Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Tide turning in favour of abortion rights in Ireland?

European Court of Human Rights rules in favour of woman with cancer who was denied termination in State

There is abortion in Ireland.  Of course, in true Irish hypocritical fashion, it doesn’t actually take place in Ireland. Instead,  Irish women are forced to travel abroad to  have terminations in Britain, Holland, France and elsewhere. 

Sadly, many Irish are masters of hypocrisy and doublethink.  Most of them, “informed” by the residual influence of the old Catholic therocracy down the years (for that is what our so-called republic was for most of its history) imposed their co-called morals on all of Ireland’s population: Catholic, Protestant, Jew, agnostic and atheist alike.

They voted against legalising divorce – “let no man tear apart…” being the hocus pocus informing their guiding principle.   It didn’t matter if you rejected the doctine informing such a view,  even after a childhood of being force-fed it in State-funded schools run by the Catholic Church.   If the great Irish public, ignorant imbeciles that most of them were, did not want you to have divorce – even as couples they knew personally  lived in separation – you were not going to have it.  It was eventually allowed in 1996, but only by the narrowest of margins.

But what more can we expect of the Irish electorate?   Didn't the same half-wits’ forebears vote for a Constitution that claimed sovereignty over the “whole island of Ireland”, even though it had no such jurisdiction? 

In another neat denial of reality, the same Constitution – formulated by neo-gaelicist de Valera – declared Gaelic to be the first official language of the country. Even though it wasn’t the actual spoken language of the country… and still is not, despite years of skewed educational policies and discrimination in State employment.

You are seeing a pattern here, right?  Conversely, the same applies to abortion – they try to turn reality on its head by believing that denying something exists means it actually does not.  Our courts even tried to stop a 14-year-old travelling abroad for a termination after she had been raped by the father of one or her friends (the X-case).

For the record, 4,422 women from Ireland had their pregnancies terminated in Britain last year.  That’s only in Britain alone, mind. The Irish Family Planning Association estimates that 142,060 women from Ireland have had abortions there since 1980.

Last week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Irish State had failed in its duty by not providing termination facilities for an Irish resident who had been diagnosed with cancer and subsequently realised she was pregnant. The woman sought medical advice in Ireland on the possible effects of the pregnancy on her own health and that of a prospective child. She was not able to get any such advice in Ireland – despite the obvious threat to her own life – and ended up having to go to England for it, and a resultant termination.

The State put its full weight behind preventing a favourable ruling for the woman and the IFPA, but failed. The European Court court found that the State had been negligent, and that the woman should not have been forced to travel abroad.

The ruling should now force the State to finally legislate on the issue, with a recent Marie Stopes/YouGov poll last March recording 78% support for access to abortion when a woman’s life is in danger.

The lights may well have gone out for those in the backwoods twilight:  the "moral" fundamentalists of Youth Defence and their fellow-travellers, whatever they call themselves these days.

Bring it on.

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Anonymous said...


You have summed it up concisely and precisely: “they try to turn reality on its head by believing that denying something exists means it actually does not”.

This nonsense began with Constantine's Sol Invictus, also known as Mithra who were preoccupied with the sacrifice of virgins and subjugation and humilation of women. The history of the Magdalene Laundries prove this to be true. Yet they still teach the most idiotic nonsense about virgin births and the Immaculate Conception.

Even though there is more evidence about Sol Invictus (Sun worship) than about Jesus Christ. Their ethos was about the Sun of God, not the Son of God. It is known that the ritual of Sol Invictus is identical to the Mass where the blood of children and virgins were shed.

So what has changed? Children are still being abused and women are still being subjugated. The Catholic Church and all the Irish Governments since 1922 have allowed this, and are still doing the bidding of the Vatican.

All this nonsense about abortion and birth control is to keep women repressed. Sadly, women have colluded in their own oppression!!! Women politicians have done little to help other women. The church continue to insist that their stupid fabrication is the truth; but the game is up,and they know it!! There is so much evidence that can prove just how perverted these people are, and there is nothing they can do about it.

Read:,. The Mysteries of Mithra by Franz Cumont: Dover, New York:, 1950.152

Anonymous said...


A woman who is terminally ill with cancer says she was forced to travel to Britain for an abortion: by Carl O‘Brien, Chief Reporter Irish Times Tuesday 21/12/2010

Michelle Harte said doctors at Cork University Hospital where she was being treated for cancer – advised her to terminate the pregnancy because of the risks to her health.

