Handmaid In Ireland


From top: Members from ROSA (Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism & Austerity) activists ahead of a ‘Handmaids’ lobby at the Dail today to mark the first public meeting of the Oireachtas committee on the recommendations of the Citizen’s Assembly;’ Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone, chairwoman of the committee arriving at Leinster House this afternoon

This afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2

A meeting of the Dáil Committee on the 8th Amendment to consider the recommendations of the Citizen’s Assembly is taking place.

Liggy, who once ‘took the boat’ writes:

The Oireachtas Committee on the 8th amendment is in session today. 21 men and women meeting in private to debate the findings of the Citizens’ Assembly on abortion rights.

The results of that paper is summerised here:

The conclusion of the assembly’s findings was:

“….there is a strong desire for change and … a belief that all people in pregnancy should be given choice and full rights over what happens to their bodies.”

There is a concern among pro-choice groups that the committee will focus on the most narrow circumstances of the findings of the assembly and try to dilute the clear directive the assembly’s findings have given them.

Hence the protest of the Handmaidens outside Dáil Éireann today:

A choice. That is all that is being asked for. Men can elect to have any cells they want removed from their body. Women should have that same right too. It’s actually not that much to ask for and really belittling to have to ask for it.

Here is the weird thing about choice. You can choose to do something or you can choose to not do it. You can choose to have cells removed from your body or you can choose to see a pregnancy to term and give birth.

The people who do not want to give women that choice are weirdly and ghoulishly obsessed with the contents of the deepest, darkest part of a woman’s body.

As if it is something we cannot be trusted to have autonomy over ourselves. They don’s seem to be as concerned with the cells once they have grown to the point of being born.

There seems to be something about all the crying, puking, shitting, snotting and expense that puts them off.

Amazingly, anti-choice organisations like Iona seem loathe to give any time or trouble themselves about Irish children in poverty, in danger, in need of physical or mental help or the parents who try their best to support them.

Imagine not having to tie down people who have been raped and forcing them to give birth.

Imagine bring able to quickly prioratise the life of a living person in a medically perilous position over a foetus.

Imagine being able to abide by a family’s wishes to turn off a life-support machine rather than using a person’s cadaver as some sort of morbid incubator for a dying foetus.

Imagine 100 people not having to travel to the UK for abortions every week.

Imagine our newspapers and media screens not being filled with the debate about whether to give women a simple choice or not.

What WOULD we do with all that free time?


Previously: ‘I Took The Boat’

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93 thoughts on “Handmaid In Ireland

    1. Casey

      Do you need a safe space away from all these nasty women? Grab a tardis and see if the 1800s have any room for ya.

    2. Liggy

      Thank you for your comment.

      I would suggest that if a post in favour of the pro-choice movement upsets you then you are not really on their side, are you?.

      Thats fine but just remember this, the day is coming soon when you will have been on the wrong side of history.

  1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    I saw them at lunchtime. It looked kinda stupid but then I thought about it: they’re not far off the mark in a way. It’s heavy-handed but in a way our present is dystopian, sadly.

      1. Dubhlinn

        Going by your other posts, you have no idea what a woman looks like in real life. Suggest you do some research in the daylight hours.

          1. Janet, I ate my avatar

            aren’t you ment to be the nice Anne ?
            is it a miserable day there or something
            everyone is so touchy today

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Until he has several people bringing his name up days after he last posted, he’s still at amateur level.

    1. AvrilSacha

      It’s a fair analogy.
      Women subjugated and valued only for their ability to breed.
      Told that the horrors committed against them was in their own best interests (god forbid they own their own bodies)
      Seen as an extension of the man that owns them. The ‘Her name was Cliona’ campaign would not have been necessary if this was not the case in Ireland too.

    1. Nice Anne

      I KNOW!!
      How dare a book set in New England contain Americanisms!?!

      On the other hand, you are bang on about the state of women’s right to bodily autonomy being depressing. invasive and culturally bereft.

        1. Not feeling so Nice Anne

          Nope, still no idea what you are on about.

          Here is what you read like “waaaahhhh BUT a MEME!!!”

        2. Nigel

          If you think the meme is dead tired and old then you yourself are a victim of the current highly invasive Americanised trend of accelerated cultural turnover, since the show only came out this year and you;re already insisting that the imagery has run through its life cycle and lost its relevance. If you’d stuck with the origin of the imagery, the book, and accepted my gentle correction as to its national origin, you would look less like a stereotypical modern internet junkie with a short attention span and a jaded palate, since that’s been around a lot longer – but actually, no, the staying power of the imagery lingering after all these years and translated into new media suggests it still retains its potency.

