A No Vote Ensures Pregnant Women Will Have Unequal Access To Healthcare


From top: from left: Prof William Binchy, Monica Hadarean, Cora Sherlock, at a LoveBoth conference in Buswells Hotel, Dublin last week; Anne Marie McNally

OK, look folks, it’s Referendum week and I really don’t feel like I have any option but to make one last desperate plea for a YES vote this coming Friday because, as so many commentators have said, this really is a once in a generation vote and as such its importance simply cannot be overstated.

I realise there are other significant public issues of concern right now, not least the ongoing cervical check scandal and the associated issues but here’s the thing; they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Vicky Phelan, the brave woman whose willingness to lay her tragedy bare so that this scandal would be aired, articulated that so perfectly in her tweet last week where she called for a YES vote on the basis that “we must place women at the centre of their own care and allow us to make the choice about our own care.”

Last week on here I wrote about Cervical Check. In another recent column I wrote about the National Maternity Hospital and the religious control issues at play there. I mentioned how women’s healthcare, particularly when it comes to anything below the bellybutton, has always been second rate.

By second rate I mean, there is almost some other influencing factor that is considered before the actual women (or sometimes girl) facing whatever situation confronts her.

For too many years in this country for the many young girls and women, who found themselves pregnant outside of wedlock, the primary consideration was the supposed shame that would ensue; shame on both her and her family.

A shame borne from an overbearing Church which controlled society to the point that families shunned their own children because they had brought ‘shame’ on the family. In too many of those cases those girls were sent into the care of church run Mother and Baby homes or Magdalene Laundries.

I don’t have to go into the detail of the atrocities that were perpetrated against those girls and women in those institutions but suffice to say, the health of those girls and women, both through pregnancy and after, was not considered important.

There is a list of examples of the kind of second rate healthcare for women that exists in Ireland and a short column just doesn’t allow for detail to be provided but I could mention the Hepatitis C scandal, the symphysiotomy scandal, I could even talk about how we had to fight to get access to bloody tampons for Christ’s sake and how a Bishop decried them on the basis that they might encourage sexual activity.

That’s before I’d get into talking about how we were denied contraception should any such sexual activity occur (If I could insert emoji’s here there’d be serious eye-roll emoji activity).

The list would be endless but primary among the horrors would be the continuation of a regime of forced pregnancy. Of continuing to enslave hordes of Irish women in a macabre experiment which sees women become something less than human the moment they become pregnant. They go from being a female person to an incubation machine which other people have the remote control for.

Other people are handed the power to determine how this incubation machine must operate. During the public hearings of the all-party Oireachtas Committee on the 8th, veteran anti-choice lawyer William Binchy was put on the spot about whether he believed women should have an equal right to healthcare. He emphatically said yes.

When he was further asked if he believed women had an equal right to healthcare when pregnant he procrastinated. Because the fact of the matter is, no matter which way you dress it up, a NO vote quite simply ensures that a pregnant person will not have equal access to healthcare.

I absolutely respect a person’s choice to vote No. I understand people have reservations and concerns about abortion. In fact I would suggest that most people have reservations about abortion. It is never something that is taken lightly.

However while I respect people’s right to vote whichever way they choose, I do believe it’s important that the hyperbole is removed from the conversation and the basic facts of what that vote means is laid bare; a NO vote is a vote for women to continue to be treated as second-class citizens in our healthcare system and to be denied equal access to healthcare.

A YES vote is recognition that even though you, if faced with a situation, may make an entirely different choice to another woman, you would not seek to impose what’s right for you on her. A NO vote is a vote of control, a YES vote is a vote of compassion and understanding.

And lad…please get out and vote on Friday. We need you.

Anne Marie McNally is Social Democrats Political Director and General Election candidate for Dublin Mid-West.

Top pic: Rollingnews

179 thoughts on “A No Vote Ensures Pregnant Women Will Have Unequal Access To Healthcare

  1. Paul

    These tactics of conflating the entirety of the No side with the church are just as dirty if not dirtier than those used by the No side.

    Let me give you an alternative way of thinking about one of your more evocative highlighted statements “they go from being a female person to an incubation machine which other people have the remote for” , here is the alternative side’s way of looking at it ” they go from being persons to inconveniences which other people can vacuum away out of existence”.

    Then the whole compassion bit?Please, it isn’t compassionate to terminate another against their will.

