A Grand Pro-Life Coalition

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Pro Choice supporter in Dublin in 2012

According to the whichcandidate.ie election site, of the 44 elected Fianna Fáil TDs, only two – Lisa Chambers and Jim O’Callaghan – favour expanding access to abortion; of 50 Fine Gael TDs, only Kate O’Connell and Paschal Donohoe favour more liberal laws.

To put those figures in context: while 87% of the general population favour expanding access to abortion, only 4.5% of Fianna Fáil TDs and 4% of Fine Gael TDs do.

… I agree that the campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment isn’t going to lie down under a conservative coalition. I too believe that we can put a referendum on this government’s agenda.

But if our referendum is begrudged to us by overwhelmingly anti-choice politicians, are these really the people we want to preside over it?

Leo Varadkar, minister for health under the outgoing government, regarded by many as a future Fine Gael leader, has publicly stated that while the current legislation may be too restrictive, he wants to keep a “pro-life” amendment in the constitution.

After all our work, can Ireland’s feminist movement risk letting Fine Fáil scheme to replace the eighth with another constitutional amendment? To offer – masquerading as middle ground – not the opportunity to repeal the eighth but to amend it?

Ireland’s election result is no stepping stone to abortion rights. It’s a roadblock (Emer O’Toole, The Guardian)

Laura Hutton/Rollingnews

60 thoughts on “A Grand Pro-Life Coalition

      1. Shanti

        If she’s under 35 the doctors won’t do it anyway.. After all, it’s not like women are capable of making their own decisions now is it..

        1. Anomanomanom

          Then don’t get pregnant. It really is that simple(not talking rape or the rare occasions protection doesn’t work) but generally it’s very easy.

          1. Fatman Scoop

            It really isn’t that simple. Very few things in life are. That’s why we should trust people to make their own decisions based on their own circumstances.

          2. meadowlark

            Yes, it simply is that easy, ladies. No, no, let’s not worry about the fact that no two women have the same pregnancy, that no two women live in the same circumstances, or have the same thoughts and feelings, let’s talk about things generally.

          3. Grace

            Fine Anomanomanom, you take care of not getting yourself pregnant, and stop being so judgmental as to know what is best for thousands of Irish women in a multitude of situations. Heaven forbid we let grown women decide their own bodily autonomy in this country.

          4. Daisy Chainsaw

            In other words, wait until your husband tells you he wants children. Then you can have sex.

          5. 15 cents

            anon is an ignorant pig. there are many many situations where it can happen by accident, humans are flawed, but anon thinks its fine for those people to pay for a moment of error, by being forced to have a child they cant take care of. real nice, anon.

          6. Anomanomanom

            Explain to me how you can you get pregnant by accident. And clearly your all a little blinkered on this issue. I was specifically commenting on the above issue. If for mental health issues you don’t want a baby, it’s very very very easy not to get pregnant.

          7. meadowlark

            Because, like mental health, pregnancy is a multi-faceted issue, and there is no simple black and white, straightforward answer.

          8. Anomanomanom

            So basically you can’t give me an answer so your going talk nonsense. Again how can you get pregnant by accident, please answer that. Iv never accidently impregnated anyone and my girlfriend has not been accidently impregnated. It’s very easy not to get pregnant.

          9. meadowlark

            Anom, when I got pregnant, I had been in a relationship for almost 5 years, and on the pill for over 10. I was never irresponsible with my birth control or stupid and both my partner and I were sexually healthy. Then, for unrelated health reasons I was put on medication (not antibiotics) that interfered with my birth control, unaware to me. My doctor gave me no warning that this might happen, and did not advise any extra precautions. Surprise surprise a few months later myself and the partner discover we are going to be parents, something we neither planned or wanted. We could not afford an abortion, nor did I want to go through one again (I have written before about my experience with abortion following a diagnosis of FFA).

            Nothing is ever black and white, or clear cut in situations like this. That is just one of countless examples. I am not a reckless individual, and neither is my partner, we just were unlucky. I don’t regret having a child, but I do regret that it was not on my terms.

          10. Anomanomanom

            And clearly you never bothered reading where i said, not accounting for rape or where PROTECTION DOESN’T WORK. My whole point was not about stopping people having abortion. I think abortion should be legal, I just hate the bullshit “it’s not my fault I’m pregnant”.

