Citizen Journalism (May 22nd, 2013) and emails to Govt concerning Abortion and discrimination in Ireland by Michelle Clarke

Wed May 22, 2013 16:32

Confusion and too much discussion:

Abortion & legislation of X case

by Michelle Clarke (Comyn)

Take a position – you hold with the decision of the X case or you do not but at all times please exercise humanity for the mother who carries the child and if mental health issues apply please acknowledge the woman’s right to decide.

Consider today’s Irish Times article. ‘Suicidal woman allowed to get abortion’

In the UK, the Judge says that ‘a woman cannot be barred from abortion even “if mentally unwell”‘ As the Irish bill on mental capacity is yet to be introduced, it greatly surprises me that in the constant debate about suicide in Ireland presently, that not much attention is given to the issue of ‘mental capacity’ and the person’s right to have or not have a child.

Mark Hennessy, the London Editor of the Irish Times reports:-

A woman who is mentally ill and who states ‘she will commit suicide if forced to continue with a pregnancy, CANNOT BE BARRED FROM HAVING AN ABORTION…..’ a judge in London has ruled.

Let us take perspective urgently here in Ireland based on this…..’the woman, who is mentally ill, cannot be prevented from making the choice to have an abortion….’ Surely, this is a basic human right that people in Ireland need to grasp before this legislation is passed. The X case has existed for 20 years now and should be enacted in legislation. The Church ought to stand ashamed for their threats to excommunicate members of our Government who fail to adhere to their CREDO. Times thankfully have changed.

The Judgment (9 pm last night) was granted quickly taking account of the 24 week bar to abortion limits on pregnancy. Mr. Justice Holman said ‘It had to be established that the woman, who suffers from bipolar disorder, lacks the mental capacity before she could be stopped by the courts, even though he accepted that she is “mentally unwell”. In Ireland we need to note this Judgment on behalf of the many women with neuro-psychiatric implications who may become pregnant and need to make choices based on their life circumstances. Judge Holman went on to say that “Under the law, the woman is entitled to make a decision “WHICH MAY BE UNWISE” OR WITH WHICH OTHERS DISAGREE “INCLUDING MYSELF” if she is shown to have enough capacity to know her own mind……’

The psychiatrists in this case tried to state that the woman did not have the mental capacity because of her mental health problems eg bipolar, with paranoia and other problems. The psychiatrists put forward that in time the woman could regret the choice of abortion and would prefer to have sent the child forward for adoption but the Judge listened to the woman and acknowledged her capacity and right to choose in the circumstances.

The woman spoke and she said “I want it (the abortion as many with mental health problems can and will say) more than ever. In the situation that I am in, (8 years with bipolar and complications informs you of your circumstances), the idea of me having a baby is crazy’, she said, before insisting she wanted to part from her husband and her mother and “start a new life”. The woman acknowledged that choosing an abortion was not taken lightly but also said that she had no regrets relating to an abortion she had chosen to have 18 months earlier. Her regrets were that she became pregnant. The other point to note is that the father was not her husband.

This case is worth reading.

Mental health and anxiety are stigmatised and it is an elite group of people who make judgments in Ireland to intervene and bully vulnerable people. We need to first deal with the stigma and mental health before we start threatening to imprison our medical profession to 14 years in prison for making a decision to facilitate an abortion in Ireland in line with the X Case

Hippocrates says: ‘Do No Harm’. Remember this is a paradox. For a woman making a decision to have an abortion because she lives with neuro-psychiatric complications…the doctor who understands her situation making a decision to carry out an abortion is alleviating harm to the woman who basically feels she would not be able to cope. Mental health is a life long sentence and choice is essential – it does not take those self-made God-like psychiatrists and the likes of the Iona Institute or Opus Dei for that matter to make the decision that the woman has no right to choose.


Michelle Clarke

Friday, May 24th, 2013

“Lobby your TDs on the immediate need for legislation

to give effect to the X case”

by Michelle Clarke (Blake)

Where are the people? What have they to say to Elric who wrote in November 2012 and to Comyn who wrote the recent posting? The hot potato called Abortion is causing dissent and anger but the realities of those who should have a right to make a decision, especially when it concerns mental health and a potential suicide. Certain politicians are being sent hate mail by diehards and yet too many people lack the moral compass to participate in the debate especially in the light of the “Savita” travesty of justice.

Legislate the X case into law is the nub. Google in the recent article by Dearbhail McDonald, legal editor, the Independent. Retired Judge Catherine McGuinness, said on the final days of the Oireachtas committee hearing ‘that most women will travel abroad for a termination rather than apply to secure a termination under the Protection of Life Pregnancy bill’. Shame on us. Why the silence in the Irish Media about the recent decision in the UK, as stated in Comyn’s posting?