    The irony of you then going on to suggest that we take the hyperbole out of the discussion is of a grand scale and has certainly given me a laugh on this dull morning.

    1. newsjustin

      What amuses me is people using the type of language you’ve flagged there Paul, who very often get a free pass from the pro-choice side. Then the same people will accuse the pro-life side, with a straight face, of “emotional blackmail, cos that’s all they have left.”

      1. graham

        The headline is more scare mongering unless men have devised a way to get pregnant and get an abortion

    2. Listrade

      I see your point and you can criticise some, but I don’t see many from the No campaign criticising themselves. It works both ways.

      On a simple level, when you have a brain dead woman kept alive with an unviable foetus in 2014. What other conclusion on “incubator” is there? Or when a woman who was raped and tried to commit suicide is kept at a hospital against her will, force fed and then a c section performed, can you see why that might be a reasonable point?

      You are right, but compassion goes both ways. But McGuirk dismisses the stories from woman as “sad stories” and doesn’t think they should be part of the debate.

      The new term used is “hard cases”.

      No. They are women. Human beings, not statistics. The use of these terms is to specifically dehumanise what we are hearing and so they can be dismissed without addressing them. You can ignore a “hard case” you can’t ignore a human, not without being void of compassion.

      It’s fair to feel aggrieved that the side you agree with is being dismissed due to a vocal minority (but the Church has had a say on this in public and at mass), but then it weakens your argument when you dismiss the opposite side on the basis of a few and not the reasonable majority.

      Live up to the love both by sharing the compassion and sharing the empathy. Don’t defend dubious or graphic posters as the “truth” behind abortion, but ignore and dismiss the hundreds of stories about the “truth” of pregnancy and physical and mental health.

      1. Paul

        Yeah of course for the brain dead woman and the rape victim they are incubators, no arguments there but they are the hard cases we’re referring to and as we know hard cases make bad laws.

        Is it not true to say that it’s likely that the majority of cases will bear little resemblance to these hard cases?
        I’m getting at my belief that lots of people will avail of abortion because of not putting sufficient effort into contraception. People on the repeal side will say “no, no sure that would never happen” but I think we all know it will and here is an interesting little thought experiment that might show you the hypocrisy of the repeal side – they laugh at the suggestion that it’s a life/person but in the same sentence will be very adamant that they would not be using it as a form of contraception lol???? Like why the fup would you not use it as a form of contraception if you truly believed it wasn’t a life? They should be like “yeah of course we’ll use it as a form of contraception as it’s not a life” but they don’t say that do they…….

        1. Dr.Fart MD

          Paul, having an abortion isn’t a nice or even tolerable thing to go through. People aren’t going to do away with using contraception because they can just get an abortion if they get pregnant. No one enjoys having an abortion. People aren’t that carefree about it.

          1. Paul

            Oh no you misunderstand me, I don’t think people will actually “do away with contraception” I just think they’ll care less about it if abortion is an option.

          2. Janet, I ate my Avatar

            For the last time an abortion is not a pleasant carefree painless option people will just start irresponsibly using because they cannot be arsed with contraception

          3. Nigel

            Locally available procedures would surely be a lot less forbidding and formidable, requiring less investment of time, money, energy and emotion. Paradoxically, that may contribute to more women being open to considering other options. Apparently Irish women who travel to Britain almost never change their minds – they’ve put too much effort in to turn back. I’m not saying it’ll lead to a carefree attitude about it, just that it’s a safety net.

            Edit – did Cian’s comment vanish or did I reply in the wrong place or am I seeing things?

          4. Cian

            @Nigel – I misread your comment – and then realised my reply was irrelevant – so deleted it.

          5. SOQ

            @Nigel. An important point which you missed is that women who are forced to travel tend to have later abortions and whatever your views on the issue, the earlier it happens the better. I think that is a reasonable position to take.

        2. Frilly Waters

          Your determination to insist on using the expression Hard Cases is getting very sad
          Ronan Mullen following Catherine Noone into the ladies toilets sad
          sad because you have clearly been told to use that expression by your bosses

          you are just a vessel yourself
          for directives from others that just want to control but are losing the plot because they know the game’s up

          which is why your comments here are getting more and more pathetic

          Abortion has never been used as a contraception
          if matters take their natural course when a couple get together
          and they get caught short
          the morning after pill is now on click and collect
          and of course climax can be achieved by other

          obviously stuff you never have ta’ worry about

          all this must be fierce tough for you and your bosses
          like not be able to use shame or threats of mother and baby homes

          I wonder how they’re going ta’ keep the money coming in after next week

          1. Paul

            lol at this nonsense haha like I can’t even make sense of your train of thought.

