Nov 14 2012

Michael Nugent on the death of Savita Halappanavar

There’s a protest outside the Dail right now. You can follow it on Twitter via #Savita. Michael Nugent is there. He wrote a blistering post on the subject before departing.

…while Savita was dying, the Catholic church was running an immoral propaganda campaign to mislead Irish people into believing that pregnant women will always get the medical care they need in Irish hospitals.

And Irish politicians were yet again refusing to legislate for abortion to save the life of a pregnant woman. They have now repeatedly refused to do this for twenty years, since the Irish courts established this right in the X case.

We have such a law in the US, at least in the case of hospitals that get federal funds (which most do). On the other hand it’s not enforced. Catholic hospitals are allowed to let women die the way University Hospital Galway allowed Savita Halappanavar to die. Both countries are doing evil in this respect.

… just two years ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on complaints from three anonymous women (known as A, B and C) who had to travel from Ireland to England to have abortions, for various different reasons.

The European Court found that there is no automatic right to an abortion under the European Convention on Human Rights, and that two of the women did not have a right to an abortion, but that Ireland had violated the Convention with regard to the third woman.

The reason was that abortion is legal in Ireland when the life of a pregnant woman is at risk, and the Irish state had failed to provide an accessible and effective procedure by which a woman can have established whether she qualifies for a legal abortion.

Twenty years after the X case, and two years after the ABC case, pregnant women in Ireland are still caught in the grip of Catholic dogma and political cowardice.

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has responded to the ABC ruling by launching a new campaign to stop the Irish Government from carrying out its duty to legislate. The campaign’s website is at http://chooselife2012.ie.

Outrageous lying name for the site – “choose life” indeed – they chose death for Savita Halappanavar.



2 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Eric MacDonald

    What duplicitous old fools! It’s enough to make you sick. This is why I call the Roman Catholic Church, and all other “pro-life” – “choose life” forces, the death cult. And yet the whole American election campaign ended up concentrated at this one point! How is this possible in this day and age to be overpowered by ancient superstitions?

  2. 2

    Ireland had violated the Convention with regard to the third woman.

    So were there any actual consequences to the country of Ireland for violating the Convention?

  3. 3

    I was arguing with a Catholic earlier this year who was angry about the birth control stipulation (which she got totally wrong, since she said the Catholic church was being forced to buy birth control for women; not quite it at all). She insisted that all Catholic hospitals will do whatever it takes to save a woman’s life, even if it means aborting a fetus. I gave her instances, names of hospitals, etc. She just smirked and accused me of making it up. I don’t know as much about it as she does because, well, I’m not Catholic, see? So I can’t read the news about Catholic hospitals as properly as she can, I guess. Or I don’t get the insider news that explains how that news is all made up by evil, baby-eating atheists..or something.

  4. 4

    I thought these two paragraphs from Michael’s post deserve to be repeated:

    This is primarily a human issue, about the life and death of an actual living person, a factor that Catholic Bishops and Irish politicians often seem to forget in their obsessions with the theological status of embryos and foetuses, and the political power of the conservative vote.


    Everyone involved in this debate acknowledged that, in practice, Irish women could still travel to England for an abortion. This safety valve, of having a country on our doorstep with more humane laws than ours, meant we could focus on theological debates here and ignore the real suffering of pregnant women who needed an abortion.

    That second paragraph is particularly telling. Everyone knows if a woman is wealthy enough or has the knowledge/ability to contact one of the groups who help Irish women come over to the UK and is well enough to travel she can get a termination easily and safely “over the water”. The current laws make the process more unpleasant and more difficult than it needs to be, but they don’t prevent abortions in most cases. They discourage them.

    They do, though, prevent abortions for people like Savita who are too ill to travel. Which is where denying access to abortion is most likely to lead to death.

    And they do prevent abortions for young women who are dominated or controlled by their parents or partner. Which is when the woman’s life (socially, economically, educationally) is most likely to be severely damaged by preventing access to abortion.

    It’s completely perverse.

  5. 5
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    The European Court found that there is no automatic right to an abortion under the European Convention on Human Rights, and that two of the women did not have a right to an abortion, but that Ireland had violated the Convention with regard to the third woman.

    Apparently, the ECHR doesn’t have “right to bodily autonomy” listed among their human rights (I cannot find anything about bodily autonomy @
    I find that horrifying.

  6. 6
    Charles Sullivan

    Thank you, Michael Nugent.

  1. 7
    Ophelia Benson: ‘Does God Hate Women’ ‘Savita’ Eschaton 2012 Can | Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin Goldenbridgeinmate39

    [...] Michael Nugent on the death of Savita Halappanavar » Butterflies … [...]

  2. 8
    There can be only One Problem, and it is Muslim » Pharyngula

    […] is being raped in India, am I a moral monster? How can Ophelia Benson write about the horrific death of Savita Halappanavar when she wasn’t even Muslim? Catholic abuses must be ignored right now because there are […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>