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Pro Choice Campaigning

category dublin | gender and sexuality | news report author Tuesday January 23, 2007 15:25author by Jane Report this post to the editors

Thousands of Pro Choice Leaflets were distributed in Dublin City Centre last weekend as part of a campaign to increase visibility of pro choice activism and to put the issue of Abortion Rights back on the agenda. Members of Labour Youth and BODY distributed leaflets advertising a Pro Choice Meeting that is taking place this Saturday at 3pm in the Central Hotel. There was an excellent reaction from passers by with several people stopping and to lend their support.

bank_of_ireland_college_green.jpg

The issue of reproductive rights has been ignored by the mainstream media and political establishment. The positive reaction to the pro choice stalls ran over the last few weeks show that there is a growing demand for the issue of abortion rights to be discussed and acted on. Now is a great opportunity for everyone who wants to get involved in pro choice activism to unite and work together.

The next stages of the campaign will be planned at the open working meeting taking place on Saturday.

Related Link: http://www.LabourYouth.ie

body_leafletting.jpg

pro_choice_leafletting.jpg

author by Jamespublication date Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:21Report this post to the editors

Have you considered doing a stall on this issue on saturday afternoons at the GPO? You'l find the impressionable people from Youth Defence there week in week out with their graphic photos. Instead of this being a one off campaign why don't LY turn it into a regular one that challenges the weekly Youth Defence campaigns.
...just a thought

author by Jpublication date Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:21Report this post to the editors

The GPO was considered but to be honest I don't see what good it would do to spend my Saturday afternoon arguing with people who are never going to change their minds about something I will never change my mind about either (which is what would happen if we plonked ourselves beside YD). It would probably benefit them, as it would take time away from our stall and from handing out leaflets to people who might want to come on board the campaign.

The campaign isn't designed to be a one-off thing either, but we'll have to wait and see what comes out of Saturday's meeting to see what form future actions might take. Hope to see you there.

author by Marypublication date Wed Jan 24, 2007 16:42Report this post to the editors

Its interesting though - YD use to occupy the very same spot at College Green and now its a pro choice stall that happens there.... thats progress.... bit by bit more and more pro choice space is opening up.

Its a step forward

author by Mpublication date Wed Jan 24, 2007 16:46Report this post to the editors

Is it just me or did any one notice that James posted under the heading "Pro-Life" advising how best to demonstrate for Pro Choice?

What gives James, Are you pro or anti-abortion?

author by Jamespublication date Wed Jan 24, 2007 17:01Report this post to the editors

It was titled pro life in reference to Youth Defence, although I concede that it wasn't overly obvious. My personal stance on the issue has wavered over the years, im much more pro choice than I ever was when I was younger (coming from a strong catholic family). Through education and awareness I realised the errors in my previous judgements. I completely agree with the woman's right to make choices regarding her own body without interference. However I am undecided on the morals regarding the "foetus"...obviously I expect a backlash on this!!

author by Xpublication date Wed Jan 24, 2007 18:08Report this post to the editors

Interesting to see the attacks made on Labour Youth for doing something positive like this. A lot of very sinister forces seem to be still doing their best to prevent women from making their own moral choices about their own bodies.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/80548
author by Starstruckpublication date Wed Jan 24, 2007 19:05Report this post to the editors

Havent seen any-hope yer note tryin yo start a row---
Good initiative,should be a good event and is receiving good support from other left organisations.
Will hopefully lead to follow-up events-thats the key in my book-

author by Xpublication date Thu Jan 25, 2007 02:05Report this post to the editors

Read the link.

author by Cianpublication date Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:18Report this post to the editors

A little bit of criticism X doesn't amount to an "attack" - perefectly valid points been made in my opinion.

author by Mickpublication date Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:08Report this post to the editors

James inadvertently raises a good point. If you're pro-choice, that makes you at odds with the "Pro-Life" movement.

But it doesn't make you "Anti-Life" - it makes you Pro-Life in the sense that "Life" is more than simple existence. The Life of a woman is Her Life. Denying her a choice to take a medical procedure to terminate pregnancy is surely an intrusion on her quality of that life.