            FYI though you should probably get comfortable hearing the idiom hard cases make for bad laws as it’s a commonly used one and is of particular relevance to this debate irrespective of who Ronan Mullen is following into the toilets lol, jesus there’s an image.

          2. SOQ

            What is a ‘hard’ case anyways? Any woman who is so desperate as to travel to another country is a hard case. Likewise, taking pills in the knowledge that if something goes wrong, they are in real trouble. The term is deliberately loaded in order to create a two tier debate.

            And then there is ‘on demand’. I’ll have a big macs, french fries and an abortion please? Again, slanted to create the impression of queues forming around the block and 2 for 1 offers on Facebook. Retweet for a free… etc

          3. Paul

            The term and idiom “hard case” is probably hundreds of years old and so no it’s not deliberately loaded.

            To answer your question – a hard case is when someone gets raped or whatever, it’s not when Tommy rides Mary without using a johnnie and then they go on the lash for the next week instead of using the morning after pill and think to themselves ‘ sure it’ll be grand”…

            And then you suggest that “on demand” will be akin to a queue around McDonalds? No there probably won’t be an actual queue but there will be abortion on demand which i’m sure you can figure out the meaning of.

          4. Bob

            Some comments here on Broadsheet seem to be suggesting that the phrase “hard cases” is somehow new to them but to me it seems to be a clear reference to the phrase
            “Hard cases make bad law”

            Some people may not be familiar with the phrase but to others it is overused to the point of cliche, and the phrase itself has been disputed.

            There are interesting arguments to be made about laws that set out principles or enumerate rights versus specific laws that address unusual cases.

            I think it is important to better explain that context just in case anyone isn’t aware and hopefully discuss things ways that are clearer to each other. Apologies in advance to those who already know all this, but sometimes you’ve got to set the table before you make a meal of it.

          5. Listrade

            I can only speak for myself, but my objection is that it is being used as a means to avoid talking about the specifics of those cases, the people who have been affected, to dehumanise their cases and to give the impression they are one off isolated cases rather than the true number.

          6. SOQ

            Agreed Listrade. And also, I find it strange how people who have never been in these situations, especially men, can argue with such certainty that having an abortion is such a easy and casual thing to do.

            Have they ever sat down and even talked to a woman who has been through such an ordeal? I very much doubt it.

        3. Nigel

          I think you mean that if abortion is available women will feel emboldened to have unprotected sex because they know they can seek the medical treatment if they get pregnant, in much the same way they must be thinking that if they catch an STD they can also just go seek the appropriate medical treatment. Frankly there’s a lot to unpack there but it’s your luggage not mine so good luck with it.

          1. Paul

            If you find a cure for something, then people will cease worrying about catching that thing. It’s rather unfortunate that you consider this to be a concept that needs “unpacking”.

          2. Listrade

            We don’t know how many women use abortion for contraception. We do know there’s a very high uptake of contraception in the uk 82%. Does the 180,000 abortions a year in the UK correlate to the remaining 18% of people who don’t use contraception? Don’t know, worth checking out.

            But no one really knows, so you’re just making up a scare story to justify the status quo. There is something you do know, hopefully, and that’s women.

            How many of the women you know well do you think would use abortion as contraception? All? Some? A few? None?

            You don’t know all women and what would be in the mind of all women, but you might get a better idea of whether it’s a fear worth considering or not by thinking of those you know or even asking them.

          3. Nigel

            There are so many things we have cures for that you still wouldn’t want to catch and would want to actively avoid catching where possible for reasons running on a spectrum from simple convenience to cures that are almost as bad as the diseases that this comment isn’t even funny.

          4. Paul

            There certainly are Nigel, thanks for that little tit-bit of information, I’ll put that with the rest of my Nigel’s brain farts collection

          5. Paul

            Listorade – so the concept of people using abortion as a form of contraception is just a scare story I’m making up? C’mon, that’s ridiculous like.

            And I don’t need to go out talking to random women to ascertain whether or not women and men on the whole will use abortion as a form of contraception, they will, we both know that even if one of us won’t admit it.

