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Who Controls Sex? Why Ireland Needs Abortion on Demand

Savita Halappanavar

When Savita Halappanavar lay in an Irish hospital, a diseased foetus inside her, and requested an abortion so that she might live, she was refused, told that "Ireland is a Catholic country". Savita died. This didn't happen in the 19th century. This was 2012.

The Irish Government is planning to introduce legislation to ensure that Savita's tragedy doesn't happen again, but there are greater forces at play, even within the Government. Ireland is currently governed by a coalition. The major party is Fine Gael, which is about as right wing, Catholic and old school as it gets. Fine Gael is led by the passive, uninspiring and insipid Enda Kenny, who you can easily picture kissing a bishop's ring. The minor party is Labour, which is more secular and progressive (Ireland's Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn, is doing a fantastic job, in this writer's opinion, tackling religious control of the education system head-on). Beyond Government are the pressure groups. On the one hand, the so-called Pro-Life movement is aggressively pro-Catholic and pro-religion and is allegedly funded and organised by hardcore American religionists. The Pro-Choice movement is a much looser coalition, with little resources. Then we have the all-powerful Catholic Church, which has had Ireland in its deformed grip for centuries, a grip which only now slowly loosening. The Church has multiple tentacles, pressing levers in every corner of Irish life, from the secretive Opus Dei to the Irish Catholic Doctors' Association.

So, while the religionists will prattle on about the sanctity of life and God and this 'Catholic country', and the politicians will introduce another half-baked measure which will lead to yet more horrible deaths of pregnant women in Ireland, and around 6,000 Irish women still travelling to the UK for abortions every single year, the real issue gets lost: if men could get pregnant there would be abortion on demand, there would be an abortion clinic on every corner and abortion would be free.

So the abortion issue is not about the 'right to life' of the unborn or what God thinks - the Bible makes clear that an infant doesn't count as a person until one month old and God made a habit out of killing foetuses and (born) infants to punish their parents - the issue is about religion controlling women, sex and reproduction. The religionists can't see the huge contradiction in their position: how can any sane person oppose abortion AND contraception? The Catholic Church is obsessed with sex and this Republic must make a choice: do we accept that sex is the right and freedom of consenting adults or do we leave the control of sex in the hands of perverted old virgins?

The Constitution's position on abortion is about as confused and outdated as it is on most other issues that concern 21st century Ireland. It is my view that the Constitution should be redrafted from a clean slate, by and for the people.

The choice facing Ireland is stark: continuing Church control or secular democracy. I say no more Catholic influence in Ireland, abortion on demand. Let's grow up and take control of our sex lives.

Find out more about the death of Savita Halappanavar and why abortion is currently a big issue in Ireland here:

Find out more about what the Bible says about abortion here:

Help to free Ireland from the poisoned grip of religion by joining the Secular Ireland group on Facebook here:

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