Violation Once Again

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image_283635_320Sarah Ditum

Via The New Statesman:

The story reported in today’s Sunday Times is a catalogue of violation. First, a woman was raped (violation one). She sought an abortion but apparently doctors obstructed her from getting the treatment she needed (violation two); although many Irish women travel to the UK in this situation, the woman in this case could not because she was a foreign national with uncertain immigration status, and her limited English likely compounded her vulnerability.

Desperate at this stage, she expressed suicidal intent and went on hunger and fluid strike: the Health Service Executive (HSE) obtained a court order under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 for the forcible rehydration of the woman (violation three). Finally in early August, a certificate was issued allowing for a medical procedure to be carried out upon the woman: the next day, the baby was delivered by caesarian (violation four), at 24-26 weeks gestation, which is the very cusp of viability. The baby is still receiving medical care. The condition of the woman has not been reported.

…And what trauma. As an onlooker to this case, what strikes me is the constant traffic of foreign objects through this woman’s body, imposing foreign wills. The penis of the rapist who forced himself into her. The nasogastric tube stuck into her nostril and down against her resisting throat. The scalpel of the doctors who cut her open, their hands in her belly, the moving horror of another body within your restrained flesh. The unbelievable awfulness of being compelled to provide life to the child of the man who raped you. And the terrible silence of voicelessness, a woman with no tongue that would let her be heard. This is the violence the Irish state imposes on women. This is why Irish women are campaigning to “Repeal the Eighth”: because women know that we are human, and none of us should have to live under a law that says otherwise.

Violation after violation: why did Ireland force a woman on hunger strike to bear her rapist’s child? (Sarah Ditum, New Statesman)

Sarah Ditum

Earlier: Without Consent

Thanks Orla

44 thoughts on “Violation Once Again

  1. ABM

    What a load of emotive clap-trap. Written by a London Guardian columnist (no less), failed academic, feminist and aggressive humanist.

    So-called progressives wedged the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act into being and now they want to prise things open even further until they get the abortion-on-demand they crave.

    1. ABM: social misfit

      Erm, ABM, are you really in any position to call anyone “failed” given your online presence spewing bile and personal bitterness is but merely a displacement activity for a sad and lonely life? Once again, ask yourself do normal men of your age, psychologically healthy and socially functional behave as you do online? Does a man with a balanced life have the time you do to devote to online trolling? It is literally incredulous – years now and you reply within moments of your causes celebres being mentioned. Once again you refuse to acknowledge the grim hypocrisy of your existence. The signs are there. Were you not so lonely, you wouldn’t really have time to spend furiously bashing your keyboard feeding your pretend obsessions, now would you? Truth hurts.

      1. rotide

        You took the time to create a user name based on him and write this diatribe against a troll who rattles this off in 10 seconds and you call him pathetic and lonely?

        1. lolly

          pay no attention abm:SM – I for one am grateful you regularly save me the bother of calling out the despicable troll. unfortunately I think he rather enjoys the attention.

    2. Anna

      you never answer the question of whether you were ever cautioned by the gardai for paedophilic activities. you seem to forgive yourself your sins quite easily, and are harsh on others.

  2. Nobbley

    I really don’t believe that most Irish people would condone any sentient being being put through this mangled experience, it’s just brutal. From what sounds like Direct Provision to direct denial to direct extraction, the Irish “S”tate can really be a nasty, faceless horror devoid of humanity. No change here then.

    1. cluster

      Many Irish people seem to favour this false distinction – the Irish people are great, the Irish State is nasty – usually unaccompanied by an overly harsh reading of the State’s actions.

      The Irish state is about as representative of its electorate as any democracy save Switzerland. There is little serious objection to Direct Provision amongst the public and almost nobody seriously fighting for full reproductive rights for women.

      A horrifying case like this is a direct result of what we have asked our politicians to do. If you haven’t asked your politicians anything, then you are part of the problem.

      1. Odis

        1) Direct Provision in no way equates to female reproductive rights.

        2) My elected representatives are Anti Abortion. The representatives, i will be offered the opportunity to elect in the forthcoming election will doubtless, also be Anti Abortion.

