After the March for Choice the other week, you’d think we’d be done with abortion news for a little while at least. No such luck! Two major abortion-related stories surfaced this week.
UK Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt voiced his support last week for a reduction in the abortion time limit from 12 to 24 weeks. The Abortion Support Network’s Mara Clarke argued that this would adversely affect Irish women, since we tend to have later-term abortions than our UK counterparts.
In an unprecedented move, Marie Stopes will be opening a clinic in Belfast offering medically necessary medical abortions. Abortions! On the island of Ireland! I’ll be expecting the skies to fall and ground to open any minute now. Either that or Irish and Northern Irish women will finally have some, limited, access to life-saving abortions. Ramp.ie agree with me that it’s long overdue. The Donegal Dollop foresee Ryanair protests and Catholic refugee camps springing up on the borders. When faced with Micheal O’Leary on a rampage, I think I might rather the falling skies.
Finally, my own Feminist Ire have a post up on Islamophobia at Dublin’s March for Choice. I hope I’m speaking for more than just myself when I say that, really, I’d prefer to advocate for rights for one group without trampling over the rights of another. As a general rule.
Rape culture, women’s safety, and the right to exist.
I’ve always been of the opinion that my gender is not an excuse to deny me the right to walk or to speak. An opinion shared neither by Jill Meagher’s murderer or Malala Yousafzai’s attacker.
Looking at coverage of the attack on Yousafzai, I can’t help but be frustrated by a common thread in the English-language blogs and articles I’m stuck with reading. It’s been hard to find pieces that don’t talk about how much better things are here in the West. There’s this piece by Nelle. Listen, I’m Irish. That means I’ve got no excuse not to know better. And I’m sick to death of the side-order of Islamophobia with my anti-sexism.
It’s not like things are perfect here. Blaming the victims of sex crimes lets perpetrators off the hook is a response to Jill Meagher’s rape and murder in nice, “safe”, Western Melbourne. Lisa McInerney says that tragic cases don’t need a side of victim-blaming, and Sinead Keogh would like you to know that walking alone at night isn’t a symptom of silliness, thank you.
On a similar note, Crates and Ribbons have been discussing the selective blindness of rape culture and the ‘Kissing Sailor’ photograph. And because it’s impossible to have a reasonable discussion about rape culture on the internet, they followed it up with a post debunking misconceptions.
Robin Ince just became a patron for Dignity in Dying, and explains why.
I believe the desire to live, especially for those who see no glow of an afterlife, is too great for us to just switch off our existence on a whim, as some of those against assisted dying seem to suggest.
In The Monster that therefore I am, Monsterevity talks about monstrousness and mental illness:
Mental illness, while not necessarily taboo in Ireland, is still an issue that others the person who lives with it. What I mean by this is that mental illness makes the person who lives with it other to the “normal” people with whom they interact, (often) in the way in which others view them and (always) in the way in which they view themselves.
Progressive Economy argue against government plans to cut child benefit:
There are three clear features of this payment, which indicate fundamental values and principles: (1) It goes to all children equally; (2) It is paid to all citizens with children regardless of their income, as part of the ‘return on investment’ of taxation and social insurance; and (3) It is a payment from everyone to Ireland’s children, regardless of whether or not they have children of their own.
And finally… back from another globetrotting adventure, Indiana Jones checks his mail and discovers that his bid for tenure has been denied.