So in a sense Pro-Choice IS Pro-Life.

However, the corollorary is not true. The "Pro-Life movement" is vehemently "Anti-Choice".

Anyhoo, good luck with this. I'll try to make it along but keep us posted on upcoming events!

Mick

author by Dr Nickpublication date Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:43Report this post to the editors


'But it doesn't make you "Anti-Life" - it makes you Pro-Life in the sense that "Life" is more than simple existence. The Life of a woman is Her Life. Denying her a choice to take a medical procedure to terminate pregnancy is surely an intrusion on her quality of that life.
So in a sense Pro-Choice IS Pro-Life.
The "Pro-Life movement" is vehemently "Anti-Choice". '

Only from the perspective of those who dont consider the developing baby to be an actual person. Personally when I think of the abortion issue I think of two people,the mother and child. From my perspective then pro life gives more choices to both the mother and child.Pro-choice only gives choice to the mother and the child gets no choice .

Personally I dont want to see the law changed on abortion as it stands but I think its good idea to educate people more so good luck with the leafletting.

author by dcpublication date Thu Jan 25, 2007 17:07Report this post to the editors

Bill Hicks put it best...

Boy, I've never seen an issue so divisive. It's like a civil war, isn't it? Even amongst my friends, who are all very intelligent; they're totally divided on abortion. It's unbelievable. Some of my friends, for instance, think these pro-life people are annoying idiots. Other of my friends think these pro-life people … are evil fucks. How are we going to come to a consensus? You ought to hear the arguments around my house: "They're annoying, they're idiots." "They're evil, they're fucks!" Brothers, sisters, come together! Can't we once just join hands and think of them as evil-annoying-idiot-fucks? I beseech you. But that's me …

author by Dr nickpublication date Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:05Report this post to the editors

A lot of people think the same about pro-choice people Dc. Keep stupid,petty name calling out of it and focus on the actual issue. Instead of calling pro-lifers 'fu*cking idiots' resopect them for their views and then people may respect your views.

author by Homerpublication date Sat Jan 27, 2007 00:08Report this post to the editors

Its democracy!

author by Marypublication date Sat Jan 27, 2007 18:01Report this post to the editors

Huge turnout - room was packed - you could barely get in the door.

author by AmITooCynical?publication date Thu Feb 01, 2007 15:30Report this post to the editors

Here we go again, the election is just around the corner and Labour has
suddenly decided to do a campaign on abortion.
Am I the only one who thinks this is just politicians looking for cheap labour
to help out in their re-election campaigns.
And as soon as they get back into Leinster House the Pro Choice Movement
will be locked up in a dusty cupboard, never to be mentioned again...
until the next election!

author by Marlboro Manpublication date Thu Feb 01, 2007 15:44Report this post to the editors

Not cynical at all. Labour is collapsing under the pressure of abandoning its core principles. Rabitte is fuelling dissent among the grassroots by vehemently pursuing the coalition pact with a right party ideologically at odds with left-wing positions such as Pro-Choice.
Rabitte needs to go. He is cosying the chattering classes and falling into muddied waters as he finds it more and more comfortable to do so.

Pro-Choice? Pro-anything that gets me power

author by tompublication date Thu Feb 22, 2007 18:18Report this post to the editors

it is possible to be pro-abortion and anti-choice: ie abortion is the only option. it is not possible to be pro-life and anti-choice: birth and adoption are two choices.

the motivation behind being pro-life is out of respect for the lives of the most vulnerable in society- unborn children. i do not no anyone who is pro-life who all their life wanted to encroach upon the freedom of women and then one day realised that by being anti-abortion one is denying certain women a dubious right (the so-called freedom to kill).

someone above wrote that being pro-choice is actually being pro-life; Nietzsche would certainly agree (the will to power, amorality, ubermensch etc) but id rather not hold him up as some kind of moral examplar.

