The Woman With Two Points


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Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Mark Tighe, in the Ireland edition of The Times, reports:

Enda Kenny raised the case of a child who has survived past his first birthday despite being born with a large part of his skull missing in response to a question about the eight amendment of the constitution.

A woman, a mother of two who has asked not to be named, told The Times that she confronted the taoiseach about Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws at Dublin airport on Friday, November 6, after the two had gone through security together.

She said Mr Kenny asked her what she wanted to replace the amendment with. He told the woman that he had been researching the issue of fatal foetal abnormalities and recently read about a child that had passed its first birthday even though he had a condition that meant most of his brain and skull were missing.

It is understood Mr Kenny was referring to the case of Jaxon Emmett Buell

…  A spokeswoman for Mr Kenny declined to comment on the discussion, but admitted that the taoiseach was carrying out research about abortion and fatal foetal abnormalities.

“…The taoiseach is thinking deeply and reading a range of material about the subject. As is well-known, the taoiseach seeks to engage with people, listen to their point of view and inform his thinking with the stories and issues they talk about with him.


Kenny ‘thinking deeply’ on abortion law (Mark Tighe, The Times)

Previously: The Man With One Point

Mark Stedman/

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62 thoughts on “The Woman With Two Points

  1. Fergus the magic postman

    Enda Kenny has managed to survive this long, and is even running the country with most of his brain missing.

      1. Dόn Pídgéόní

        And nothing to do with the constant blockades that have been, and are still being, put up to stop women, primarily poor non-white women, from accessing care that is their legal right to receive, no nothing to do with that at all!

        1. ollie

          “think before you speak”
          Here’s one for you Don, practice what you preach.

          The resources required to go to the UK and have an abortion are not available to many, regardless of skin colour.
          Unless you are trying to turn an abortion discussion into a discussion about the rights of asylum seekers to travel abroad………. you’re not are you?

          1. Don Pidgeoni

            That link was for the US genius… And color matters in Ireland as well. I’m sure even you can think that through a little.

      2. newsjustin

        If you read the piece, you’ll see that it’s not the illegal practices, for the most part, that are being commented on. It is the barbaric reality of “good practice” abortion as described under oath by practitioners in good standing.

        “Dr Feisullin was asked what would happen if she missed the heart and the baby was born alive.
        She explained that the live baby would be covered with a blanket and given “comfort care”.
        You could see the genuine puzzlement of people in the court about what “comfort care” was until Dr Feisullin cleared up any confusion.
        “You . . . really just keep it warm, you know. It will eventually pass,” she said.”

        1. Nially

          Except that the vast majority of abortions aren’t surgical. Where they are, they’re usually a consequence of (a) a woman who’s been forced to delay having an abortion due to healthcare barriers, either legal or financial or (b) a late diagnosis of some kind of health issue with her or the foetus. So that article was, at best, loose with the truth.

          1. Nially

            And they happen *more* regularly for Irish women when they’re forced to wait while they scrape together the few thousand quid necessary to travel to England.

            It’s very difficult to fully stop abortion. It’s very easy to make abortion more dangerous, expensive and cruel. Every barrier you put up to women accessing abortion just makes dangerous abortions at the very edge of term limits more likely.

            For what it’s worth, I don’t believe in term limits at all, because from everything I’ve read the overwhelming majority of women seeking “late-term abortions” in areas with liberal abortion laws are doing it for health reasons or because of a late diagnosis of FFA or similar. It’s not like women who have had the option to decide whether or not to stay pregnancy go through 30 weeks of a pregnancy and then decide to end it on a whim. But even if you do believe in term limits, the best way to ensure those limits aren’t pushed is for abortion to be free, safe and legal, at the earliest possible stage of pregnancy.

          2. rotide

            and the best way to ensure access to legal abortion is to steer clear of ‘FFA, NO TERM LIMITS, ABORTION ON DEMAND’ rehtoric.

            Also, free? Persuade me it should be free.

          3. Nially

            “and the best way to ensure access to legal abortion is to steer clear of ‘FFA, NO TERM LIMITS, ABORTION ON DEMAND’ rehtoric.”

            “Abortion on demand” is rhetoric largely used by pro-lifers. I assume “FFA” is ‘free for all’, in which case I’d say the same. We can’t help how pro-life people characterise it, and it seems wrong to me to campaign for something demonstrably less effective or to campaign dishonestly. If you don’t want women to be able to access abortion as and when they need to, that’s your lookout, but the advice you’re giving me here doesn’t lead to the outcome that I want. Legal abortion in highly limited circumstances (fatal foetal abnormalities, rape, incest) would be better than the current situation, but wouldn’t solve the issue of abortion either practically (in that thousands of women would still travel to England) or principally (in that women would still be treated as incubators and denied control over their own bodies).

            “Also, free? Persuade me it should be free.”

            Pretty sure I don’t have to ‘persuade’ you of jack sh1t, mate, and honestly, based on everything I’ve seen of you, you’re an idiot and a fool who wouldn’t listen even if I made the most persuasive argument in the world. I believe healthcare should be free.I consider abortions to be healthcare. In terms of what I was saying above about avoiding late-term abortions where possible, financial barriers are anathema to that. That’s all.