          6. Listrade

            No I’m asking what the number of cases is and if it is significant.

            I mean actual cases of death, humiliation, trauma, pain and ill health are just isolated hard cases and shouldn’t influence the legislation.

            Well same in this case. I’m sure there are cases of abortion as a contraceptive, but how many cases? If it isn’t a majority then I see no reason why a hard case should be used to stop legislation.

          7. Nigel

            Wow Paul I’m so glad you’re in here elevating the old discourse the way you do.

        4. Listrade

          But according to the No campaign, the existing law protects them.

          They aren’t hard cases, they are human beings and they aren’t isolated. All you have to do is listen to the stories and not ignore them.

          We accepted the reality of abortion by allowing for travel abroad, we just chose to export the issue.

          We rejected the attempt to take away the right of abortion in the case of suicide (though I don’t remember the current No side pontificating on the competence of the government to legislate in that case).

          You’re pointing at one corner and one aspect of the abortion debate and dismissing the reality that many pregnant women face.

          They don’t get a say in their health when pregnant in the country they live in. Not until they face imminent death.

          The problem is that when we talk about “the majority of cases” we actually don’t know what the reasons are behind those abortions and that’s where a person’s own biases can come in to fill in the gaps.

          No one I know on the Yes side is voting yes blindly, they know what abortion means. They know how abortions are performed. They know what open access up until 12 weeks means. But they have their own personal experiences themselves, friends and family to also know what impact the 8th has on a person.

          In an ideal world, we’d have sensible sex education in school, we’d have no hang ups on who can access contraception. We wouldn’t have the Iona Institute fighting and lobbying against those.

          But even if we had all that. Even if there was never an unplanned pregnancy again, we’d still have the hard cases.

          We’d still have rape pregnancies. We’d still have the heartbreak of FFA. We’d still have refusal of medical care until a woman’s death was imminent. None of those are protected or can be protected while the 8th is in place.

          Even with everything being perfect, we’d still have them.

          The hard cases are more than a few and if you’re happy to let them exist and ignore them, fine, that’s your choice. But don’t start off lecturing others on lack of empathy when the No campaign side steps and debases “hard cases” at every opportunity.

          1. Paul

            Respectfully, you are the one “pointing at one corner and one aspect of the debate” by taking the hard cases argument and focusing on it as rationale for allowing this legislation pass.
            And I’m even in agreement with you on that, we need to legislate for them but this legislation goes way further than that this will allow for people to get abortions basically at will.

          2. Listrade


            “taking the hard cases argument and focusing on it as rationale for allowing this legislation pass”

            How do you make is sound like a bad thing arguing for legislation to protect those who have gone on record as being harmed by it?

            and with equal respect, but if we need to legislate for those cases as you state, then we need to repeal the 8th and all other debate moot at this point.

          3. Nigel

            Also we’re not passing legislation. We’re trying to repeal the 8th. Which is impacting all these hard cases and making them difficult, if not impossible, to resolve safely.

          4. Paul

            Listerade – I’m not trying to make it sound like a bad thing I’m just trying to show you that you are doing the very thing you accuse me of doing!

            Also, yes we need to legislate for the hard cases but with a sharper instrument than simply repealing the 8th.

          5. Listrade

            What kind of sharper instrument? Mullen suggested amending the constitution for the “hard cases”. Is that what you had in mind?

            The proposed legislation is pretty sharp. It is restricted to serious risk to health (confirmed by 2 doctors, foetus isn’t viable and no other means of protecting health), it is restricted to FFA, it is restricted to emergencies. That is strict. That is sharp.

            The blunt side is the 12 weeks. I’m open to hearing any other sharper way of giving the option of abortion in the case of rape and incest.

          6. Paul

            Listerade – correct the blunt side is the whole 12 weeks thing, blunt AF and if we can’t sort it out with sharp legislation we’d be better off leaving it as is imo.

          7. Listrade

            Then help us out here Paul, how do we sharpen it?

            Mullen said we could legislate for rape and incest in the constitution, how?

            The no side want to debate it, but that doesn’t mean just saying something is bad, let’s discuss alternatives.

            12 weeks is blunt but necessarily so for rape and incest. Gimme a better option for the 90 women and girls pregnant from a rape.

          8. Paul

            Listerade – do i look like a lawyer? get someone to draw up legislation allowing for it in certain cases, problem solved

          9. Listrade

            Lol. You be you Paul.

