At 4pm today outside the Irish consulate in Edinburgh, about fifty people came to stand vigil for Savita Halappanavar, to sign Diwali cards for Enda Kenny and James Reilly.
This week Savita should have been celebrating Diwali with her family and with the Indian community in Galway. She and her husband should have been together, mourning the loss of her first pregnancy.
If they had chosen almost anywhere but Ireland to settle and have children, she would have been alive.
In Ireland, as everybody knows, if you need an abortion you have to go overseas to get it. (The Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast can only perform simple abortions and legally, in Northern Ireland, only when the life of the woman is at risk.)
In the Republic of Ireland, abortions for molar and ectopic pregnancies are routinely performed – but the hospitals and the government carefully don’t refer to them as abortions. (See: When is an abortion not an abortion.)
The antichoice brigade call themselves “prolife”, because they are against ending foetal lives safely and legally. They tell themselves stories about how women don’t need abortions: they use phrases like the “abortion industry”, assuring themselves that women who say they did need abortions and they are happier and healthier for having had abortion are deluded, or lying. A recent study demonstrated that women who are denied an abortion and end up being forced to have the baby experience worse outcomes than women who are able to obtain an abortion.
(Or just unheard: Cora Sherlock, a Irish prolife campaigner, repeatedly refuses to discuss on what basis she disregards the testimony of the majority of women who leave Ireland to have abortions, when she claims that all women are traumatised by abortion. (Since the majority of those who identify feeling traumatised – most don’t – say that their trauma was caused by Ireland’s outsourcing of abortion so that they had to travel, as if having an abortion was something to be ashamed of. The Irish prolife movement is explicitly not interested in hearing that.)
Filed under Equality, Women