          I don’t really mean any of that, to be honest. My comment wasn’t supposed to be an aggressive correction, just a point of information.

          1. I.P.

            If there wasn’t a tv show, these people wouldn’t be on a red table cloth bandwagon.

            It’s lame. It’s unimaginative. And puts people off. The right people.

            Mainly, embarrassing tho.

          2. Casey

            They are using an appropriate cultural reference that people will recognise to make a point.

            They could dress as salem witches where young women were killed for their dissent such refusing to marry the men chosen for them but I don’t think there is anything in the media that would make this an instantly powerful image for the public.

            The image of the protesting handmaids in their striking red uniform taking their inspiration from characters whose body and mind are the property of the men who owned them is a relevant comment on the debate for choice in Ireland right now.

          3. Daisy Chainsaw

            The Handmaid’s Tale is topical. If it wasn’t, women would be wearing Repeal sweatshirts and carrying knitting needles & coathangers.

          4. Casey

            Aren’t you about 30 years out of date with that imagery? We can get pills from NI and the internet now love, you can put the barbarian solutions away.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        She brought her purse up on stage with her at the Emmys, like a right granny.
        I think she’s brilliant.

  2. A snowflake's chance in hell

    That’s a nice car yer one has. I hate it when people I find disagreeable are successful in life.

  3. I.P.

    Edited out the bit on my comment where i said I was pro abortion.

    Is there a character limit or just a posting limit?

    1. A snowflake's chance in hell

      lol triggered

      look at me

      over here

      I have something IMPORTANT to say

      no YOU grow up!

    2. Janet, I ate my avatar

      does everyone have to drag a scape goat out of bed every time they get thier knuckles rapped
      look at him not me !
      get a grip

  4. newsjustin

    The Handmaid thing works both ways of course. Imagi be a society, if you stomach it, where governments allow people to kill unborn children in the womb for any reason –
    the baby’s disabled – kill it
    the baby’s a girl – kill it
    the baby’s unwanted – kill it
    the baby’s expensive – kill it

    Scary alright. Margaret Attwood is at pains to point out that her book is not fantasy or sci-fi. Everything in the book is happening or has happened to actual women. Likewise the situations I mention above all happen, every single day.

    Oh and please feel free to ignore absolutely everything I say, EXCEPT, can we not all agree to stop using the silly, irrational, nonsense “argument” that:

    “They (pro life people) don’t seem to be as concerned with the cells once they have grown to the point of being born.

    There seems to be something about all the crying, puking, shitting, snotting and expense that puts them off.”

    It’s a childish argument. Let’s just agree people can be pro choice and pro life and still care about kids and poverty and exclusion, etc.

      1. Casey

        +1 Absolutely!
        If you are worried about any children in danger, please let the authorities know as soon as possible.

        1. BacementJaxx

          What a silly untrue thing to say. If you really are deluded enough to believe this, I have news for you. The citizens assembly who put together the recommendations on abortion have recommended a series of measures that will render the 8th defunct and give increased equality to the women of Ireland. Sorry for you if it makes you unhappy (spot the lie wot I just told) but the needs of the many outweight the whingeyness of the few.

  5. Mary

    The Handmaid thing works both ways of course. Imagine a society, where governments respond to the will of the majority of the people and citizens can make a choice to get rid of cells or go on to have a baby.

    Wouldn’t it be great it women could exercise these freedoms every single day.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a society where the likes of Iona and their opinions were irrelevant.

    I don’t like the idea of abortions so I won’t have one. I don’t see why that gives me the right to stop other people having one.

    There, fixed it for you.

    1. newsjustin

      Thanks Mary. That’s kind of what the writer was saying in the post.

      I don’t agree with the “don’t like abortions don’t have one” idea. It would be fine if another human being weren’t involved, but that’s not the case.

        1. newsjustin

          It’s views like this that means the 8th Amendment is required to prevent the termination of unborn human beings.

          1. Daisy Chainsaw

            The 8th amendment doesn’t prevent terminations, it just outsources them. Irish women have terminations every day.

          2. newsjustin

            It does prevent many abortions. Not all, of course. Not while abortion is legal in neighbouring states.

            The ban on abortion in NI alone has saved 100,000 lives. I don’t know if someone’s done equivalent figures for ROI.

          3. Daisy Chainsaw

            Poor women are punished with a baby for getting pregnant because they lack the means to leave the country. Why do you celebrate motherhood as a punishment? Women should be mothers because they want to be, not because they’re forced due to lack of options.

