Another Societal Milestone Passed; What Next for Progressing Ireland?

Last Saturday’s overwhelmingly positive referendum outcome in support of constitutional recognition for same-sex marriage was a great result for progress, equality, liberty, inclusion, rights for everyone and all things good in Ireland. It was a proud and historic moment for Irish society generally and especially for those Irish citizens living in the Republic who had and positively utilised the residential privilege to vote. To think homosexual acts were only decriminalised in the state 22 years ago in 1993… Having found themselves under the repressive moral and … Read more

Halappanavar Inquest: Midwife’s remarks rather than clinical mistakes beg legislation and public debate

First of two important stories in the Republic this, comes from the inquest into Savita Halappanavar’s death. Firstly: Dr Katherine Astbury said she had not seen a notation on the 31-year-old’s charts that would indicate a deterioration in her condition. She also conceded that she had not seen Ms Halappanavar’s blood results, which had changed and could have been indicative of severe sepsis. The consultant obstetrician told the inquest that had she been aware of these details she would have … Read more

Short roundup on the #Savita case…

With as little comment and ado as possible… – Alex Massie notes the irreducible paradox of how the law as it stands was caught out by circumstance: Clearly, doctors did not think Mrs Halapannavar’s life was in danger. Equally likely: this delay helped kill her. – In the Irish Times, James McDermott notes: It is far better for the Oireachtas to debate legislation in a calm and coherent manner rather than for courts to have to develop the law on … Read more

The pro-choice lobby’s exploitation of the Savita tragedy could backfire badly

The old saying “hard cases make bad law” should be heeded as much by progressive campaigners as by fusty lawmakers. Because it is equally true that tragic cases make bad reforms. The pro-choice activists currently holding up photos of Savita Halappanavar, while calling on the Irish authorities to legislate for some forms of abortion in order to “protect women’s lives”, could unwittingly help to give rise to an Irish abortion law that negates women’s autonomy rather than accentuating it. It … Read more

Ireland in desperate need of its own set of secular morals and ethics?

There’s a rather disturbing story on the front page of today’s Irish Times, which recounts the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar. Despite the fact that she was found to be miscarrying Savita was denied an abortion because ‘the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.’ Here’s a fuller account of what happened: Speaking from Belgaum in the Karnataka region of southwest India, Mr Halappanavar said an internal examination was performed when she first … Read more