53 1 min 9 yrs

 

I wonder how much guilt the various Irish politicians feel when they read of the death of a woman whom they condemned to death by a combination of inertia, superstition and ignorance?

I doubt very much if Enda Kenny feels anything more than a momentary annoyance at the stupidity of a woman who held the belief that she was in a country which would protect her against that same ignorance, superstition and inertia, but there again, she must have forgotten she was in a country which just doesn’t care!

 

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53 thoughts on “All Hail the 25th Amendment!

  1. Well said Mike.

    No doubt the anti-abortion fanatics will have no problem with the death of this unfortunate woman. For them she is no more than a brood mare.

  2. Funny, second i heard about this i thought “must be a foreigner”. Perhaps an Indian hospital shouldve been her first choice no?

  3. This is a very sad story, and it’s a pity it’s being used by keyboard warriors.

    The ROI has an enviable maternal mortality rate, far better the UK.

  4. There is a report from the Commission set up to look at the issue which will be passed to the Government in a few weeks time on how this law could be implemented. Most people would agree that it would have been better if that had happened before this woman died. But that change will be put through.

    That certain people will try to use this poor woman’s death (such as the disgusting comment left by Peter) to attack those they disagree with is despicable.

    Also, just to note, there is no 25th Amendment to the Constitution and even if the 25th Amendment had passed then it would have made no difference in this case.

  5. smcg

    Enviable in the respect of the abortion of the foetus being carried out so that the woman might live?

  6. The last figures I saw showed Ireland had the 6th lowest rate of maternal death in the world (compared to the UK who are 23rd and the US who are 39th).

  7. seamus,

    That statistic will no doubt be of great comfort to the very-recently bereaved individual, and will no doubt reassure all others that the numbers are on their side.

  8. Cases such as this are specifically where abortion should be legal, and required. From this case, I’d reckon that the pro-abortion lobby will attempt to use this genuine case as a wedge to hold open the legislative door for ‘social’ abortion.

  9. I don’t think you bitching about Enda Kenny and posting ill informed comments on the subject are going to be any comfort to the recently bereaved husband of this woman either.

    The facts are clear. Ireland has a generally great record on maternal care. There was a clear breakdown in this case where something went horribly wrong. There is a report that will be given to the Government very soon that will recommend the legislative change needed to avoid failures like this in the future, a fact that makes taking advantage of this woman’s death to bitch and moan about Ireland or, in Peter’s case, to push an agenda, disgusting and pointless.

  10. Abortion is illegal in the Republic except where there is a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health, of the mother.

    If so (it’s a BBC piece, so beware), then no discussion of the law is required since the law did not prevent acts which would have saved the mother’s life.

    Peter –

    There’s no need to jump all over her grave for political point-scoring.

  11. “Abortion is illegal in the Republic except where there is a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health, of the mother.”

    Not quite – the piece linked to gives a fuller picture. The actual law on the statute books makes no exceptions at all (in fact makes attempting an abortion illegal even if the women isn’t actually pregnant!). The constitutional amendment has been interpreted to make a theoretical exception in the case of a threat to the life of the mother – but it’s never been legislated to clarify what that really means and thus what the law actually is now.

    For that matter the use of the word ‘unborn’ in the constitution has never been defined and could equally refer to an unfertilised ovum or a Volkswagen.

    And though a (disturbingly significant) minority of pro-lifers won’t even make an exception for the life of the mother, it’s telling that so many do. It means that even most ‘pro-lifers’ do not genuinely regard the ‘unborn’ and the mother as equals, which of course they aren’t. If they were it would be equally OK to kill the mother to save the life of the ‘unborn’. But it’s not, (almost) everybody knows it, and (almost) everyone would take a dim view of a doctor who didn’t prioritise saving the mother when necessary, even if her chances were relatively slim.

  12. It really looks like the doctors were afraid of litigation here. They knew the woman was going to have a miscarriage anyway; but if they acted to end the pregnancy they could well have found themselves in court from any one of the groups of religious madmen in Ireland.

  13. Can somebody please explain to me why the people who condemned this woman to death should not be tried for murder?

  14. In Ireland the dominant factor in such matters (and many others I could mention) is fear: the professionals are afraid of our courts, legislators are afraid of the electorate, the electorate is afraid of burning in hell.

    The result is, as Frank points out, vast stretches of legislative no-man’s-land in many areas. It’s really like under the old Commie regimes – everyone passes the buck because it’s the safest thing to do. The result is the kind of mess that leads to this kind of tragedy.

