Tuesday, 13 January 2015

" In a Land of Make Believe, that Don't Believe in Me" Abortion and Women's Rights in Ireland

The world is composed of many things which  will always stay the same. Waters chemical formula is H2O, 2 + 2 =4. It's just how it is, we live by it, accepting that some things in life can't be changed. When it comes to science sometimes the odds are in your favour and sometimes they aren't. That's life. Stephanie Roches goal was pretty fantastic. Outside of  her football skills, there were of course some other factors to take into consideration such as gravity, velocity, angles, the positions and actions of the other players and so on. In that very moment, when all of these factors combined in a certain way, it was  determined that the ball would end up in the net, there would be no other outcome and boy was it a good one. 

When Sean Abott threw a cricket ball, the speed and angle at which it was thrown, the positioning of Phil Hughes, the part of his neck which was exposed, all of those factors in that very moment determined that Phil Hughes would pass away from his injuries. There was nothing that could be done. 2+2 =4 and on that day 4 was death.

When a young woman in her 30's collapses and dies at home from sudden adult death syndrome, one  fact which matters to her family is knowing there was nothing in that moment which could have changed the outcome. When you are thrown into a new scary world of grief you cling onto the fact that there was nothing that could have been done.  No law of the land or medical intervention could have saved her in that moment.  

When Savita Halappanavar became desperately ill and requested a medical termination, the fact is there WAS something that could have been done which may have saved her life. However the laws of the land,not science or sheer dumb bad luck prevented this from happening. The laws of this country played a major role in how this scenario ended. 

The fact of the matter is that these laws can be changed, the constitution can be changed.The world won't self implode if Ireland makes the necessary changes to man made laws. Yet we continue to live in a society which  forces this made up world on us. People may argue that no we can't change the laws of the land because of X, Y and Z. I am well aware of the argument for the right to life of the unborn but I'm not here to argue for their rights, I'm here to say that I don't see my body as a vessel but this is exactly how the Irish government are treating it as witnessed in the recent case of PP v HSE. 

My body is not a vessel, it is a canvas which I dress in a way that I choose.  I keep my body healthy by the foods and exercise I choose. When something happens to my body which is beyond my control but not the control of medicine, I should be able to choose which medical path I want to go down. Why can't we look outside the man made box we have confined ourselves and realise that this system isn't working, because that's all it is. It's a system, not a true and undeniable fact of life. 

These changes may offend people, make them feel uncomfortable but not changing things has resulted in the death and loss of dignity of women. How many more women and families will be forced to suffer purely for the fact that we were born female and live in a world where we don't get to determine what we do with our bodies.

It angers me because Savita didn't have to die, at the very least she  could have been given a fighting chance.  A chance whose odds were determined by  the best possible efforts of medicine/ science and not by the inhumane shortcomings in our legal system. 

Apologies for any typos. 


  1. Well said, Rosaleen, especially the second last paragraph.

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