But we mustn’t get emotional

Ireland and the US are so alike in so many ways, most of them bad.

In Ireland, a woman who is clinically dead but 17 weeks pregnant is being kept alive against her family’s will. At this painful time, her relatives must go to court to stop the Irish state treating their loved one’s body as a cadaveric incubator.

Yeah we do that too. Marlise Munoz was kept alive after brain-death despite her family’s wishes for two months last year because she was pregnant.

Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant with the couple’s second child when her husband found her unconscious on their kitchen floor November 26. Though doctors had pronounced her brain dead and her family had said she did not want to have machines keep her body alive, officials at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth had said state law required them to maintain life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant patient.

I wonder if Texas inspired the Irish state.

Back to Emer O’Toole on the Irish situation.

Do those facts emotionally affect you? Then please calm down. What we need here is balance. Indeed, the Irish media considers it a moral virtue to trot out pro-life arguments alongside the facts of each and every new horror story that arises from Ireland’s abortion laws. There are two sides to this debate, after all. And Taoiseach Enda Kenny has cautioned us against “knee-jerk” reactions to sensitive cases such as this.

Women get so hysterical, you know.

This year, a suicidal teenage victim of rape and torture (Miss Y) was forced to carry her pregnancy to viability and deliver by C-section. And now we have a clinically dead woman being ventilated and fed for the sake of an insentient foetus, while her heartbroken family takes legal action in order to mourn her.

But we mustn’t get emotional. There’s no political appetite for another abortion debate. Kenny has already dealt with this issue. The passing of the protection of life during pregnancy bill last year was very difficult for him and his party. He deserves a pat on the back for legislating at all.

Women are so demanding. What is their problem?

If you must discuss this case, do so cooly: in terms, perhaps, of its potential effects on the career prospects of male politicians? Is the ambitious Leo Varadkar, the health minister, using this case opportunistically? What might it mean for the future leadership of Fine Gael? That’s what matters here. Women’s bodies, women’s lives, women’s rights: those are messy, incendiary topics, best avoided.

Plus, of course, they just don’t matter all that much. It’s only women.

Women’s experiences are routinely erased from Irish discourse on abortion. Our government and media won’t engage with the reality of living in a body that gets pregnant. When others do, they are dismissed as irrational, emotive: feminine.

Goodness, what a lot of anger. She’s so bitter. She’s such a rage-blogger. No wonder everybody hates women.



  1. Matthew Oakley says

    When I read things like this, despite being in general a man of peace and kindness, I have to stop myself from wanting death to everyone who enables this bullshit from the Pope all the way down. Of course I don’t really mean it but shit like this makes it so hard. I just don’t understand how anyone could possibly think that this is a good thing. This woman is clinically dead. Nobody wants her alive. Yet all of this is trumped by the unborn fetus, a fetus that none of those forcing the mother to stay alive will care about once it is born. Then it can starve to death for all they would seem to care but while it’s a fetus? It’s rights trump all others, especially those uppity women who want to be treated as human beings. Fuck all of them.

  2. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Surely the belief in the sanctity of the foetus- the sanctity of anything- is only emotional.

    I wonder if Texas inspired the Irish state.

    Not necessarily. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, passed in 1983, “acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

  3. Sastra says

    I wonder if some people aren’t also imagining that a brain-dead mother would of course want to be kept on life support till she delivers so that her baby may live! That’s what she’d want now that she’s pregnant, they think. It’s quite a drama and it feeds into the sanctity of Motherhood trope.

    In addition to All-Life-Is-Fully-Human-and-Sacred religious nonsense there might be a tinge of A-Mother’s-Love-Sacrifices-All romantic nonsense.

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