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11-14-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
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Religion bags another medal of shame!

Ireland Abortion Scandal: Death of a Pregnant Woman Prompts Soul-Searching | TIME.com

Now imagine if this happened in Iran or Afghanistan, what the reaction would have been from the civilized world.

Here is a video clip of my favorite character George Carlin. I don't think anyone can state this better than he did.


11-14-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
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This isn't a religious argument as much as it is a political one.
The argument that "This is a Catholic country" holds no water when it comes to a medically indicated procedure such as a D&C for intrauterine foetal demise.
The problem here is that the foetus was deemed still alive when she was last assessed, but with the imminent risk of spontaneously miscarrying.
The ESBL infection was probably an 'after-the-fact' discovery that compounded the issue in hindsight.

Interestingly, "Abortion in Ireland is available only when the life of the mother is at risk. However, a lack of clarity in legislation has led to confusion within the Irish medical profession as to when a woman’s life is at risk—with the result that abortions are rarely, if ever, performed under any circumstances."

The same law applies in Australia, yet Australia has over 100,000 abortions being performed per year! Hard to reconcile, but that's happening because the same blurry lines are being crossed the other way where it is difficult to disprove that a mother is going to suffer ill harm from the birth of an unwanted child - this includes psychological harm.

That's a sociopolitical issue rather than a religious one. And there's nothing in Christianity that says that abortions (specifically) are wrong - although one could argue the whole "Do not kill" commandment crossing over here. It is, in fact, more specific in the Hippocratic oath: "I will give no abortive medicine to any woman"...

Food for thought...
11-15-2012, 02:54 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteQuote:
In beautiful Galway, my home town, Savita Halappanavar died in the hospital I was born in after being denied a potentially life-saving abortion. She presented with back pain, and was found to be miscarrying. A day of agony later, knowing her pregnancy couldn't survive, she asked for a termination, but was refused. "This is a Catholic country," she was allegedly told.

As long as the foetal heart kept beating doctors would not grant her wish. It beat for three days. Halappanavar vomited, shook and collapsed. On the third day the weak sound faded to nothing and doctors removed the dead foetus. That evening, Halappanavar died of septicaemia.

This is a Catholic country. If these were indeed the words used by the doctors, then the hospital did not feel the need to sugarcoat its rationale with references to Halappanavar's psychological health, or the wellbeing of her foetus. Its ideology was not veiled – as Youth Defence, Precious Life and Ireland's other powerful anti-abortion lobbyists have learned to do – in the language of care and concern for women. The rationale was not cloaked in academic arguments about the moment when human life begins.

Halappanavar objected that she was neither Irish nor a Catholic: a futile attempt to appeal for choice over what was happening to her body. As a medical professional, she most likely knew that her 17-week-old foetus would not be conscious of its existence ending. But her appeal to value her life over an insentient foetus's heartbeat was ignored. There is no abortion on the pope's own island and she had no time to get to England.

I am no longer a Catholic, so I need to look for earthly explanations as to what happened to Halappanavar. The medical technology to prevent this painful, senseless death was at hand. Yet doctors did not use it. Why? One could argue that they had to obey Irish law. In The Origins of Totalitarianism, speaking of defences mounted by the perpetrators of atrocities during the Holocaust, Hannah Arendt says that adult citizens cannot obey. Children and animals can obey, but adults have the capacity to morally assess the actions that their sociopolitical systems demand of them.

Adults do not obey, they consent. And yes, the system might punish you for failing to carry out its evil will – for choosing to remove a dying, insensate foetus from the womb of a woman in agony who is begging you to do so – but fear of consequence does not absolve you. To those doctors who continued to check for a heartbeat as Halappanavar deteriorated, this is also your fault.