            But while you’re avoiding the issue, they had whole committee hearing and hours of expert testimony. Then lawyers did look at it and determined it was the best means of legislating for it.

            But yeah we could do that all again just because you don’t want to discuss it.

          10. graham

            I was listening to the Joe Duffy show to a woman who was in a crises pregnancy
            She was told that the baby she was carrying had little or no chance of survival
            They in the hospital recommended the UK for an abortion
            She decided to continue the pregnancy
            She found virtually all unsupportive and felt that she was irresponsible to carry on
            The baby was born and was healthy
            The child now is eight years old
            It was a long interview and the interviewer was not Duffy but it was the way she was interviewed which was quite un sympathetic and he tried to put words into her mouth and twist her words
            She stood quite determined and corrected him many times
            I do not know how many more people listened to her but it was around two to three this afternoon

          11. SOQ

            And I know someone who was diagnosed with breast cancer, refused treatment and is healthy five years later. Doctors are like risk managers, they give advice based on probability. It is up to the patient to make the decision and in this case it was the right one.

            But, if it had gone wrong and she had not have been warned of the probability, she would have been onto the Joe Duffy show too of course.

        5. Paul

          For the last time I never said it was a pleasant carefree operation but yes people will start using it irresponsibly because their bodies or some bs like that.

          This whole “no one ever uses abortion as a form of contraception” is stupid, of course they do and everybody knows it.
          Tbh a lot of the repeal side’s arguments are just as weak as the above, it’s mostly just reactive nonsense of the type kids engage in as soon as they go to college and learn a thing. It would be interesting to view the age demographics of both sides.

          1. Nigel

            To be fair it’s hard to respond to an assertion repeated with little basis and lots of assumptions and which has misogynistic overtones (which you presumably don’t intend but c’mon ‘using abortion as contraception’ is a heavily loaded phrase that carries heavy judgement about the loose morals of women.) It’s vague, it’s slightly repulsive and to my mind it cheapens the very idea of how much of the struggle for women’s rights has actually had to do with access to contraception.

            However fraught this referendum has been, at least this inflammatory assertion wasn’t used by anybody but yourself that I know of. That’s progress, of a sort.

          2. Listrade

            How many women use abortion as a form of contraception? Not how many you suspect, how many.

            I just want to make sure it is a majority and not a small number of hard cases….

          3. Paul

            I’m not casting any aspersions on the morals of women just saying that they are humans and so are inherently useless and will end up using it as a form of contraception because of whatever reason. if men could get pregnant I’d be using the same logic against them.

          4. Listrade

            3rd time lucky, which bit of the UK stats on abortion and contraceptives show that there is widespread use of abortion as a contraceptive?

          5. kellma

            And yet Paul you are determined to forge forth in the proliferation of this “inherently useless” race. Let the utterly useless humans raise children…. Enough said.

          6. Paul

            Listerado – to answer your 3rd time lucky thing. I’m not looking up stats that probably don’t even exist, you think anyone is gonna fess up to using it as a form of contraception like? The non existence of stats backing up my claim doesn’t mean it’s false though, just that it might be unprovable.
            Or not, who knows if such stats exist.

          7. Susan

            How do you know women will use abortion as contraception-seriously have you a crystal ball or something? Have you done an in depth analysis of women in general and thats how you’ve come to that conclusion? Seriously, where is your proof? When you say “We all know that will happe” No, “We” dont, YOU’RE making an ill-founded assertion without any eveidence.

          8. Paul

            Susan don’ be so silly, are you really suggesting that abortion has never been used as contraception by people? C’mon like ffs… having to plow through this sort of nonsense is a waste of time for everybody involved

          9. Nigel

            Man who criticises quality of other people’s arguments resorts to appeal to incredulity. No-one particularly surprised.

        6. Lobster

          Again. Bad laws make hard cases. When you have a law which has caused so much hardship to so many people, it clearly isn’t working, at least not for women.

          1. Paul

            So you want to magnify and then transfer the hardship that some women suffer onto foetuses?

            Why don’t we instead try and come up with a way where nobody has to suffer hardship or get killed?

          2. Starina

            @Paul I’m sure there’s an alternate universe somewhere where that’s possible.

          3. Paul

            In the absence of such an alternate universe Starina perhaps we could just aim to minimise that hardship and the people who are affected by it? And by that I mean not kill anybody or at least kill the least amount of people possible.