i believe in freedom, i believe in human rights, i believe in the right to life of the unborn child and i have not contradicted myself. we were all in a womb once- we must "be" before we "Are free."

author by corkman in parispublication date Wed Mar 14, 2007 21:08Report this post to the editors

"it makes you Pro-Life in the sense that "Life" is more than simple existence. "

Pure sophistry. Life means life - it means having the right to live and not be terminated because you are not convenient. The destruction of defenecless life is the most monstrous violation of human rights there is, and it's funny how the Left call anyone who points this out a 'fascist'. Pro-'Choice' they may be, but Pro-Life is not a word you can apply to the abortion supporters.

author by Ianpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 03:02Report this post to the editors

Why do so many people assume that pro-choice is the only legitimate left-wing position on the abortion issue? I myself do not see it as consistent with the general pro-life ethic of the left (that causes us to oppose war, etc). Why do most pro-choice people accuse pro-lifers of lusting to take away the rights of women? What gives them the arrogance that they are the side of human rights? I think my membership of Amnesty would disagree.

author by Amnesty supporterpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 06:48Report this post to the editors

March 29, 2007
Amnesty International UK Votes to Support Abortion Rights
Amnesty International's UK branch (AIUK) voted last weekend at their annual conference in favor of supporting the right to safe and legal abortion. Until now, AIUK, like other branches of the international organization, has maintained a neutral stance on abortion issues. In response to current repressive abortion laws, however, AIUK has changed its position in order to continue protecting women's freedom, reproductive and sexual health, and human rights.

The International Executive Committee of Amnesty International began considering adopting a formal policy on abortion rights in 2005. AIUK's vote will be used by Amnesty International to gauge the will of its members. A final decision is expected to be reached at the next International Council Meeting in Mexico in August 2007.

Catholics for a Free Choice President Jon O'Brien supports AIUK's decision, saying, "Increasingly, human rights advocacy groups the world over are realizing that a woman’s freedom is intimately tied to her ability to control her reproductive health. Be it the UK, Ireland or Mexico, all women deserve access to safe, legal abortion. Amnesty International UK has a great opportunity to affirm that reproductive rights, including the right to end a pregnancy through abortion, are a vital part of the human rights canon."

author by Live and let...publication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 09:24Report this post to the editors

Amnesty Supporter's belief in his opinion cannot be that strong when he seeks to bolster it by quoting another source that pretends to be something it's not.
The quote from "Catholics" for a Free Choice reads:

"Increasingly, human rights advocacy groups the world over are realizing that a woman’s freedom is intimately tied to her ability to control her reproductive health. Be it the UK, Ireland or Mexico, all women deserve access to safe, legal abortion. Amnesty International UK has a great opportunity to affirm that reproductive rights, including the right to end a pregnancy through abortion, are a vital part of the human rights canon."

This thinking portrays women to be some kind of morons incapable of deciding for themselves when or if ever to become pregnant. It's consequence is to forever rob them of self reliance and places them in dependence of the abortionist. It places the abortionist in control of her reproductive rights.

You cannot be a member of the Catholic Church and endorse abortion at the same. This group is being disengenuous and quoting them to support your view is therefore actually counterproductive.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:23Report this post to the editors

"This thinking portrays women to be some kind of morons incapable of deciding for themselves when or if ever to become pregnant. "

It says no such thing, it offers women real choice.

"It's consequence is to forever rob them of self reliance and places them in dependence of the abortionist. It places the abortionist in control of her reproductive rights. "

Thats a lot of assertions without any back up. I say that in my opinion lack of access to abortion puts womens reproductive rights in the hands of the extreme right. The people who run this rogue clinic dont just oppose abortion, they are also opposed to contraception.

"You cannot be a member of the Catholic Church and endorse abortion at the same. "

Thats your opinion. Who made you Pope? Priests were allowed to abuse children and remain not just catholics but actual priests for a long time.

"This group is being disengenuous and quoting them to support your view is therefore actually counterproductive."

Not at all, you are the disingenuous one. Otherwise you would demand that the catholic church expel abusive clergy and refuse sacrements to politicians who support the death penalty.

