Saturday, May 26, 2018

"Ireland Votes to End Abortion Ban in Rebuke to Catholic Church" By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, New York Times, My Response- A Pro-Life Church Must be Pro-Woman and Pro-Contraception.

My Response: I know that this has been  a heart wrenching decision that divided families in Ireland. It is clear that the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy no longer controls the Irish people with the fear of hell-fires like they did back in the day that my parents grew up there in 20's, and 30's.  

Today, this referendum demonstrates that the majority of the Irish (especially the young) believe that women can be trusted to make the right choices about their reproductive lives and the bottom line is following one's conscience in all moral decisions. I believe we cannot judge another person's situation or choices. 

On one occasion, a young woman came to me in distress -considering an abortion because a sonogram seemed to indicate that the fetus was not developing normally. I listened to her pain and suggested a second opinion before she made her final decision. After this consultation, she decided against the abortion. Several months later she delivered a healthy baby boy. About a year later, she brought her toddler to visit me. She was a happy single Mom, and they were both flourishing!  

Contraception is available over the counter in Ireland, unlike in the United States. The U.S. bishops support restrictions on contraceptives and do not provide contraceptive health care insurance coverage for their employees. In my view the church's policies are a major part of the problem. 
A pro-life church must be pro-woman and pro-contraception, and this is where the institutional church has often failed on a global level to uphold women's rights as human rights. Perhaps, that is one of the lessons that  Ireland's historic referendum brings to the Vatican. 

Of course, this is another reason we need women priests and married priests!  
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, #womenpriestsnow,

DUBLIN — "Ireland voted decisively to repeal one of the world’s more restrictive abortion bans, sweeping aside generations of conservative patriarchy and dealing the latest in a series of stinging rebukes to the Roman Catholic Church.

The surprising landslide, reflected in the results announced on Saturday, cemented the nation’s liberal shift at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe and the Trump administration is imposing curbs on abortion rights in the United States. In the past three years alone, Ireland has installed a gay man as prime minister and has voted in another referendum to allow same-sex marriage.

But this was a particularly wrenching issue for Irish voters, even for supporters of the measure. And it was not clear until the end that the momentum toward socially liberal policies would be powerful enough to sweep away deeply ingrained opposition to abortion.

“What we have seen today really is a culmination of a quiet revolution that’s been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years,” Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said at a counting center in Dublin before the results of Friday’s vote were released, giving an early indication of the final outcome. 
“This has been a great exercise in democracy,” Mr. Varadkar said, “and the people have spoken and the people have said: We want a modern constitution for a modern country, and that we trust women and that we respect them to make the right decisions and the right choices about their own health care.”

The “yes” camp took more than 66 percent of the vote, according to the official tally, and turnout was about 64 percent

A mural in Dublin of Savita Halappanavar, who died in 2012 of complications from a miscarriage after a hospital rejected a request for an abortion.CreditBarry Cronin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“Today is a sad day for Ireland and for people who believe in genuine human rights,” the deputy chairwoman of one of Ireland’s biggest anti-abortion groups, Cora Sherlock, said in a Twitter message. “The struggle to defend the most vulnerable has not ended today, it’s just changed.”

The vote repeals the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution — a 1983 measure that conferred equal rights on the fetus and the mother and banned abortion under almost all circumstances. Before the referendum, the government had pledged to pass legislation by the end of the year to allow unrestricted terminations up to 12 weeks if the amendment was set aside."

1 comment:

Phil said...

Well stated, a pro-life church needs to be a pro-woman church. Easier said than done, because that would require that the institutional church re-examine in depth centuries of misogyny hidden in its mythology around the "Virgin" and the perfect woman. In the meanwhile women capable of thinking and free to think for themselves are leaving the church because it is unable to respect them and speak to their new vision of womanhood. The institutional organization does not trust lay people, and at the bottom of the pyramid are lay women.