However, she says an ethics forum at the hospital decided against authorising an abortion for her in Ireland on the basis that her life was not under “immediate threat”.

It would be interesting to know their rationale for arriving at this decision. But of course we know what it was. The ethics forum are embedded with priests and the members of The Knights of Columbanus. An all male chauvinistic, right wing, fascist, misogynistic social cancer who govern everything on behalf of the anachronistic and mediaeval Roman Catholic Church.

They make these decisions in secrecy and with impunity, knowing that they are protected by their fellow KOC members in Government. The women, doctors, politicians and social workers do nothing to stop this bloody outrage.

Augustus Westmoreland

Anonymous said...

SEASONS GREETINGS mr gm, FEEFEE AND I wish you and all at the gombeen manor a very happyxmass and prosperous new year and to all those erudite posters and discerning readers of your award winning blog,btw feefee is not the poodle she is my new future X who is most impressed with all things oirish these days particularly since BIFFO and LENNY told those horrid imf people to shag off and refused to take their money,she is sooooh facinated by the rubberbandits, limerick city. and wille o dea all i can say is ihave never had it so good thanks in large part to the great leaders of oirland and its world class musicians--CHEERS -BH

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Anon. That Cork case must be yet another one, as the ECHR ruling concerned a Lithuanian woman resident in Ireland.

@ BH. Have a good one yourself, and best regards to FeeFee. Irish people living abroad have never had it so good, it is true.

Being able to bask in the reflected glory of our captains of industry, our top-bonus-earning bankers and, our economic genius politicians, our savvy property investors and, of course, top talents the Rubberbandits.

We should count our blessings for having been fortunate enough to be born on the sacred soil of dear old Erin's isle.

Anonymous said...

Good morning GM
I was listening to this being discussed on Newstalk last week as it broke and the Pro Life spokesman was claiming that the high standard of care in Irish maternity had something to do with the lack of abortion in Ireland. I picked up a tweet later by some pro life group welcoming the decision and calling for a referendum to enshrine current medical practice in the constitution.

Weak disjointed arguments like that may have cut the mustard 18 years ago but the world has changed considerably since then.

I also read some tweets about democracy by a failed Euro-sceptic political candidate who must have been in America for the last two referenda (or referendums?) on the subject as he doesn't seem to be aware that we decided to allow abortion where the life of the woman was at risk including by suicide.

These people are in denial and their current posturing sounds a lot like a death rattle to me. I can see them getting a bloody nose on this one if they don't pull their necks back in.

As you said GM, bring it on. SH

Anonymous said...

Your post is very 'Hip Hip Hurray' in tone GM but in reality the European Court of Human Rights ruling is a setback for the pro abortion lobby.

Granted the lady with cancer won but what the court said in a nutshell is that Ireland should legislate to bring its laws in line with the 1992 Irish Supreme Court ruling. What is more significant for the wider question is that there were 3 women claiming a breech of rights the other two women lost.

One was a single mother who had other children in care and another a woman who did not want to become a single parent. All said they had suffered medical complications on returning to Ireland and complained that Irish restrictions on abortion had stigmatised and humiliated them, risking damage to their health.

What is important is that this didn't wash with the European Court of Human Rights, and specifically ruled that Ireland’s abortion laws are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

This is a big blow for the pro champaign as it clarifies the issue and sets a precedent for further court cases.

The Gombeen Man said...

The IFPA, who took the case on behalf of the woman, see it as a favorable result. It will force legislation on the issue - specifically in cases where the woman's life is in danger - which the Government has failed to do since 1992. That is some sort of progress. It is anything but a "setback". And if the anti-choice lot kick up and force another referendum, I think they will lose it.


Ella said...

Abortion, Ireland's biggest export. And as if it's not big enough a decision for some women to make without them also having to leave the country often alone and find the cash to do so.

If Catholics (or any other right wing nutter) don't want abortion, they don't have to have one, but please don't deprive those who many need to have one

Anonymous said...

How do the pro-life contingent intellectually support their absurd stance on abortion.

It has always been the practice for Irish women to go to England to have abortions. There have been clinics in Blackpool, Liverpool, and the west coast for more than a century. Who would question a person visiting Blackpool. Many Irish priests advised women to go to England to have abortions. I know an Irish priest who acted as an agent (for a fee) for a clinic in Morecambe. It was geographically convenient for women to go to England for abortions, and the Church and Irish politicians are spineless hypocrites and guttersnipes.