Far from being counterproductive it shows that there are catholics who are prepared to support womens right to choose. You do not have the monopoly on deciding who is a catholic.

I will leave you with a quote:

The preservation of life seems to be rather a slogan than a genuine goal of the anti-abortion forces; what they want is control. Control over behavior: power over women. Women in the anti-choice movement want to share in male power over women, and do so by denying their own womanhood, their own rights and responsibilities."

Ursula K. Le Guin

author by Live and let...publication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:36Report this post to the editors

We all know that the abortion issue has been a source of conflict and division for some years and this thread will no doubt not change minds. Pat C counters my assertion that abortion as a solution to an unwanted pregnancy has the tendancy to rob women of "self reliance and places them in dependence of the abortionist and places the abortionist in control of her reproductive rights. " by stating

"I say that in my opinion lack of access to abortion puts womens reproductive rights in the hands of the extreme right." Are you saying that it does not matter who's fate a womens hands are placed in providing it's not the "hands of the extreme right" Odd stuff this particularly that the most right wing woman of all time Margaret Thatcher had no problem with abortion.
That aside, it still leaves the thorny question, what if the abortionist refuses to perform the operation for whatever reason? Where is the womans "reproductive rights" in that scenario?

By the way I am not a Catholic

author by pat cpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:48Report this post to the editors

"Are you saying that it does not matter who's fate a womens hands are placed in providing it's not the "hands of the extreme right" Odd stuff this particularly that the most right wing woman of all time Margaret Thatcher had no problem with abortion. "

She did actually, she voted to restricty abortion whenever it came to a vote in the Commons. One of the first acts of the nazis after they gained power was to outlaw abortion. Eventually they introduced the deatth penalty for it.

"That aside, it still leaves the thorny question, what if the abortionist refuses to perform the operation for whatever reason? Where is the womans "reproductive rights" in that scenario? "

If they refuse to perform the operation then they are not an abortionist. But there will be doctors prepared to perform the operation. Under your ideal society the woman would have no choice.

"By the way I am not a Catholic"

But you think you are qualified to say who are and who are not catholics.

author by Live an let..publication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:48Report this post to the editors

The answer to the above question is, when you are in control, not right wingers, not doctors, not priests, not popes. The moment that your activity, regardless of what it is, exposes you to become dependent on another, you cease to be free, you are dependent

Regarding Thatcher, she had the power to restrict abortion to oblivion had she chose to do so. She did not. She voted for restrictions following advances in medicine etc, which lowered the age at which a baby could survive outside the womb. Thatcher was not pro-life in the full meaning of that term.

I will not comment on your introduction of the Nazi's into the discussion. There is enough emotive baggage surrounding the main issue

You deflect the question, "what if the abortionist refuses to perform the operation for whatever reason?" by saying that in that event the doctor is "not an abortionist. But there will be doctors prepared to perform the operation" but here, I am trying to amplify the concept of freedom and freedom of choice. What if there is nobody willing to perform the operation?. In that scanario, the the woman would be pregnant and have no choice.

If I did not wish to have a child to the extent that should I become pregnant, I would prefer an abortion, then I would make sure that I did not become pregnant. If I failed in this prevention, I would endeavour to take responsbility for my own actions thereby protecting absolutely my freedom. Impregnation against the will of the woman is another matter entirely and requires a seperate line of discussion.

"But you think you are qualified to say who are and who are not catholics" Not so, the people that make the rules are on Rome.

By the way the quote at the end of your first post is gratuitiously offensive. It is somebody trying to explain away a vaild point of view which they fear, by belittlement.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 13:16Report this post to the editors

"The answer to the above question is, when you are in control, not right wingers, not doctors, not priests, not popes. The moment that your activity, regardless of what it is, exposes you to become dependent on another, you cease to be free, you are dependent"

But how can a woman be in control if she does not hhave the right to terminate the pregnancy?

