Vessel: Former Greenpeace Doctor Offers Worldwide Abortion Access (#SXSW)

By: Wednesday March 26, 2014 4:50 pm

Every 10 minutes, a woman dies from a botched abortion. That’s 47,000 women every year. But what if there were an extremely safe way women could self-administer abortion, without needing the permission of the medical establishment or the state?

Vessel – the first documentary from filmmaker Diana Whitten — studies one woman’s efforts to get the abortion pill and the information needed to use it to women worldwide.

Food Sunday: Dublin, Ireland

By: Sunday January 5, 2014 7:00 am

I’ve been coming to Ireland for decades and have watched food here shift and change, growing progressively healthier, locally sourced and delicious. This trip I made it a point to eat in two of Dublin’s most interesting and acclaimed restaurants, something I saved up for. (And there were others that beckoned me with their siren scents of grills, curries, and chips). I also had fish and chips at Leo Burdocks, now entering its second century. And to counteract the rich food featured in these photos, I made sure to have a daily detox smoothie from the local health food shop.

Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Morgan Llywelyn

By: Saturday December 21, 2013 7:07 pm

I am at least a quarter Irish so that may speak to why I’ve enjoyed so many of Morgan Llywelyn’s books.

RIP: Seamus Heaney, Irish Poet, Nobel Laureate

By: Saturday August 31, 2013 5:20 pm

Nobel Laureate and Irish poet Seamus Heaney, whose work affected and influence generations, has died at age 74. Heaney, born in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is considered the greatest Irish poet since Yeats. He also was someone I knew as brother-in-law of one of my oldest friends, so the loss hits on a personal level. He and his wife, Marie herself the author of several books including Over Nine Waves, A Book of Irish Legends, lived in Sandymount, Co. Dublin, in a house with gardens overflowing with plants and flowers.

Well there’s someplace where rights are on the offensive

By: Friday July 12, 2013 1:30 am

While the GOP and some Democrats too, try incessantly to snuff out reproductive rights, in Ireland where such rights have not existed there is some hope.

Abortion in Ireland: The Injustice and Day-to-Day Terror Faced by Countless Women

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 5:35 pm

As an organisation that hears first-hand from the women who bear the burden of Ireland’s archaic abortion laws, the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar was shocking and sickening.

And yet not as surprising as you’d think.

Given that abortion laws in Ireland are among the strictest in the world, a tragedy of this kind wasn’t so much a matter of if, but when. The circumstances in which Savita died are truly abhorrent. Admitted to hospital experiencing a miscarriage at 17 weeks, despite being told that the fetus “wasn’t viable” she was made to suffer for days, left begging for an abortion that she was refused as long as there was a foetal heart beat.

Savita Had a Heartbeat, Too

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 5:12 pm

For days now, I’ve been putting myself in Savita Halappanavar’s shoes.

I’m expecting. Seventeen weeks in, piercing pain sends me to the hospital. For three days, I’m miscarrying. There’s no hope for my child and my own health is fading. For three days, I’m in physical agony and doctors refuse my pleas to terminate the pregnancy to save my life. The child won’t survive, but there is a “heartbeat” and doctors fear terminating will violate my country’s laws. The unthinkable happens.

The tragedy that ended Savita’s life put a human face on the abortion issue. People are demonstrating in droves and even the Indian government is pressuring Ireland to change its laws. One demonstrator held a placard reading, “Savita had a heartbeat, too.”

Women’s Lives Matter: It’s Time to Hold Governments Accountable for Safe Abortion Care

By: Thursday November 22, 2012 12:45 pm

In Ireland, abortion is against the law in most cases. But Savita should have received a legal abortion; under the constitution abortion is allowed when a woman’s life is in imminent danger. And Savita’s husband reports that doctors told them an abortion wasn’t an option, despite her repeated requests and severely declining health, because Ireland “is a Catholic country.” What that meant for Savita was that the health-care providers at Galway University Hospital made decisions based on their values (as dictated by the Catholic Church) and disregarded the value of her life.

We have to hold governments accountable.

Silence and Denial Don’t Work: Ireland, Malta, the European Union and the Lessons of Savita’s Death

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 5:18 pm

Much has been said about the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in Galway, Ireland last month. Even before seeing the outcome of the official investigation we can conclude that her death was the result of a combination of factors: inhumane laws, lack of guidelines on how to apply the laws that do exist, fear of prosecution on behalf of doctors, medical incompetence, influences of the most conservative wing of the Catholic Church over hospitals, and — as pointed out recently by Jodi Jacobson — a general climate of misogyny, poisoning both the medical establishment and society at large.

We Are All Savita Halappanavar: Catholic Hospital in Ireland Denies Woman Life-Saving Abortion

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 5:51 am

Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

Last month, a woman was admitted to a hospital in Galway, Ireland. She was 17 weeks pregnant with a wanted child. She was experiencing severe back pain. She was found to be miscarrying the pregnancy.

Within days, she was dead.

Why? Because she ended up in a Catholic hospital, governed by an ethic that even a non-viable fetus doomed to die is more important than a living, breathing 31-year-old woman.

It really is that simple.

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