According to The Catholic Church life is sacred and precious. No one told that to Queen Mary Tudor, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Pinochet, Juan Peron, De Valera, Al Capone (all Catholics) not to mention The Inquisition, The Crusades, the secret killings Opus Dei, the murder of Pope John Paul I. How the hell do they think they are kidding?

The Catholic Church does not care about life, because it is the cause of more deaths over the centuries. It cares only about suppression and oppression of humanity. The Roman Catholic Church is still The Roman Empire; the very same Roman Empire as Tiberius and Caligula, with the same lust for blood.

The mass is about blood and sacrifice, not that of Christ, because there is increasing evidence, that Jesus never died on the cross. It was three hundred years after Christ that Christianity was born. The Catholic Church and Christianity has nothing to do with Jesus Christ or with God for that matter.

How then do the pro-life contingent support their idiotic stance, after years of mass murder and torture by The Roman Catholic Church.

Malachy Finnegan Ph.D. M.Phil Cantab. (former parish priest) Lancashire UK

Anonymous said...

"The IFPA, who took the case on behalf of the woman, see it as a favorable result. " - to paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, they would say that wouldn't they.

"It will force legislation " - you bet, but you can also bet the legislation will make sure that the decision will be left to medical types and you can bet that unless an abortion increases the chances of a woman living they won't allow it.

Take the Cork woman who is terminally ill who tells her story in the Irish times today. I don't think women in her circumstances will ever get abortions in Ireland, even with new legislation. An abortion would not cure her cancer and there is no way of telling if being pregnant made things worse. Granted it might have, but medical types don't do 'might'.

"If the anti-choice lot kick up and force another referendum, I think they will lose it." - maybe, maybe not. At any rate they are very unlikely to force another referendum. They have had since 1992 to do so but appear uninclined, and in fact why would they. They 'have the ball' so to speak, it is up to the pro camp to get it off them.

In short this really is a major major blow to the pro camp. Any hopes they might have had that the European Court of Human Rights would undermine Irish Abortion law have been severely dented.

The circumstances of the two women who lost are much closer to the general circumstances of women who the pro camp feel should have abortion rights, but now any future cases that are deemed similar in law to their two claims will never make it to the European Court of Human Rights and will instead be judged on these legal precedents.

The Gombeen Man said...

The fact remains, since 1992 not one - not one - Irish woman has had a termination in Ireland when her life has been in danger. This ruling will at least change that, and in Ireland small battles will eventually win the war. Sure, it would have been nice for the IFPA to have won all all three cases, but they did win on one.

Willy Moore said...

Ah, the good old 'abortion debate' and 'Youth Defence', I always come over all nostalgic whenever I see those words in the same article.

I will forever associate this topic and YD with their former leader Justin Barrett. You see, as a youth, I had the absolute misfortune of being in the same class as Mr. Barrett in Tipperary. To this very day, I have never come across a more despicable individual.

Where has Justin gone? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

The Canute Effect.

I was visiting a friend in hospital near Banbury. Outside in the car park there was a commotion with a group of people singing “Hail Queen of Heaven” and many more Catholic hymns.

It seems that someone they knew decided to have a termination of pregnancy and they were trying to change this course of events by saying many rosaries and singing many hymns. This is called The Canute Effect.

Out of curiosity and for mischief I endeavoured to enquire as to what their intentions were. They recited a rote learning rigmarole about Christ died for our sins, and holy purity and the sanctity of life and the infallibility of the Pope (ad nauseam). Without intending to do so, I must have shown disbelief or disrespect when I asked them to justify their claims.

This was a great mistake because I was bombarded with a lengthy diatribe and denunciation that amounted to expressions of curses and oaths. There was hate in their eyes.

It is not an exaggeration for me to refer to some of these people as seriously mentally disturbed (clinical psychosis). They were completely blind zealots who were impervious to reason and logic, and they had no basis whatsoever for their indoctrinated senseless prognostications.

Anonymous said...


Dear Mrs Coughlan

This Anachronistic Nonsense must stop; NOW !!

To the best of my knowledge you are the most senior female politician after The President Mary McAleese. I am astounded and disgusted that you have allowed this criminal outrage regarding Michelle Harte to happen.

I am especially upset that Mary Harney and Mary White who are graduates of Trinity College Dublin (amongst the top five universities in the world) renowned for erudite logic and reasoning to allowed such cruelty.