"I will not comment on your introduction of the Nazi's into the discussion. There is enough emotive baggage surrounding the main issue"

Well, the lifers are usually the ones to introduce emotive baggage. No harm in pointing out that the nazis were not just anti-abortion; they executed women who had abortions.

". What if there is nobody willing to perform the operation?. In that scanario, the the woman would be pregnant and have no choice."

A hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario. In any case in your ideal system women would have no choice.

"If I did not wish to have a child to the extent that should I become pregnant, I would prefer an abortion, then I would make sure that I did not become pregnant. If I failed in this prevention, I would endeavour to take responsbility for my own actions thereby protecting absolutely my freedom."

But the people running this clinic oppose contraception as well. In any case, comntraception may fail. Your choice is not the one everyone would make.

"Impregnation against the will of the woman is another matter entirely and requires a seperate line of discussion."

So do you agree with abortion in certain cases?

""But you think you are qualified to say who are and who are not catholics"

Not so, the people that make the rules are on Rome."

But who are you, a non-catholic, to say whehter or not catholics for choice are proper catholics? Were youraised a catholic? Do you know the catholic cathecism?

"By the way the quote at the end of your first post is gratuitiously offensive. It is somebody trying to explain away a vaild point of view which they fear, by belittlement."

How is it offensive? LeGuin does not fear you, she exposes you for what you are.

author by Live and let..publication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 13:40Report this post to the editors


Pat C asks
"But how can a woman be in control if she does not hhave the right to terminate the pregnancy?"

Do you seriously not know the answer to that?

You continue,

"A hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario. In any case in your ideal system women would have no choice."

It most certainly is not hypothetical and there are many women will testify that they went through with their pregmnancies because they could not avail of an aborion. It is sad that you seem to not want to debate an issue of great importance and to rely on name calling. As it happens, the perfect world is where everybody has choice and there would be no abortion. Even the most vehement pro-abortionist would not argue with that. Would they?

I stated,
"If I did not wish to have a child to the extent that should I become pregnant, I would prefer an abortion, then I would make sure that I did not become pregnant. If I failed in this prevention, I would endeavour to take responsbility for my own actions thereby protecting absolutely my freedom."
to which you replied,
"But the people running this clinic oppose contraception as well. In any case, comntraception may fail. Your choice is not the one everyone would make."
Do you want to have another go at that? By the way, what clinic are you talking about. I speak for me, nobody else

You ask,
"So do you agree with abortion in certain cases?"
Yes, specifically in cases of rape. In that case the woman cannot be responsibile for the consquences of the rape and could not be held so. For a woman to proceed to term in such circumstances would be an act of magnificance which I could never match

You go on,

"But who are you, a non-catholic, to say whether or not catholics for choice are proper catholics? Were youraised a catholic? Do you know the catholic cathecism?"
The pope does and as I understand it, he and his buddies make the rules.

Regarding the quote,
"How is it offensive? LeGuin does not fear you, she exposes you for what you are."

It is offensive to those women who hold the view that abortion is wrong because abortion is wrong. LeGuin accusses such women as being part of some nutty power pact. I never said LeGuin fears me however she may well fear what I say.As with yourself Pat, LeGuin may be wrong.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 13:51Report this post to the editors

"It most certainly is not hypothetical and there are many women will testify that they went through with their pregmnancies because they could not avail of an aborion. "

Yes. Thats because people like you prevented them from having abortions. There are medical personnel able and willing to carry out these procedues in Ireland. In the US some doctors will not perform abortions because they are in fear of the "pro-lifers" who have murdered doctors.

"It is sad that you seem to not want to debate an issue of great importance and to rely on name calling."

I am debating it but you go in circles and put forward hypothetical situations.

"As it happens, the perfect world is where everybody has choice and there would be no abortion. Even the most vehement pro-abortionist would not argue with that. Would they?"

Yes, if there was perfect contraception and women always wanted to ahead with every pregnancy. But if they didnt have a choice then it would only be a perfect world for your type.

I" Do you want to have another go at that? By the way, what clinic are you talking about. I speak for me, nobody else"

Youi know what clinic I'm talking about. The one we have been protersting at. You just make yourself look absurd by pretending you dont know.

