Abortion on Demand

Life is precious.

This is an important phrase. Anti-abortion campaigners use this phrase to try and force us to see a foetus not only as an example of “life” but also as something “precious”. I’m not going to rebut these implications, many others have done so and probably in much better fashion than I could. I find, however, that this phrase is one of the most compelling arguments in favour of abortion. Life is indeed precious. Precious things require a lot of dedication, a lot of resources, a lot of time and often a lot of love to protect them and nurture them. Love, time, dedication and resources are not simply things that can be plucked from the air on a whim, however. These things come from other people, and at a higher level of abstraction, they come from society. Life is precious, yes, but life is also a burden, one most often borne by other people.

So why, then, do we insist upon forcing more and more burdens upon not only other people, whose lives we should have very little say over, but society as a whole? This oh so wonderful country we live in likes to utter the phrase “Abortion on Demand” with such bile and vitriol that one would be forgiven for assuming this act they were speaking of was akin to raping a child while forcing it to watch it’s parents bleed and die. I’m not being reactionary or sensationalistic, one need only listen to the many debates that have been had over the years in the Irish media to hear the implied horror and disgust infused into the phrase.

It’s interesting to deconstruct the thinking behind these utterances. The common criticism of widespread provision of abortion as a family planning option is that if there were Abortion on Demand, Irish women would be having abortions every other week and it would promote promiscuous and unhealthy behaviour. The reality, however, is that Irish education standards where sex and sexuality is concerned are shockingly lacking and it all boils down to the pervasive attitude in Irish society that sex is dirty and wrong and anything to do with sex that is not a beautiful bouncing baby (or a half dozen) is immoral. The reality is that an estimated 10 Irish women (and their partners, in some circumstances) every day travel to England for the express purpose of having an abortion. I was on a plane to Manchester with some of these women in 2011. They were quiet, they looked anxious and they seemed deeply saddened by their situation. The reality is some of those potential babies were deeply wanted.

The reality is pregnancy and delivery and nursing and diaper changing and teething and potty training and childcare and medical bills and all the hundreds of other complications that bringing a child into the world thrusts upon a parent, these are not things that everyone can survive and more importantly these are not things that everyone wants to go through. The reality is many women end up unwillingly sacrificing their dreams, their careers, their education, their financial stability and their happiness in order to go through a pregnancy they do not want or cannot handle. Because other people give them no other choice. Because any other choice would make them cast out and ostracized. Because they can’t afford to travel outside the country. Because society tells them what they want is not the important. Because society tells women “once you get pregnant, there is no way out.”

The reality is Abortion on Demand does not end lives, it saves lives. It saves the lives of women from situations they do not want or cannot cope with. The reality is if Abortion on Demand is what the women of Ireland deserve after so many decades of religious and patriarchal domination at the hands of men who think they can tell women what to do with their own bodies. The reality is, Abortion on Demand is the future of Ireland.



World Atheist Convention: Day 2 (Super, Super Late Edition)

As I haven’t been blogging for months, I completely missed the fact that I never actually posted this piece. While it’s remarkably out of date (back in June for cripes’ sake!) it’s still got enough content in it that I can’t leave it sitting in my drafts. Enjoy!

Unfortunately due to a lack of internet access and other things during the weekend I wasn’t able to keep hugely up to date with blog posts on the conference and I also missed the early sessions on Sunday morning, which is a shame as I missed the awesome Maryam Namazie who I hear was on form as ever, but I’m here to add my voice to the many others reporting from the event.
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Where do we draw the line…

…between being a conscientious parent and just plain invading your child’s privacy?

Having grown up in a relatively open household the one or two occurrences of weird internet charges due to connecting to a rather unseemly and over-the-top expensive dial-up number were chalked up to my own carelessness and they stood as lessons to be learned from. My internet activity wasn’t monitored (thankfully, otherwise I could have been responsible for my mother’s early demise) and, despite the fact that I was only 14, I was treated like an adult in this regard. If I screwed up or racked up massive charges, I paid for them. I may be slightly biased in this (only slightly as I’m used to being objective about my many discussions even as they relate directly to me) but this approach benefited me immensely.

These days, however, it appears that this is the solution.
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Incest – A Rational Look

DISCLAIMER: This is a long post, and it is a serious discussion of a serious moral topic. If you do not have the time or the demeanour to read the entire thing with at least some semblance of an open mind I highly recommend you do not read any further. Incest is a topic which can be very divisive and it seemingly turns rational people into irrational jerks rather quickly, so again, if you are not interested in the ethical implications of incest I recommend you do not read any further.

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F**k your Honda Civic, There’s a Point Being Made

The Rubberbandits are a comedy hip-hop group based in Limerick. The duo have been around for the past few years and started their artistic career primarily with prank phone calls they recorded and released on homemade CDs. They garnered quite a sizeable underground following, primarily among teenagers and when they started doing live shows with their own songs those same underground fans turned more mainstream until the ‘Bandits found themselves playing Electric Picnic, a large, annual Irish music festival. Not only that, they have also landed themselves a regular appearance on Republic of Telly, a comedy popular media show, somewhat in the vein on The Daily Show, which focuses on humourous clips from both Irish and International television media.

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The Week Thus Far

A random selection of (subjectively) noteworthy news items. Enjoy!

“The Paedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” has been withdrawn from sale on Amazon.com – which is an issue both of taste, morality and free speech. I’m sure Amazon alreadty has many disclaimers all over their site and their legal framework distancing the company from the views and/or material contained in any of the products they provide, so where is the problem? I haven’t looked at the synopsis or the content overview yet, but provided it’s all very general I can only see this as a guide to understanding how this compulsion manifests and could only equip us further to deal with it better. Check it out, see what your thoughts are. Apparently the author is confident the book will make it’s way back on to Amazon (apologies for linking to the disgrace that is Fox News by the way)

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When did bodies become unacceptable?

Sesame Street has dropped a performance by Katy Perry because of “feedback [they’ve] received” from a YouTube preview of the performance.

To be fair, her outfit was revealing, but what kind of message are we sending to people when we pull childrens entertainment because it shows too much skin (in a completely tasteful way)? When did the human body become something that is to be hidden from anyone under 18? When it become wrong for children to learn about the real world around them? When did breasts (possibly the greatest thing nature has brought the human race, aside from the wonderful women they belong to) become unacceptable?

Fuck the low-cut dress, do the performance nude! Be proud of the human form and stop retarding the sexual, psychological and emotional growth of our children by hiding “naughty cleavage” from them and being completely unreasonable about the human form.

But, oh no, showing children naked people will make them into perverted little sex-fiends!!!

Actually no, promoting a healthy attitude towards the ENTIRE human body is exactly what children need to grow into emotionally and sexually stable people.

Fuck you Sesame Street for caving in to unreasonable demands from unreasonable parents. Your passion is supposed to be for the education of children, but your actions are contributing to their (continued) stagnation and it’s no longer acceptable.

Peace, dj357