Most of all, it is most objectionable that women have colluded in the church's oppression of another woman; that makes it even more distasteful. How in the name of God can mature educated women, still allow themselves to be used as inferior beings by the church and state. It beggars belief !!!!

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Willy. Hopefully very far away...

Ella said...

@GM and Willy Moore, to the extreme far right (consistant with his anti-abortion views) speaking at a nazi rally.

Taken from the 2004 Euro Election campaign. Pro-Lifer and (former?) Youth Defence man Justin Barrett adds Immigration to his policy bow. “Demanding Irish People are given priority to all new jobs” and all sorts of other nuggets

a thoroughly despiable character indeed. Willy as if being at school wasn't unpleasant enough but to have to share the class with Justin...

Anna said...

I find abortion a sad and troublesome issue- but ignore it and it Doesn't go away: we don't have an illegal abortion trade simply because England is a very handy and near rock to hop over to - But if Ireland was positioned where the isolated mid Atlantic Azores are, I'd find it hard to believe we wouldn't have illegal abortions here.
Being a Catholic country does not inure against abortion occuring- some catholic countries have the worst rates on earth, especially Brazil- despite it being Illegal in these.OH and catholic church Powerfully put down most Brazilian Goverment initiatives on increasing contraception availability.
I think if you're against abortion, then you must be Hugely pro contraception and sex education: and most EU countries have Free contraception ( inc. UK & NI) and comprehensive sex education- that does keep the abortion rate down - Netherlands is big into free / low cost contraception and sex education- and has a significantly Lower abortion rate than Ireland.
Free contraception and good sex education are a human right- I'm constantly appalled at catholic church prohibitions on both; this leads to great agony in developing catholic countries, with too large families and maternal deaths from difficult births or illegal abortions. Even the early decades of C20 saw too much maternal death and large families in Ireland: I just turned 50,( it's not as if I was born in 1830) and my grandmother and great aunt, from Both my father's and mothers's families died after childbirth- leaving 4 children each - two ladies, who if they'd had the choice would have stopped at 3 children. Two women who in modern times, would be sterilised after 3- and ( whether they agreed with it or not) would probably be offered an abortion if they were pregnant with child 4 in many EU states.
So when I think of that, logically if the Catholic Church is anti abortion- then it should be Hugely pro contraception?? And champions of reducing Ireland's abortion rate by advocating free contraception?
Incidentally we're even behind South Africa on this one- Bella a South African flat mate I had in Dublin used to get her sister to send her pill packets, which were either low cost / free in SA- and cost €65 GP visit + prescription charge for pill packets in Dublin.

Anonymous said...


Lawful-abortion process shrouded in uncertainty
ANALYSIS : There are no official figures on the number of procedures, while hospital ethics committees meet behind closed doors, writes CARL O'BRIEN The Irish Times - Wednesday, December 22, 2010. “The names of these individuals, who volunteer their time, were not released by the Health Service Executive yesterday”.

The munificent society at this number may be willing to help with uncovering this secret information. Telephone: 01 6761835 Outside Ireland (00 353 1 6761835)


Would it not be better to be open and honest and declare that Ireland is an autocratic- theocratic state, and have the same sort of elections as Burma or Iran. Autocracy is not a bad thing if it is just and fair.

Why can’t Ireland have a High King or Queen (Rí na hÉireann) like the way it used to be before the “Sassenach” came. We need a person like Brian Boru [(Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, (941–23 April 1014)] not the over indulged Brian Cowan.

Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig kicked the shit out of the Vikings and gave his life for Ireland. It is almost one thousand years since Brian died in the battle of Clontarf. Someone needs to (metaphorically) kick the shit out of Brian Cowan and his bunch of swindlers who talk shit and as demonstrated, would not lift a finger for the people of Ireland.

The Gombeen Man said...

Ah now. I've a soft spot for the Vikings.

Anonymous said...

Dear GM
I too have a soft spot for The Vikings because they probably are our ancestors, after all the rape and pillage they did. They were not "namby-pamby" whingers who were all fucking talk. They go up and did things and brought a great deal of music and culture to Ireland.