  15. This story was disgusting beyond belief. I hope the doctor’s heads roll and an entire rethink of this sad, ugly policy is taken up by the Irish people and their government.

    Enough with the Vatican’s perverse sanctity of life hypocrisy which elevates a fertilized ovum over living, breathing, suffering women and children.

    If their organization’s systemic sexual abuse of small children isn’t horrifying enough, their lack of compassion in this particular case, which is by no means anomalous, should lead all rational people to shove their horrid organization right over the cliff.

    These rich catholic bastards stand on high while poor women all over the world give birth to children they can’t feed, die while doing so without proper medical care, leaving scores of tiny orphans in the Holy See’s wake.

    The church needs to modernize and take accountability for what they have wrought, leaving that, they should open their vaults of vast wealth to support those who suffer from the ridiculous mandates they impose on their followers.

  16. “The ROI has an enviable maternal mortality rate, far better the UK.”

    Not true, they are probably about the same.

    Speaking to the Medical Independent, Dr Michael O’Hare, Consultant Obstetrician at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry and Chair of the Maternal Mortality Joint Working Group – a multi-disciplinary group established in 2007 to review the issue of maternal death in Ireland – said that the actual incidence of maternal death in Ireland is almost certainly under-reported.

    “Data would suggest that from a mother’s perspective, Ireland is the safest place in the world to have a baby. That has been claimed by politicians for years and it is based on WHO figure.

    “We believe that that situation is not as rosy as it would appear to be. In fact, we are certain that it is not as rosy, ” Dr O’Hare stated.
    […]
    “We are not saying that Ireland is the only country that has problems with data collection but we are absolutely sure that Ireland has problems in that respect,” Dr O’Hare said.

  17. Well said Frank, both comments.

    To Seamus and Pete Moore:
    You are both on record here as opposing abortion in cases of both rape and incest. That position means that you see pregnant women as brood mares. Please spare us the crocodile tears over this case.

  18. Peter –

    I’m certainly not on that record.

    Petr Tarasov –

    As someone who justifies the gulags, go screw yourself.

  19. Pete

    I stand corrected. So for the record, you support a woman’s right to abortion in cases of rape and incest?

  20. For the record, I abstain.

    I can see the argument that it would be wicked to force a mother to have the child, but I’m not convinced that an act of violence against her justifies an act of violence against the child.

  21. You men have gone far astray, this is about a corrupt, backward Catholic church who endorses a public policy that condemns women like Enid Kenny to die.

  22. This has nothing to do with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church actually supports access to abortion in this case (ie where the intended consequence of the action is to save the life of the mother, not deprive the life of the child).

    What caused this is the State passing the buck, not wanting to legislate the issue for a number of reasons.

    Firstly it is a complicated issue. What is the definition of life saving treatment? How will it be regulated? Will it be like in Britain where Abortion is only allowed to save the health of the mother but has morphed into Abortion on demand?

    Secondly there are those who will try to hijack the agenda simply to bring in that last bit. What hasn’t been widely reported yet but will undoubtedly hit the press soon is that the Dail rejected a Bill in April which would have provided the means to save this woman’s life. It contained a huge number of provisions and vague language that could have been used to provide Abortion on demand. Additionally it would have banned pro-life protests (under penalty of a €2,000 fine or a year in prison). This ban was not limited to the areas surrounding abortion clinics (so it wasn’t a move to stop the sort of scenes you seen in America and are starting to see in Britain).

  23. “This has nothing to do with the Catholic Church. […] What caused this is the State passing the buck, not wanting to legislate the issue for a number of reasons.”

    Chief among those reasons the Catholic Church – which as Daphne points out, should be among the last people on earth anyone should be consulting for moral example or guidance. Instead of commenting on women’s abortions, the Church should be asking the women for advice on how to be as moral as they are.

    “Firstly it is a complicated issue. What is the definition of life saving treatment?”

    Why should that be relevant? When you refuse to help people and allow them to die you don’t have to meet that standard. It’s quite legal for you not to donate bone marrow for example, no matter who needs it, even though the risk to your life is pretty small. Why isn’t that a ‘complicated issue’?

    In any case it is absolutely clear that forcing any woman to remain pregnant puts her at increased risk of death vs an early term abortion, and in general the only way to tell which are the ones that will actually die is for them to remain pregnant and give birth and see what happens.

    “Will it be like in Britain where Abortion is only allowed to save the health of the mother but has morphed into Abortion on demand?”