"You ask,
"So do you agree with abortion in certain cases?"
Yes, specifically in cases of rape. In that case the woman cannot be responsibile for the consquences of the rape and could not be held so. For a woman to proceed to term in such circumstances would be an act of magnificance which I could never match"

Good to hear that.

"You go on,
"But who are you, a non-catholic, to say whether or not catholics for choice are proper catholics? Were youraised a catholic? Do you know the catholic cathecism?"
The pope does and as I understand it, he and his buddies make the rules."

But surely those who are Catholics are in a better position than you to argue that it is a debatable position within catholicism.

"It is offensive to those women who hold the view that abortion is wrong because abortion is wrong."

That is circular logic. Abortion is wrong because abortion is wrong!

"LeGuin accusses such women as being part of some nutty power pact. "

In my opinion she is correct.

"I never said LeGuin fears me however she may well fear what I say.As with yourself Pat, LeGuin may be wrong."

She certainly doesnt fear what you say. I reckon you are wrong because you deprive women of a choice.

author by Niamhpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 15:59Report this post to the editors

Next time you meet a youth defence member ask him/her when they say they are pro life if they have ever actually done any work to support lone parents (who didn't take or have the option of abortion). I somehow doubt it. The are more likely to label them 'spongers' or 'promiscious'.

Pro life to me means you believe in everyone having a right to a life. But what kind of life? What about the quality of their lives?

So why don't youth defence, instead of displaying pornography every Saturday at the GPO, head out to an area and try to provide some actual support for the mothers who have children and are struggling with poverty. How about campaigning for chreche facilities, reduction of class sizes, more and better playgrounds, youth facilities, quality homes etc for children and parent/s?

Or is that too much to ask?

author by Amnesty supporterpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 17:54Report this post to the editors

It's interesting (and telling) that Live and Let uses the male pronoun to refer to me even though I did not identify my gender.

Apparently in L&L's world, male is the default category.

This goes some way toward explaining his/her views on women's reproductive decisions.

author by Goblinpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 19:04Report this post to the editors

When a woman is in full possession of her faculties, is fully armed with the facts as what she is about to do, understands completely any repercussions of that action, then nobody but nobody has the right to interfere.

author by Live and let...publication date Fri Apr 06, 2007 08:47Report this post to the editors

Amnesty supporter states,

"It's interesting (and telling) that Live and Let uses the male pronoun to refer to me even though I did not identify my gender.
Apparently in L&L's world, male is the default category.
This goes some way toward explaining his/her views on women's reproductive decisions."

Can you expand on this observation? Maybe within it lies the truth. Maybe all those on both sides of the debate merely dislike or regard as lesser the opposite sex. Maybe this is not all about freedom or choice at all.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:40Report this post to the editors

No its not about anyone on the choice side seeing either sex as lesser, that comees from the "lifers". They want to control women, to deny them conrol over their own bodies.

I think you should also look at Goblins comment:

"When a woman is in full possession of her faculties, is fully armed with the facts as what she is about to do, understands completely any repercussions of that action, then nobody but nobody has the right to interfere. |"

That says it all.

author by Live and let...publication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 09:04Report this post to the editors



"When a woman is in full possession of her faculties, is fully armed with the facts as what she is about to do, understands completely any repercussions of that action, then nobody but nobody has the right to interfere. |"

Are we no longer a community?

author by pat cpublication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 14:52Report this post to the editors

Yes, we are certainly a community. But a community should prevent a woman from controlling her own fertility. To be honest , imho, a lot of your points are really dishonest quibbles.

author by Live and let...publication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 09:35Report this post to the editors

"Yes, we are certainly a community."
The essence of community is that no one exploits another. One must not gain by hurting another

" But a community should prevent a woman from controlling her own fertility."
Never said that. Women have the right to control their fertility.

" To be honest , imho, a lot of your points are really dishonest quibbles."

That is the usual retreat into name calling. If you don't wish to explore the subject, then don't

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