When I was at school Irish history books did not give them a good press . I remember as a punishment having to learn by heart:

"Brian Boru’s Address to his Army. At the Battle of Clontarf"

"Stand ye now for Erin's glory! Stand ye now for Erin's cause!
Long ye've groaned beneath the rigor of the Northmen's savage laws.
What though brothers league against us? What, though myriads be the foe?
Victory will be more honored in the myriads' overthrow.
"Proud Connacians! oft we've wrangled in our petty feuds of yore;
Now we fight against the robber Dane upon our native shore;
May our hearts unite in friendship, as our blood in one red tide,
While we crush their mail-clad legions, and annihilate their pride!
"Brave Eugenians! Erin triumphs in the sight she sees to-day--
Desmond's homesteads all deserted for the muster and the fray!
Cluan's vale and Galtees' summit send their bravest and their best--
May such hearts be theirs forever, for the Freedom of the West!
"Chiefs and Kernes of Dalcassia! Brothers of my past career,
Oft we've trodden on the pirate-flag that flaunts before us here;
You remember Inniscattery, how we bounded on the foe,
As the torrent of the mountain bursts upon the plain below!
"They have razed our proudest castles--spoiled the Temples of the Lord--
Burned to dust the sacred relics--put the Peaceful to the sword--
Desecrated all things holy--as they soon may do again,
If their power to-day we smite not--if to-day we be not men!
"On this day the God-man suffered--look upon the sacred sign--
May we conquer 'neath its shadow, as of old did Constantine!
May the heathen tribe of Odin fade before it like a dream,
And the triumph of this glorious day in our future annuals gleam!
"God of heaven, bless our banner--nerve our sinews for the strife!
Fight we now for all that's holy--for our altars, land and life--
For red vengeance on the spoiler, whom the blazing temples trace--
For the honor of our maidens and the glory of our race!
"Should I fall before the foeman, 'tis the death I seek to-day;
Should ten thousand daggers pierce me, bear my body not away,
Till this day of days be over--till the field is fought and won--
Then the holy mass be chanted, and the funeral rites be done.

"Men of Erin! men of Erin! grasp the battle-ax: and spear!
Chase these Northern wolves before you like a herd of frightened deer!
Burst their ranks, like bolts from heaven! Down, on the heathen crew,
For the glory of the Crucified, and Erin's glory too!"

Anonymous said...

THE HOLY SPIRIT (Liquid Sort)“ABERLOUR” 10 Year Old

My favourite book is the Odyssey By Homer. I read the children’s version aged 7 and all the other versions as I studied Classics at University.

But if some idiotic person dressed in a gem incrusted tall hat (Mitre) came along and said that the Odyssey was true and it actually happened, and that everyone must believe it under of death or excommunication, I would ardently complain and I would insist that The Odyssey is beautiful and exciting fiction.

The same applies to the Bible (The New Testament) whereby The Roman Catholic Church expects educated adult human beings to accept as the truth. There are some very nice warm philosophical stories similar to Aesops fables.

Because the Pope is infallible and according to the Cardinal, Archbishops and priests we have to believe it. Well, I fucking don't. In fact I never did, since the age of eight when a Christian Brother punched me on the head and face and he burst my ear drum. because I asked him how Our Lady breathed and ate food after she was assumed into heaven. He went absolutely mad and accused me of blasphemy. It was two days before my eight birthday and I had no idea what blasphemy was. When confronted about this criminal act, he blatantly denied it and The Christian Brothers believed him. (What a surprise that is).

He was very excited to an orgiastic degree when he was talking about: "Munificentissimus Deus" The Apostolic Constitution On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII solemnly declared:

"By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory”

After then I could never accept that the Roman Catholic Church had anything to do with God, and I have learned that there is more spiritually, mystery, logic, love and learning in Aesops fables and Harry Potter than there is in the whole of the New Testament and The Vatican.

When The Holy Spirit, inspired the early doctors of the church (The Holy Spirit is God, according to the doctrine of the Trinity). He failed to mention to these Old Cranks that in the late twentieth century and early twenty first century there would be information technology and Wikipedia on the Internet.

There is no excuse for this oversight because God knows all things, past present and future. So why are we in this mess! Why did God create women if they are such a bother to the church. (personally I am glad that She did). Men are not really good sinners, they make a mess of it. Women were made for sin, and by God they are good at it. Thats what annoys the Vatican so much, women cannot be easily tamed, whereas men can!! Just an Opinion!!.

I have never been visited by the Holy Spirit, but I will be visiting the Holy Spirit in the form of “ABERLOUR” 10 year old single Malt Scotch Whisky. That is all the religion I need.

Merry Christmas to you all!!

The Gombeen Man said...

I'll drink to that.