I know what it's like to try to speak out against anti-choice hegemony in Ireland. I know how hard it is to even form pro-choice opinions at all. Like 95% of people schooled in Ireland, I had a Catholic education and was heavily propagandised against abortion. More, I had to navigate the biased information offered by the Irish press. RTÉ, our national broadcaster, did not even report on a 2,000-strong pro-choice march in Dublin earlier this year, while it continues to cover anti-abortion movements in the provinces. Teachers and journalists, this is your fault too.

Of course, this is made difficult in a country in which the entire political system, against the will of the electorate, enforces medieval attitudes to abortion. In 1992 the supreme court ruled that a suicidal teenage rape victim had the right to an abortion. In the referendum that followed, Irish people voted to uphold this judgment. Yet, 20 years later, no government has been brave enough to legislate. In 2010 the European court of human rights ruled against the Irish state in favour of a woman who had to travel to the UK to terminate a pregnancy while undergoing chemotherapy. Still Enda Kenny, our devoutly Catholic taoiseach, has said that abortion is "not of priority" for his government. Kenny, James Reilly, the health minister, and every other Dáil member – this is your fault too. You are responsible for the pain Halappanavar's loved ones are going through.

To her family, I want to say: I am ashamed, I am culpable, and I am sorry. For every letter to my local politician I didn't write, for every protest I didn't join, for keeping quiet about abortion rights in the company of conservative relations and friends, for becoming complacent, for thinking that Ireland was changing, for not working hard enough to secure that change, for failing to create a society in which your wife, your daughter, your sister was able to access the care that she needed: I am sorry. You must think that we are barbarians.

I am ashamed that Ireland's medieval abortion law still stands | Emer O'Toole | Comment is free | The Guardian
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11-15-2012, 11:28 AM   #4
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That's a real atrocity.

(And, Ash, the original phrasing of the Hippocratic oath can be chalked up to two factors: for one, Greek culture at the time was highly patriarchal to begin with, but for another, most of the methods for that were pretty darn toxic: even to this day there doesn't seem to be a very good chemical abortifacient, (And, no, they didn't count abstractions about emergency contraception and all. There wasn't Catholic pro-life dogma to figure into that: 'human life' was often considered to begin at quickening, without a lot of controversy about it. ) In either event, as was common to city-states of the time, the kind of citizens that could generally access that kind of physician were as always considered to have a duty to produce lots of offspring, regardless of things like their orientation: otherwise they'd be unable to hold onto their conquests. Cultural context. Not yours. )

11-15-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
.... It is, in fact, more specific in the Hippocratic oath: "I will give no abortive medicine to any woman"...Food for thought...
But then that is an oath sworn to Apollo.
11-15-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by debmalya Quote
Ireland Abortion Scandal: Death of a Pregnant Woman Prompts Soul-Searching | TIME.com

Now imagine if this happened in Iran or Afghanistan, what the reaction would have been from the civilized world.

. . .
In Afghan or Iran, it would be straight forward for an unwed mother. They would cut her head off.
11-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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I realise it's beside the point, but she was not unwed.
11-15-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
I realise it's beside the point, but she was not unwed.
Nor did I say she was. Simply putting his frame of reference into perspective.

11-15-2012, 02:44 PM   #9
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Actually I read the other day that according to Irish law these days there is a clause about dire need and saving the mother's life so the hospital here IS legally at fault here. Apparently the clause is in the legalese but it's rarely followed as it's contrary to custom and I guess what most Catholics there are taught to believe. They knew the baby was dying anyway. They knew something was direly wrong and that she could bleed to death or risk a deadly infection by waiting, which did happen. They were flat out wrong not to do it. This was manslaughter. They killed this woman by means of criminal negligence. I hope her husband sues them blind. The laws for abortion in Ireland are still amazingly backward but I do believe the one exception that they allow for is situations just like this. What that hospital did was unbelievably cruel. She had to sit there for 3 days, extremely ill, just waiting for the heartbeat to stop when they knew the fetus wasn't viable, that she was spotting and likely miscarrying anyway. Then she gets an infection, from their neglect, and dies? That's just abominable misconduct, IMHO...
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