          4. Daisy Chainsaw

            Paul, what does a 9 week gestational foetus suffer during an abortion? Do you think the foetus suffers during a miscarriage?

        7. eiram

          How many times do people have to be told??

          Abortion is not contraception. Is not. Cannot be. Never ever will be.

          Contraception is supposed to prevent pregnancy. If an abortion is being considered it is already to late.

          It’s right there in the name CONTRAception. contra, against, opposite

    3. daniel mallon

      That’s utter nonsense tho. They don’t go ‘from being persons to inconveniences’. They haven’t reached the ‘person’ stage yet. Any argument they have is religious.
      No one’s getting aborted against their will, blastocysts don’t have will. Any argument they could is religious.
      No one’s conflating your views with the Church, your views are entirely rooted in current Church dogma, and nothing else, and what your accusation of conflation is simply distancing yourself from that fact.
      There’s no legitimate philosophical or scientific reason for the criminalisation of abortion.The only reason to do it is to control women, and the only motivation to do it is Christian dogma or personal preference, and neither of those is a legitimate reason to criminalise someone.
      If you really want to take the church out of it a note vote is purely virtue signalling, philosophically, scientifically, and ethically void.

  2. newsjustin

    With the Yes side ahead in the polls, I guess there’s no need for all Yes voters to turn out. It’ll pass easily. If you are busy or have other commitments on Friday, don’t worry, other people will vote Yes for you.


    1. Repro-choice Bertie

      To help with counting this referendum is being run over two days. If you’re voting Yes you vote on Friday May 25th. If you’re voting No you vote in 1983.

    2. Ron Dolan

      By jove you’re right!

      No need for me to exercise my democratic vote because apparently I am a snowflake or something and voting cramps my wrist.

      Thanks, you’re a lamb!

      (Good article Anne Marie, looking forward to giving you my No.1 in the next GE – again.)

  3. TheRealJane

    Just to note, one of the posters with the image of Savita Halappanavar was taken down and actually burned.

    Don’t let anything put you off voting. There are some brutal people who can see nothing but control slipping from their undeserving grasp.

    1. SOQ

      That doesn’t surprise me in the least. There is all sorts of religious wingnuts loose out there at the moment. And all just because women are asking not to be criminalised and to have the same basic rights as the rest of Europe.

      1. TheRealJane

        I will admit, it did surprise me. It’s the face of an identifiable person who died in great distress and has living family who must surely hear about this.

        I am shocked that someone operates at such a base level.

      2. Paul

        That’s like back in the day in the States when the slave owners were asking not to be criminalised and simply to have the same basic rights as slave owners everywhere, the injustice!

        1. Nigel

          I’ve seen some poorly conceived analogies in my time but this is quite the hot stinky mess you’ve made.

          1. SOQ

            Women in crisis pregnancies = Slave owners. I like it. It’s catchy. As we are going all out on the scare mongering this week, would we have time to run up a few posters?

          2. Frilly Waters

            I have

            piss off

            and lay’ve us be to talk about Weddings and Telly and stuff that looks like Leitrim

          3. Nigel

            Avoid equating women to slave owners in a country where the same religious institution that helped produce the 8th was responsible for enslaving many women for most of their lives for non-criminal breaches of the prevailing religious ethos with the support and knowledge of the state.

          4. Paul

            Scare mongering? What are you even talking about.

            The slave owners analogy incidentally is not as bad as i initially thought, surely you can see the similarity there where both are groups of people who are trying to claim some sort of ownership over others and the ability to decide their fate…..

            And no, no one is claiming ownership over women by saying they can’t kill the person inside them. That is not the definition of ownership at all no matter how many times the repeal side bleat it out.

          5. kellma

            Well, Paul is not that far out really is he?!? The women in the laundries were slave owners of a type. Forced to carry babies that would be taken off them and sold off to the highest bidder….

          6. Nigel

            The No said have come up with some curiously revealing stuff in this campaign, and it’s probably too late for this one to catch on, but mothers as the slave-owners and fetuses as the slaves is a whole squirming can o’ worms with incredibly unpleasant overtones and implications.

          7. Nigel

            kellma – even there the similarities between women confined and forced to have babies that were taken and sold on with the slave trade is too striking and too grim for the inversion to be anything other than nauseating.