    And that is only a problem because the ‘pro-life’ are utterly unprincipled hypocrites, at least the legislating kind are. They don’t start with principles and see where that leads. In general they just work backwards to reject any measure that results in what they call ‘abortion on demand’, regardless of whether it saves women’s lives. At the same time they either ‘allow’ other abortions regardless of principle, or would force even victims of rape to remain pregnant while seeking to prevent those who DO want to be pregnant from using IVF.

    Almost all would have a conniption fit if the same standards were applied to regulate their own lives, and when women entirely predictably die as a direct consequence of their demands, they do not even accept responsibility for the consequences.

  24. Frank, there is a difference between directly killing someone (as in the case of abortion) and indirectly not saving their life (in the case of those who don’t donate organs or blood).

    There is also a difference from a statistical increase in risk (which all pregnancies will cause) and a clear, present and obvious risk to that person’s life (where abortion should be permitted).

  25. Seamus,

    “Frank, there is a difference between directly killing someone (as in the case of abortion) and indirectly not saving their life (in the case of those who don’t donate organs or blood).”

    The purpose of an abortion is to immediately end a pregnancy and not to kill anyone – for a start it’s a both a reasonable position and a legal fact that there isn’t an ‘anyone’. Secondly the child/fetus could be removed intact and set aside and would die in short order anyway without the support from the mother – support that comes at great cost and risk to her.

    Its death would be just as indirect and it would be just as dead as the people (and they really are people) you ‘indirectly’ kill by ignoring them, without anything resembling the justification a woman who aborts has. But you wouldn’t be happy with that either.

    “There is also a difference from a statistical increase in risk (which all pregnancies will cause) and a clear, present and obvious risk to that person’s life (where abortion should be permitted).”

    There’s absolutely no difference to the women who draw the short straw and wind up dead. And those deaths are in fact a direct consequence of what you require, just as surely as if you walked around playing russian roulette with women on the street.

  26. “The purpose of an abortion is to immediately end a pregnancy and not to kill anyone – for a start it’s a both a reasonable position and a legal fact that there isn’t an ‘anyone’.”

    The purpose of an abortion is to kill someone at the behest of that child’s mother. That is not only a reasonable position but it is also the legal position in the south as set out in the Constitution.

    “Its death would be just as indirect and it would be just as dead as the people”
    Except that it wouldn’t be indirect. You are taking a deliberate action knowing that it would result in the child’s death.

  27. I’m not convinced that an act of violence against her justifies an act of violence against the child.

    That’s probably because you’re not a woman who has been raped and is carrying a rapist’s unwanted foetus in you’re womb.

    This has nothing to do with the Catholic Church.

    Ridiculous comment.

    The fact of the matter is that it seems that this woman’s life could have been saved if the foetus had been aborted. It wasn’t and regarless of wether you’re pro – choice or pro – life that’s a difficult position to defend.

    Daphne, superb 11.09

  28. Alright Paul, point me out the Priest in the room making medical decisions in this case. Considering that even the Church says abortion is acceptable in this case means there was a medical failure due to a political failure. It has bugger all to do with religion.

  29. We don’t know the context of that quote. We don’t know why it was said, in response to what question it was said etc.

    Also considering that even the Church would have supported an abortion in that case shows that the doctor was as confused about Catholic teaching as he or she was about the law.

  30. Did you read the link Seamus? This is the response, context etc;

    “She was so happy and everything was going well, she was so excited.

    “On the Saturday night everything changed, she started experiencing back pain so we called into the hospital, the university hospital.”

    He said she continued to experience pain and asked a consultant if she could be induced.

    “They said unfortunately she can’t because it’s a Catholic country,” Mr Halappanavar said.

    “Savita said to her she is not Catholic, she is Hindu, and why impose the law on her.

    “But she said ‘I’m sorry, unfortunately it’s a Catholic country’ and it’s the law that they can’t abort when the foetus is live.”

  31. No it isn’t. It is the brief recollection by a grief stricken widower of what was probably not a brief conversation. What exactly, in exact words, did the Savita Halappanavar say, what were the exact responses by the doctor etc is the only way to know why the phrase was used because I find it very difficult to believe that it was used in the context that Mr Halappanavar has put it in.

  32. No it isn’t. It is the brief recollection by a grief stricken widower of what was probably not a brief conversation.

    Shooting the messenger in order to reinforce an subjective opinion eh?

    Speculative hypothesis is no substitute for factual quotes.

  33. To be fair, that conversation doesn’t really ring true. People don’t talk like that in that kind of situation.
    But the point still stands: the woman died because the doctors were handicapped by a legal situation determined by “church teaching”. The Catholic church is indirectly responsible for this woman’s death. Whether or not the church would have allowed an abortion here is beside the point – there was legal uncertainty because of what the church has been preaching on the issue for generations and that legal uncertainty led to this woman’s death.
    The woman would have survived in, say, any continental European country simply because there the Catholic church didn’t have the hold on politics that it had for so long in Ireland.

