To the 111 TDs who voted No to the Medical Treatment Bill 2012…

To the 111 TDs who voted No to the Medical Treatment Bill 2012,

As an Irish citizen and as a women, I wish to express my anger, sadness and dismay that the archaic nature of our abortion legislation has lead to the death of Savita Halappanavar. Legislation, that each of you has stunted by voting no last April. How many more women need to die, and how much blood needs to be on the hands of the Irish people before you are compelled to act?

I have spent the last 18 months living abroad, where I have spoken at length on this issue with women from both developed and developing nations, all of whom were appalled that in a country, which sends the best and brightest graduates out into the world, which is home to some of the most cutting-edge technology brands in the world, which is known the world over for its rich culture, still hasn’t handed over the control of women’s bodies, and still holds their health, and in this case their lives, in the palm of its hand.  

Ireland is a progressive country in so many ways, but for a government that spends so much of its time keeping up appearances both politically and economically, this is an embarrassment. I am not often compelled to make a stand but when I woke up this morning and read about Savita Halappanaver I was ashamed be Irish and I was angry. I am ashamed to be from a country where a women was allowed to suffer, to cry out in pain, and to die, in the name of out-dated, ill-advised, and inhumane legislation. 
We can be presidents, we can be CEOs, we can be mothers, but we can’t make our own choices about our own health.
I could be Savita, my sister could be Savita, my best friend could be Savita, or if this farce continues for another twenty years, my daughter could be Savita. This is no longer about religion, this is about life and death. Whether it’s to help a teenage girl with a crisis pregnancy or a married woman who wanted to save her baby to the bitter end, enough is enough; it’s time to legalise abortion in Ireland and trust Irish women with their own bodies.
Forget the party line, forget small town politics, remember Savita Halappanaver and fight for the rights of women in Ireland.
I don’t often get vocal about politics, I tend to be a laid-back kind of dame. But I woke up this morning enraged that the dinosaurs we have for leaders in Ireland, have dithered for so long that the inevitable has happened. A women is dead and a man has lost his wife. Below is a list of the TDs I sent the above email to, all of whom voted, last April, against the the bill that would prevent this exact thing from happening. (I must note that I noticed a few of our more prominent politicians were absent for the vote). If you think Irish women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies, these men and women are the folks you need to convince… 

4 thoughts on “To the 111 TDs who voted No to the Medical Treatment Bill 2012…

  1. The sad thing is the Irish People voted for abortion in restricted circumstances (the life of the mother being in danger) 20 years ago, but cowardly politicians refused to legislate for the people’s wishes. It is terribly sad that it may take the death of a young woman to achieve this. Hopefully we can finally remove any confusion regarding the law by legislating for the ‘X’ Case, though given the result of the vote last time, I have my doubts.

    • Yeah, ‘Catholic country’ comment aside, I empathise with doctors who are feel their hands are tied, and are terrified of being pulled in over this. But this case was no grey area, and never should have happened, I can’t believe how unprotected we’ve been for so long. Politicians need to (wo)man up this time and actually come up with some solid, clear, legislation. I’m for full abortion rights, but clearer, concrete, life of the mother legislation would be a start.

  2. I can’t believe it’s SO DANGEROUS to get ill in irish maternity hospital. This is sad and disgraceful story of ignorance, loss of common sense and total lack of humanity. No polititian nor medical expert should be given any space for reasoning or explaining. There is none of those. Just fix that law from Dark Ages. FAST.

    • Beta, it is not very dangerous to get ill in an Irish maternity hospital. Just the opposite, in fact. Ireland consistently the best record in the world when it comes to instances of maternal mortality. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe the UN? This is a terribly sad case, but it is not the norm.

      I am pro-choice, and believe that the law should be changed, at least to allow doctors more certainty on how they can act. But we shouldn’t get hysterical before the facts of the case emerge. I was also born in the maternity ward in which Savita died, and those same doctors cared for my grandfather after he suffered a serious heart attack earlier this year. In my opinion, they were fantastic. Let’s see what emerges from the inquiry before we apportion blame.

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