            Edit – oh, unless by ‘women in laundries’ you mean the nuns…

          1. Paul

            Please try and do better, really like, wtf sort of half bottomed effort at I dunno what is this meant to be?

          2. Janet, I ate my Avatar

            pretty American analogy…slave trade
            plus a few other incidences of Americanism of speech lead me to suspect that you probably don’t even have a vote here Paul
            correct me if I’m wrong ?

          3. Paul

            yes you’re wrong, I’m purebred Irish from the bog holes of this hole of a country but actually am just back from North America where I’ve been for a while

          4. Janet, I ate my Avatar

            Sounds like you are delighted to be back
            since you have been gone mentalities have evolved from calling anyone a ” purebreed”
            attitudes to wemon have changed too
            maybe you should try catch up

          1. Paul

            hahahaha you guys crack me up, a half burnt pic of a dead chick (RIP) who is now being used as a pawn in this debate is a “grim image”.
            LOL you can’t actually be seriously suggesting it’s grimmer than the opposing sides aborted foetuses pics can you? Y’know what, i actually think you can lol

            The crazy on both sides is out in force indeed.

          2. Paul

            hahahaha yeah coz referring to a woman as a chick is misogynistic. You really are cocked and loaded and ready for action aren’t you? Kill kill kill the men :)

          3. Janet, I ate my Avatar

            I’m rather fond of men as it happens,
            You are fast becoming the minority as an example of a “man” who would disrespect a tragic woman by calling her some dead chick

          1. TheRealJane

            Well, it’s either a racist or an anti abortion person or some toxic combination of the two would be my guess, but I can only guess.

            A deeply unpleasant individual, of that I’m certain.

          2. Nullzero

            Confirmation bias. I’m sorry but jumping to conclusions doesn’t cut it. You’re filling in the blanks when what is needed is real evidence. Burning that poster stands to do more harm than good to the No side which piques my interest in finding out who actually did this.

          3. SOQ

            Does it matter? It shows the level this debate has sunk to, which should be enough for everyone.

          4. Cian

            I’m going to take the bait:

            Do you mean it could have been done by a “Yes” person – who think that the “No” side would be blamed for it? — shock!!

            Or maybe it was done by a “No” person, hoping we would think it was a “Yes” person looking to blame the “No side” – and get sympathy votes. – double-shock

            Or maybe it was done by a “yes” person hoping that we would consider it was a “No” person doing it hoping we would think it was a “Yes” person looking to blame the “No side” – and get sympathy votes.

            Or maybe…

          5. Nullzero

            I think that the pathetic behavior on both sides of this debate means nothing is beyond being possible.

          6. Nigel

            There’s a No campaigner making fake Yes accounts on twitter and contacting Yes campaigners and inviting them to meet him or meet up or assemble down at the docks. Just the one guy as far as I know, but creepy as feck. Then there were the fascist signs handed out to Yes campaigners for John McGuirk to tweet photos of. I’ve seen no evidence of anyone on the Yes side employing such tactics.

            (I doubt there’s anything ‘official’ about them, by the way, they’re probably fringe creeps, the same as whoever burned the sign, just to be clear.)

          7. Paul

            OMG #metoo
            this is surely a hate crime of some sort? a half burnt pic of someone? Call in the garda asap I’m sure they’ll put their top guys on it immediately haha

            Time to catch these fringe creeps once and for all

  4. Ina.

    What’s the deal with the Social Democrats? Do they support a longer period than the 12 weeks one? Is Roisin Shorthall anti-choice? The SD message is very confused.

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      I remember you asking this last week. Would it affect how you vote, knowing their stance either way?

      Just curious, seeing as this isn’t the first time you’ve asked.

      1. Ina.

        I’m a hardcore yes voter and will be voting yes (naturally). But 12 weeks is way too restrictive. And once the yes vote is passed, the Oireachtas will be able to legislate for 24 weeks if it wants. Or longer. I can’t make head or tail of the SD’s silence on the extension of the 12 wk period. People have told me that Roisin Shorthall is anti-choice, but that Murphy would support 24 wks if she were leader and not just joint-leader.

        1. Paul

          I’d be interested in hearing at which point you think it’s unacceptable to abort and the logic you use to underpin your thinking?

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          I think we’re going to need a lunchtime pick-me-up. It’s only Monday…

        1. Ina.

          Because I still haven’t got an answer to the question! The SDs, who I had thought would have no problem as a progressivist party answering this question, still haven’t answered it. Their silence on this issue is annoying me. They’re supposed to be the party of transparency.