Mrs Justice McGuinness also said that it was “disappointing” that the proposed definition of the unborn does not cover the foetus incapable of independent life’. Add to this that Dr Ruth Fletcher, Director of the Research Centre for Law Ethics and Society at the Keele university in the UK who said that ‘the legislature needed to exclude from the proposed definition of the unborn, foetuses with lethal abnormalities that would not have an independent life’. She further emphasised this point by saying “Foetuses are the bearers of biological life and future persons, but this is not the same kind of life as that of a breathing, feeling, thinking women”.

Are people aware that the Pro Life campaign have significant media clout and people like Barrister William Binchy hold the view that ‘there was no obligation on the Oireachtas to legislate for the X case, when he described it as a “wrong decision”. This is a barrister saying that the Supreme Court decision is basically wrong! It is necessary for us to consider the suicides which have happened in Ireland where a mother can cope no longer and not only takes her life but is often so depressed that she sees no option worthwhile in leaving her children alive, so makes the decision to end all lives.

Raped or incest. Check out Cardinal Meisner for his view.


Thursday July 04, 2013 16:18

 Abortion: Committee Stage

Not too late to petition

by Michelle Clarke (Comyn)

Stand ashamed those psychiatrists who lack the humanity, conscience, compassion and understanding and who are opposing the inclusion of suicide as grounds for abortion in the new legislation.

A group of psychiatrists, including the Mater Hospital’s Professor Patricia Casey are calling for an EGM of the College of Psychiatrists relating to the submission to the Oireachtas committee hearings on abortion that supported the proposed legislation. These elites of our society claim that the views of all its members were not taken account of by the College of Psychiatrists. What are they saying – unanimity is what they want? If the majority decided, why is this not enough? Perhaps there is too much peer pressure from the Church via the Iona Institute and for that matter Opus Dei.

The arrogance is astounding. These privileged cohorts in our society have written a letter to the other members of the College of Psychiatrists and stated that: ‘The submission presented at the oral hearings made no mention of the concerns of 34 members who responded to the call for views. Instead, it supported the legislation, saying abortion may be necessary in rare cases’….. What do they not grasp about a majority decision? The College of Psychiatrists emailed all 684 members of the Oireachtas committee hearings…they received only 34 responses. The decision following the council meeting was a “unanimous submission”.

A feud among psychiatrists makes the plight of the women who are seeking the protection of the State and the medical profession who administer to these women a further contrivance between the Church and State for the Church to superimpose their excommunication doctrine as a threat to those who according to our proposed legislation should have the option to make a choice particularly if suicidal to have an abortion without having the trauma of travelling to the UK.

In my view, the legislation should go a stage further and allow for fetal abnormality where the baby is deceased, having known a woman in this situation, it is inhumane, if not quite barbaric. Also in the case of rape or incest, the legislation should provide for these women on the basis of human rights. No-one has tackled the question where the woman with down’s syndrome who was raped recently and if it were the case that she became pregnant. If it was her choice, surely it would only be humane to allow her to have an abortion in this country.

Theocracy is rigid and the fact that it has undue influence on the medical profession still for a country that has become secular is most disturbing. What have we learned from the Savita tragedy and the report?

Michelle Clarke

About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for 2003/2004; St Patricks Foundation monthly lecture notes for a specific period in time; Selection of Poetry including poems written by people I know; Quotations 1998-2017; other writings mainly with theme of social justice under the heading Citizen Journalism Ireland. Letters written to friends about life in Zimbabwe; Family history including Michael Comyn KC, my grandfather, my grandmother's family, the O'Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forsters; Moral wrong: An acrimonious divorce but the real injustice was the Catholic Church granting an annulment – you can read it and make your own judgment, I have mine. Topics I have written about include annual Brain Awareness week, Mashonaland Irish Associataion in Zimbabwe, Suicide (a life sentence to those left behind); Nostalgia: Tara Hill, Co. Meath.
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2 Responses to Citizen Journalism (May 22nd, 2013) and emails to Govt concerning Abortion and discrimination in Ireland by Michelle Clarke

  1. Pingback: Citizen Journalism (May 22nd, 2013) and emails to Govt concerning Abortion and discrimination in Ireland by Michelle Clarke | canisgallicus

  2. Pingback: Citizen Journalism (May 22nd, 2013) and emails to Govt concerning Abortion and discrimination in Ireland by Michelle Clarke | canisgallicus

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