          4. Garreth

            “The ban on abortion in NI alone has saved 100,000 lives” Horse-poo.
            There were are only about 24,000 babies born on average in NI for the past 10 years. You, sir are talking out of your botty.

            2006 23,272
            2007 24,451
            2008 25,631
            2009 24,910
            2010 24,394
            2011 24,215
            2012 24,277
            2013 25,269
            2014 25,273
            2015 25,315
            2016 24,090
            Source: https://www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/monthly-births

          5. mildred st. meadowlark

            That article does not constitute proof.

            A comparison with Scotland’s abortion ratio? How did they get the estimate based on that?

            There are no figures or numbers to back up what they’ve said.

            I’m not expecting you to know how they reached that figure either, I should add.

            I do think that it’s not very transparent, and is too scant on detailed information.

        2. Erin going braless

          Except that is about to be repealed according to the will of the majority of the people who responded to the assembly survey. Either the racist “pro-cell” people weren’t bothered to take part or very few of them actually exist apart from a few noisy barn doors squeaking in the wind.

        3. Casey

          There is no such this as an unborn human being unless you are referring to some dystopian nightmare where we are kept in fluid filled cucoons until our adult bodies are ready to hatch out.

          Clusters, cells, stems, sperm, zigoids. None of them are babies but they all have the potential to become babies.

          If you’re going to want to save everything that could become a baby, you’ll have a busy fruitless life. Even having an auld play with yourself would be a huge trauma altogether.

          1. newsjustin

            Don’t be silly Garreth.

            A foetus at 7 months (say) is clearly a human being. Nothing magical happens when a baby emerges from its mother’s womb.

  6. Gringo

    What would we do with all that extra time? We could engage in some unprotected sex,being catholics and all that.

  7. Milo

    Elizabeth Moss is a Scientologist. “As described in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, even attempted abortions are traumatic physically and spiritually to an unborn child, as well as to the mother. Abortion is therefore rare among Scientologists, who recognize that even an unborn fetus may already be occupied by a spiritual being”

    But they dont tell you what to do.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      What faith do Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Ann Dowd, Samira Wiley etc follow? Do their religious beliefs have any bearing on the characters they play in the Handmaid’s Tale?

  8. Jimmey Russell

    Ireland is STILL a oppressive religious theocracy anyone who disagree an you explain why abortion on demand is prohibited? The plot of Handmaid’s Tale could easily come true here and especially in the States where the Rapist in Chief wants all women’s rights destroyed and a restoration of gender roles that would see women become slaves again.

  9. Zuppy International

    2 Zuppy comments (so far) on this thread have been memory holed.

    What’s the matter Broadsheet? Running scared?

    1. Zuppy International

      It’s now 3 comments that have failed to appear.

      Care to explain?

      Or at least publish your guidelines for comments.

      Cos otherwise your tootly tootle pants is showing.

      1. Zuppy International

        And now my post is altered AFTER publication.

        What’s the matter Broadsheet? I’ve been using the terms ‘tootly-tootlers’ and ‘nanky-noo’ on this site for years and with no previous intervention by moderators. These are fair and accurate descriptions of those who would remove the constitutional protection for the unborn (and their mothers) in order to deliberately tootle untwangled ning nangs.

        Why the change of policy now?

        Is it the Soros money? Are you now paid to promote the tootling of ning nangs in the womb?

        No more dodging these questions, I demand answers.

        Then give us the comment guidelines and explain why you think it’s ok to change the meaning of comments AFTER publication by removing/altering the words that convey it’s meaning and intent.

        Otherwise you’re a bunch of mimsy-dooflers cowering in your virtual safe space.

          1. Pat Kenny's wife

            Mimsy – my bad

            Whatever about the bad words, the sheer sense of entitlement of this mimsy doofler is repulsive and carries a putrid stench

        1. Sheik Yahbouti

          May I propose a vote of thanks to the moderators, who have rendered zuppy’s comments in a truly appropriate fashion :-D

          1. Zuppy International

            As soon as you stoop to censor/prohibit the arguments of those who oppose your agenda then you effectively admit the weakness of your own position and the failure of your persuasion.

            What say you Nootle Pumpkins?

  10. EightersGonnaEight

    Outdated. Surely Girl with the REPEAL tattoo would be a better media angle and resonate more with the cohort?

    Oh. Right. None of them do have a REPEAL tattoo….

  11. Henrietta

    One of the women on the protest was hit across the shoulders by an old man with rosary beads. The irony.

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