        3). Nice to know we are up there on the pedestal of democracy, with the Swiss. While Irish women have to travel to the undemocratic hell that is the UK, in order to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

      2. Nobbley

        There’s three people that think they run this country, they don’t really, not the big stuff. There’s a cabinet that should drive policy that drives little or nothing. There’s a Dail that should debate policy that is muzzled and whipped. There’s a Senate that needs changing but stays the same. There’s local councillors that should be the link on the ground but are accountable for very little. There’s a public service that collectively primarily serves its own interests.

        Look at RACI model of the Irish state. Responsible? cannot think of one. Accountable? Absolutely not, wash your mouth out. Consulted? Only if it’s billable hours and involves one of the big three or five. Informed? only if some f@$ker leaks.

      1. Medium Sized C

        I think you need to read that link you just posted.

        The No true scotsman fallacy is not actually about using the name of a country.

        1. Gav D

          “Many Irish people seem to favour this false distinction – the Irish people are great, the Irish State is nasty ”

          Think the above meets the intention fairly well, MSC. “No true Irishman” would be as nasty as the state. Which is just a collection of “irishmen”.

  3. Zynks

    Any civilised country would feel embarrassment for this and do whatever was necessary to avoid repetition, but not in Ireland, we know better, we don’t care about women or human rights. The UNHRC guy was right, women are just containers with no rights in this country.

  4. Jay

    You know, when the legislation was announced and we found about the panel of 3 people deciding on whether a woman could have an abortion, there was plenty of people joking that the decision would take 9 months. It’s pretty messed up that this doesn’t seem to have been all that far from the truth.

  5. rotide

    Whatever about the embarassment of this whole mess, anyone saying that saving someones life through rehydration is a violation is an idiot and doesn’t deserve to be listened to.

    1. Nially

      Ah sound – you should probably let the UN know that, ’cause they’re actually not all that cool with the whole “forced feeding” thing, particularly when done to vulnerable people who have thrown themselves on the State’s (apparently non-existant) mercy.

      “It’s OK, guys! Rotide has decided that you’re idiots who don’t deserve to be listened to!” we’ll say to the Human Rights Commission.

      “You too, Amnesty International” we’ll add as we stroll cheerfully into the sunset, untroubled by whether any of the legal experts who have spent years examining this issue might know more than some flippant Broadsheet muppet who doesn’t want to have to think too hard about difficult things.

  6. Sidewinder

    Every pro-lifer in Ireland should have to read each and every detail of this case so they know the price this woman has had to pay so they could get their ridiculous ban.

    This case puts the seal on the failure of the ban also. No woman who has read this story will go anywhere near these panels if they need an abortion in the future, they’ll get online to Women on Web or they’ll get the first flight to Liverpool.

    So congratulations pro-lifers. The result of all your hard work is one severely traumatised woman, one severely premature baby and one hell of a motivation for women to completely circumvent Irish law to get what they need.

    1. Nially

      Every pro-lifer should be imprisoned, force-fed and cut open for a good bout of unnecessary surgery. And then told they were really asking for it, and they should be happy that the’yre alive.

    2. well

      They dont care, theres already comments from one loon on the journal.ie page calling the poor woman a liar and murder.

  7. fluffybiscuits

    We really have to question the time periods . From twelve weeks to twenty five weeks there was a massive delay in deciding to allow her to have a termination or not. A woman was forced to get pregnant against her will, read that ‘against her will’. Sarah’s paralells that she has drawn are very clever, this is a person being raped by the state, raped of her rights and choices of how she controls of her own body. Pro lifers (those who condemn abortion but will support mass murder of children by Israeli forces, welcome to the christian right) will now be bathing in the blood of those who will undouobtedly buy abortifacients on the internet to terminate their pregnancy at home as they do not have the money to go to England or the continent for an abortion. There is a lot of gravitas here to pursue a serious robust case through the human rights options.

    1. well

      “Is sex-selective abortion morally acceptable? No:”

      I wasn’t aware we had a psychic that could read the minds of every woman that asks for an abortion.

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