          11. meadowlark

            But Anom, I didn’t have to tell you how andwhy I got pregnant. The girl down the street doesn’t have to tell you, and if her pregnancy was down to a one night stand, or not. Because it’s none of your business. And your issues with her (or any woman’s) reproductive decisions, are yours alone, and really have no bearing on something so wholly unconnected with you.

          12. Janet, I ate my avatar

            Not every person who gets pregnant has a choice. Also have you never made a mistake ?

          13. Janet, I ate my avatar

            Broken condom, rape, irregular periods, misinformed about infertility or botched vesctomy, uneducated early teens, for a start

          14. Shanti

            Guess what?
            The only way for a woman to ensure that she cannot fall pregnant is a full hysterectomy. Which is not a procedure that Irish doctors will perform under 35. And even then only if there’s medical reasons to do so.

            Having your tubes blocked? Aka, sterilisation, also not infallible, in fact, it’s only about as effective as the coil, which has a failure rate of 1 per 1000.
            But you still can’t get it done unless you’re over 35.
            In case you regret it..
            Because apparently all women want babies, it’s not possible for any woman to know that she doesn’t want children and she should be protected from her foolish notions of knowing her own mind. Give her the Irish manufactured mirena if she’s kicking up that much of a fuss, at least then we can protect her ability to become a mother.. It’s her sole purpose in life after all, this is a Catholic country.

  1. Tim

    It is pretty mad. The mostly pro-choice meeja are screaming for this coalition to happen. But why?

  2. phil

    How could people focus the minds of those with the power?

    If you could think of a suitable boycott , Id be happy to lend my support, I just cant think of a suitable ‘thing’ to boycott….

  3. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

    That’s quite a catch 22 Leo is stating there – surely the legislation is kept in place by the amendment?

  4. TK Ickle

    If there is an award for the WORST protest placard ever, she deserves it.

    Dear… god…

    1. Same old same old

      Oh look here’s that pro life poop stirrer

      We’ve never seen that before here!

          1. Deluded

            That was for the bicycle-seat sniffer, not you newsjustin. I’m not sure of your own motives but I feel you have been dishonest in some of your arguments and gloating in denial of this service.

    2. Daisy Chainsaw

      In what sense? Candidates who ran on a so called “prolife” platform failed miserably. No Mrs Bopp TD, no Maddy Panning TD… most of them failed to get their deposits back.

      1. Funster Fionnanánn

        The TD with the highest number of votes in the country is pro life. He just happens to mention roads and talk about his hat more. But that appears to be more fun for the media and commenters on websites.

    1. Deluded

      How do you know these people?
      I’ve only heard of your wan Jane Gruffalo you mentioned here before- (Is she in Ideal?)

      1. Caroline

        It doesn’t matter how he knows them. What’s important is that seeking them out, identifying them, naming them in pictures and obsessing about them is perfectly normal. It’s fine. It’s absolutely fine. Everything is fine. Commenter Peter Dempsey is OK.

          1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Tony is going to lose it when he finds out he is no longer the only feminist on the block

          2. meadowlark

            The squad are here.

            (I feel we should have a Charlie’s Angels type thing now… montage?)

    2. The Old Boy

      Do you know her, or have you just decided that’s a good name for a severe haircut and pinstripe jacket?

  5. Mark My Little Words He'll Be Back in RTE in 12 Months

    HA HA HA! That #marref shctick worked so well on the doorsteps didn’t it? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE @Labour try the #repealthe8th line. Political Corpse? You won’t know the half of it!

  6. Eoin

    Whether right or wrong women will ALWAYS seek abortions. I’d rather see safe facilities set up here for that than have them got to back street abortionists or try to do it themselves. The argument about when life starts can rage on in the background as it always will. But women should be put at risk while this debate goes on.

  7. Mike

    TheGuardian using whichcandidate.ie as a source? ffs. Pascal Donohoe and Kate O’Connell are FG’s pro-choice wing? Really?

    30 second google:

    Mr Donohoe said: “I believe that the issue in relation to fatal foetal abnormalities is something that must be looked at in the next Dáil.

    “I’m very much pro-life. I’d would be against the introduction of any kind of regime or policy that led to the availability of abortion for choice reasons.”

    Another 30 second google: Eoghan Murphy’s website –

    “But do I have a right to force my views on another person? Whether as a legislator or not, do I have a right to tell a woman what she must do with her body? Does the state have that right? I believe it does not.”

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