  5. Lilly

    ‘I really don’t feel like I have any option but to make one last desperate plea for a YES vote this coming Friday.’

    Oh yes you do. At this stage, everyone is aware of the ramifications of their vote. I wish both sides would give it a rest now for the last few days, and give people the space to contemplate the issues.

          1. Paul

            can you not do your feminism somewhere else til after the election? people’s lives are at risk like, and way more than the lives that you’re going to retort with

          2. Janet, I ate my Avatar

            not do my feminism?
            On a topic concerning wemons rights and equality in respect to health care?
            I personally can’t think of a time when it’s more appropriate to ” do my feminism ” as you so charmingly label any call on your misogynistic BS ….dear

          3. mildred st. meadowlark

            Your mask is slipping.

            Like it’s really obvious. Fix it Paul or they’ll all know you’re actually Janus.

  6. rotide

    “I do believe it’s important that the hyperbole is removed from the conversation”

    Eyeroll emoji

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      Ro, you seem in right form this morning. What crawled into your cornflakes and left you an angry voicemail? Aside from it being Monday, which is universally understood as being the Worst day.

      1. rotide

        Mildred, Anne Marie has written an article peppered with Hyperbole, even the title is clickbait-y. That line deserves every eyeroll possible

        1. Lilly

          And this:

          ‘this really is a once in a generation vote and as such its importance simply cannot be overstated.’

          Really? Wow. Who would’ve thunk.

  7. Dr.Fart MD

    so many people are making this about ‘sides’ .. ‘well the no side this, and the yes side this’ .. which has made some of this more about an ‘us versus them’ thing, but we are going to be voting on something that will effect everyone. Women aren’t a pawn in some battle going on. This is about giving women control over their own bodies and helping women with childbirth problems have a solution where they can get out alive and not die because some dumb law, it’s about not forcing someone to have a rape baby. There are many reasons why, but before going into any of them we shouldn’t even get past “giving women control over their own bodies”, there shouldn’t need to be case examples after that to give credence to it, that alone should be enough.

        1. Paul

          Agreed Nigel, rationalising the killing of other human beings is never a simple task and so it certainly is nice to be distracted from it irrespective of how stupid the distraction may or may not be. +1

          1. Nigel

            I’m so glad you bumbled along to show us how to engage in intelligent debate and rigorous argument. It lasted about five seconds but you almiost put up a good show while it lasted.

    1. Paul

      I completely agree, women aren’t the pawns here the unborn are and we need to make it legal for women to kill them so we can get back at the church and so that medical reasons/ their bodies/ autonomy.

      It’s not about forcing someone to kill another it’s about giving them the choice. (insert flowers & heart emojis).

      1. ReproBertie (SCU)

        Repeal doesn’t force anyone to do anything.

        Retain forces women to carry to term pregnancies they, for whatever reason, don’t want to.

        1. Paul

          I know, it’s about giving them the choice (insert flower emojis), such a noble aspiration until you realise it’s the choice to kill someone wtf

          Retain forces them not to kill.

        2. Bob

          How far does choice go?

          Even with Repeal there will be teen pregnancies like the X case where the mother doesn’t legally have the right to choose her own healthcare. (Her parents can decide.)

          It’s going to be very very difficult to legislate.

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            No, but I do have work, which takes precedence over arguing with someone on the internet. So… laterz

          1. Nigel

            It won’t kill anyone. It’ll just repeal the 8th, which harms women. You are easily confused!

  8. ReproBertie (SCU)

    Can we just get this over with so we can start the euthanasia campaign?

      1. Paul

        hahaha no no it’ll be like “my mammy/ daddy my choice”, “offspring autonomy” and my favorite “trust the children/ doctors”

        1. Cian

          In a slippery slope argument, a course of action is rejected because, with little or no evidence, one insists that it will lead to a chain reaction resulting in an undesirable end or ends. The slippery slope involves an acceptance of a succession of events without direct evidence that this course of events will happen.

          1. Paul

            Does the history of similar preceding events and the natural tide of conservatism towards progression count as evidence?

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            No, it simply shows there’s a precedent for it.

            Just because there is a historical precedent, it doesn’t follow that it will happen.

  9. SOQ

    Isn’t it interesting how in all the abortion debates on this website, not one practising Catholic has declared themselves as such?

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