Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Irish abortion laws are about to be reviewed

When it was revealed to the public that the death of Savita Halappanavar, on 28th of October, was because health officials declined to carry abortion, it gave a lot to think about for the Irish society.
Protesters outside Leinster House in Dublin

All started on the 20th of October, when Savita felt back pain so disturbing, that it was decided that she and her husband would go to hospital. At that time she was pregnant and on her 17th week. Next day they went to the hospital, but only the persistence of Halappanavars got them signed in to the hospital. First, after a series of tests, they were told that nothing was wrong, and the same thing happened when they returned just a half an hour later after being released to go home. It was when they were appointed to doctor when it was realised, after further examinations, that the cervix was dilated. Seven days later Savita Halappanavar was dead. She could have been saved if the pregnancy would have been terminated.

Some say that it is legal to have an abortion in Ireland, and this is based on The Case X. Although it is illegal to have an abortion in Ireland, there is a basis for it, if mother's life is in danger. Ireland has been in juridical vacuum since the Supreme Court ruling in 1992. In this case, 14 year old rape victim was allowed to have an abortion since there was a risk of suicide. Supreme Court's reasoning was that if the mother was suicidal, the fetus' rights are contingent of the mother's rights.

Now the Irish abortion law is probably going to be written again, but that won't be an easy task. Telegraph reported yesterday that Maria Steen of Iona Institute stated that "Irish law already allows the ending of a pregnancy when there is no other choice and there is a clear threat to the life of the mother." Clearly this was not the case in the death of Savita Halappanavar. Iona Institute is an Irish think tank of conservative nature, that is to say, it produces material, which is aimed against same-sex marriage, abortion, morning-after-pill, etc. (Pro tip: I don't recommend using their search engine, located on their website, cause it works as slowly as an christian anecdote about freedom of conscience concerning matters of choice. You'll find the information your looking a lot faster by using google and adding your keywords plus Iona Institute). Here's more of Maria Steen in Newstalk.

At the moment it seems that the new law is going to be based on the Case X. With no disrespect to anyone, it is fascinating to be following how this political struggle will end, with regards to Irish distinctive history in matters of abortion. This debate might explode to have a law that also includes abortion by demand, which in itself is abomination to orthodox Catholics. I think that if the law is going to be a compromise, that nobody wants, it's going to allow abortion on medical reasons (for conservatives it's the same thing as on demand; for liberals it's the same thing as still illegal). Even this kind of compromise would still give a lot wider framework for pro-choice people. There is always the possibility that medical reasons could be widened to include suicidal tendency qualified by the standards of the conceived. Which could in fact end that people who want an abortion by demand, just say that they are suicidal.

Draft of the law is bound to be published New Year, according to Enda Kenny, and the legislation should be ready by Easter. This could be one defining moment for Ireland. So I would recommend that people follow this case with a keen eye, cause this is history in making.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Independence day of Melancholia

It is another sad day in human history and it is also the independence day of Finland.

So gather around, you little pear cheeks, while a very disturbed person tells you about the miseries of life, history, death and everything.

One of The Sad Stories of the north is the tale of The Winter War (Talvisota). Finland and Soviet Union had some disputes with the borders and it suddenly escalated to war. Finnish casualties were great. More than 25 000 soldiers were left dead and more than 50 000 wounded, some for life. That's almost fifth of the army's strenght of  350 000.

It was also a sad ending for many young lads of the Soviet Union too. Soviet Union lost more than 100 000 men during that cold winter, and almost 200 000 of the Mother Russia's children were somehow wounded. That's about a third of almost a million soldiers.

So that page of history probably left some bitterness on both sides. War never changes, only the people who speak about it.

Bitter bard takes a little break now. Here's a clip of Studio Julmahuvi's art movie "Roudasta Roospuuttoon" (lenght 4:16), with English subtitles for those who like to talk and otherwise socialize all the time.

Frozen bard comes inside and continues the story, now enlightening the mystery of Finnish melancholia with some world known facts.

They say the wiser you are, the more worries you have; the more you know, the more it hurts. There are two depressing sides on that rusty coin. First of all, being the Lutherian state that Finland is, every quote is full of dark submission to the soon coming death of all life. Did I mention the suicide rates? No, I'll come back to that later. Anyways,  if one at least  takes seriously "the wiser...more it hurts"-statement (from Ecclesiastes), one understands the suffocating pain of knowing too much, cause Finns know it very too well. That's the other depressing side: Finland's literacy per cent is 100 %. That means every dark truth, that can be read and understood, can be done so by the Finns everywhere. Just listen to this love song.

join me in death by H.I.M. on Grooveshark Him - Join me in death (best Finnish love song ever in circulation)

Maybe Finns are not the heaviest drinkers by European standards, being outshadowed by Czech and Irish. Latter being the low self esteem counterpart of Finns by it's own merits. You still have to remember that Finns drink it all at once and have a bigger suicide rating per capita than the early mentioned two beer states.

Here is Rich Lyons making few comments about it

And here's a quick version from Swedish poet (Anglo sax may refer to him as a comedian) Robert Gustafsson to those with shorter attention span (also with english subtitles).

How do Finns celebrate this day? Well, president throws a party to his closest friends, protegees, mentors and campaign benefactors using taxpayers money, and the rest of the country gathers around a television to watch that party live. It's covered by the national broadcasting company narrated with two languages (Finnish and Swedish). Before that there's a big military parade which still fails to one done in North Korea. Between those two spectacular shows, Finns watch war movies about the The Winter War.

There is some irony in that celebration; The 6th of December is also the St. Nicholas day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Decembeaver time

Sarah Cooper starts this month with video promoting decembeaver: cancer, beavers and hairs. This should keep you warm during the winter.