american marketing folks. They sure think Irish are total morons. Not very nice of them.

  6. Jimmey_russell

    these women are brainwashed idiots they are clearly suffering from internalized misogyny any sane rational women knows the only way the will be free in this country is through unlimited abortion on demand, see you all on voting day.

  7. The Ghost of Starina

    That photo of McGuirk, though. Anyone else hear “MONORAIL!” when they see it?

  8. mildred st. meadowlark

    Reminds me of the brexit bus… And sure, we all know how that worked out.

  9. Steve

    Jaysis – John McGuirk, he was some as”%ole in Trinity political science. Good to see he is still a major one now.

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