  34. The point being is that it is a one sided account that seems almost farcical. If the quote is accurate and in the context that was given then not only was the doctor confused about the law, not only was she confused about Catholic teaching, but was also confused about standard medical practice in terms of dealing with patients. If the quote is accurate and in the context that the quote makes out then the doctor should be struck off.

  35. People don’t need to listen to the Church. The Church has no formal power. Politicians do. Doctors do. If they are incorrectly bringing their faith into either decision then they aren’t fit to hold their job.

  36. The quote was given in the past tense, obviously when this poor woman was still alive. Presumably the husband is able to remember cognate words of his wife?.

    If the quote is accurate and in the context that was given then not only was the doctor confused about the law

    I think anyone would be.

    Under the 1992 X Case ruling, the Supreme Court found that abortion is permitted in Ireland under the Constitution in circumstances where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother. However no government has yet introduced legislation to enact the ruling, creating a grey area for medical practitioners

    http://www.thejournal.ie/savita-praveen-halappanavar-abortion-galway-hospital-673590-Nov2012/

  37. The Catholic church is indirectly responsible for this woman’s death.

    That is not true in my opinion but if I wrote that the Catholic Church is directly responsible for many people being alive, that would be true absolutely.

  38. It’s probably not true in your opinion Allan because you have no experience with the Irish Catholic Church. Noel’s point re this poor woman being alive in other continental European countries is correct.

  39. In the last few years the Government in Ireland has enacted a law that violates the confessional seal. It clearly is willing to take on the Church when it wants to. So to argue the Church still has vast power over public policy isn’t backed up.

  40. Seamus,

    “The purpose of an abortion is to kill someone at the behest of that child’s mother.”

    No it isn’t, the purpose of an abortion is not to be pregnant and if the pregnancy can be immediately ended with a live birth, that’s what happens. A woman cannot simply point at a person or for that matter a fetus and demand that they be killed, any more than you can point at a woman and demand to use her body to support whatever you claim is a person.

    She can however have nothing to do with it and go her separate way just the same as you can, and do, every time you pass up the opportunity to save the life of someone who will die without your help.

    “That is not only a reasonable position but it is also the legal position in the south as set out in the Constitution.”

    Untrue on both counts. It’s not reasonable because even you make exceptions that are incoherent (why wouldn’t it be just as OK to kill the mother to save the child?), and the constitution says absolutely nothing as to whether the purpose of an abortion is to kill a person or even that it does so. It says only that the ‘unborn’, whatever that might be, has an equal right to life to the mother. It says zero about what those rights are or imply, and unfortunately for the ‘pro-life’ position, equal rights means she can’t be forced to take risks to support another’s life any more than you can.

    “Except that it wouldn’t be indirect. You are taking a deliberate action knowing that it would result in the child’s death.”

    No more so than you are every time you choose not to help. And in any case according to you that’s OK as long as it’s not your intention – but you don’t know or apparently give a rats ass about the woman’s intention.

    And certainly no more so than you when you require women to remain pregnant knowing that this will result in the deaths of women. And that’s not OK not matter what you intend.

  41. Noel’s 11.09 still stands.

    Although the twenty fifth amendment to Bunreacht na Heireann may have removed any ‘special position’ of the Catholic Church in the State the legacy of that releationship is still felt throughout the State, witness governmental reluctance to introduce legislation over the X case.

  42. The reluctance isn’t just because of the legacy of the Church, though that would have some impact for some people.

    There are other issues that have prevented legislation for the X case (not least the pro-choice lobby’s attempt to hijack that legislation to put forward a further agenda). The fact is that the government are willing to challenge the Church yet is still wary of touching this issue which shows that the problem goes well beyond the Church.

  43. I think that the case of Savita Halappanavar is going to have a much more long lasting effect on Ireland and abortion than the X case.

  44. What caused this is the State passing the buck, not wanting to legislate the issue for a number of reasons

    Principally not wanting to lose votes because of indoctrination of Irish Catholics by the Irish Catholic Church being one of them, the midwife’s comments being one example.

    As a matter of curiosity Seamus do you personally think the foetus should have been aborted in this case and/or in rape cases?

  45. Seamus
    Every sperm is sacred. Women are brood mares. As soon as they concieve, their bodies are not their own and they must carry to term even if their own life is at risk. Because the life of the foetus takes precedence.

    Does this fairly reflect your view?

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