    1. rotide

      saw this last week.

      This is why any abortion law needs to have term limits, despite the screaming hyperbole spouted everywhere.

      1. ollie

        Before you go all warm and fuzzy, do a bit of research on the type of movies produced by McAleer and McElhinney

      1. martco

        you mean instead of paying for their flagship Audi’s, questionable enterprises run by his puppeteers and mates and not forgetting the banks?

      2. nellyb

        Sure, I am pro-choice and support either choice. We are wasting money through very poor governance. An extra 5 ring-fenced euro a month in tax won’t break most backs and will make a difference for disabled and carers.
        Of course, there is a problem of disability care being treated as business, for profit, instead of just covering running costs. But this has nothing to do with parties or governance. It’s a wider public malaise.

  2. Clo

    Just to point out, this is a very rare disorder (Lissencephaly), and is not to be confused (as many reports of Buell implicitly do, and clearly as the taoiseach does) with the more common and fatal condition of anencephaly.

    1. meadowlark

      Thanks for clarifying that. So much misinformation flying around, especially with topics like this.

    2. Caroline

      So he’s still half-assing it, that’s comforting at least. Unless he’s selectively reading the research to look for some great gotcha excuses to justify doing nothing. That would be even more comforting.

      1. FreshFish

        Here’s the news. He’s just one man. He doesn’t make policy let alone take a shite on his own without a retinue of lackeys advising him what ply tissue paper to use. Don’t invest so much in one guys persona

  3. phil

    Dont care what he thinks , I what to know what the people of Ireland think, and he is preventing that …

    1. newsjustin

      As are the testimonies of “best practice” abortion practitioners that gave evidence of real abortions at his trial.

    2. DubLoony

      Yes it is. Nothing about the US health system should be used as an example of best practice.
      There’s no publicity about such cases in Canada or UK.

      1. newsjustin

        There’s no publicity because it’s bad for business. The “best practice” late term abortions that happen in the US happen in the UK also. Complete with arms and legs being pulled out and accidental live births with dying babies covered with a towel or tissue to “comfort” them.

        Like the Irish Times article (linked above) points out, the legal, best-practice abortions are every bit as horrific as the illegal ones Gonsell carried out.

  4. declan

    Not to be accused of been a Young Fine Gaeler (if only I was still young) but at least he’s thinking about it (or it’s just PR).

    I’d much rather a thoughtful leader who can “evolve” to quote Obama on an issue then some absolutist by the book type. Societies change for good and bad, our leaders generally reflect that.

  5. han solo's carbonite dream

    comments here are a bit silly

    man takes time and researches before making very important decision.

    lets jump on him so….for being quite reasonable.

    I’d get more ration comments on facebook or the journal.

    1. Fergus the magic postman

      How long do you reckon he needs for his research? Probably longer than the average Joe I’ll grant you, but at the end of the day the very important decision you mention, is a decision the people of Ireland will make. We just need this Gobsheen’s go-ahead.

      1. rotide

        It’s called the democratic process. It’s how all referenda work.

        Don’t worry, it will come eventually.

          1. rotide

            You should use that pyschic ability of yours to better use and predict next weeks lotto numbers.

            It will net you precisely 0 euros.

          2. Fergus the magic postman

            If I could predict the lotto I’d make some money. I don’t think I’d get too good a price on your lads bottling this in the few months they have left.

      2. FreshFish

        We could replace gobsheens with mediocre liberal fascists, greasy tills would then be ringing loud and proud in baby killing factories

    2. donal

      The issue isn’t with him researching and considering the issue. It’s that he refuses to meet the campaign group composed of parents who have had a FFA diagnosis and had to obtain medical treatment abroad. If he is considering it as deeply as he says he should be open to meeting all interested parties.

    3. Sham Bob

      You would say so for most people, han solo’s carbonite dream, but this is Enda Kenny. He makes things up even when he knows he’s on record.

      Though Enda has been to the websummit so his internet research skills are probably better than mine.

    4. MoyestWithExcitement

      “lets jump on him so….for being quite reasonable.”

      See, the trouble here is his reasoning. His response to abortion is ‘well, I read about this kid who survived past his first birthday with half his head missing.’ That implies his ability to reason, at least on this, is terrible.

      1. DubLoony

        The bit that scares me is the “what do we replace the 8th with if we remove it” He just doesn’t seem to get that all references to reproduction should be removed from the constitution.

  6. Sham Bob

    He probably had another little think about it on the plane. Resolved to call someone as soon as he landed to get him more solid material to deflect questions like these. Also to get him some prime ministerial flight upgrade where he doesn’t get bothered anymore. If only he could be seen to use the government jet.

  7. Chris

    …so come on ladies lets pump out those babies! Lets get back to being the best small country we can. You know a man with a child in his eyes and a half full pint in his hand once said to me, ‘Sure all these daft women, who feckin’ knows what they want!?’. I certainly will be thinking deeply of all the ladies tonight oh yes I will.

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