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Phew - the commentary on this Diary at Daily Kos is pretty hostile. I've been called many things, but Concern Troll is not one of them. It seems anyone who considers the possibility that, in this particular case, the lack of availability of abortion on demand in Ireland may not have been the cause of death is a closet "right to life" zealot.

For the record, my position is that the women in question, in consultation with her family and doctor, has the ultimate right to make the decision as to what is best in what is almost always a traumatic circumstance. As Fran has noted from her own counseling experience it is a decision that is never made lightly.

But I also think we ought to be careful about over medicalising and over technologising the process of childbirth. I am a supporter of natural childbirth, in the home if possible, and being cognizant of the emotional and spiritual dimensions of creating life. Severe medical or surgical interventions should be a last resort unless aggressive medical management of a condition is clearly indicated by the research.

I suspect an abortion carried out as soon as possible after Savita presented to the hospital would have been the best strategy for enabling her survival, and that medical staff (for theological/legal reasons) did not take her requests for an abortion seriously enough. I further suspect they did not take the risk of septicemia seriously enough, early enough, which would be a straightforward medical failure. But we don't have enough evidence to come to any conclusions at this stage, and a rush to judgement which turns out to be wrong in this instance could do damage to the freedom of choice argument.

The best we can hope for in Ireland at the moment is that the Government takes prompt and decisive legislative action to ensure that theological/legal concerns do not intrude on the right of women to receive the best medical treatment possible in Ireland, and do not have to travel abroad for the privilege. Abortion on demand isn't going to happen in Ireland any time soon, and to criticize this diary for not just advocating that Savita should have been given an abortion on demand and be done with all the medical issues is not realistic in the current Irish political context. Let's at least make sure that women don't have to die for lack of the best, prompt and local medical treatment here in Ireland.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 at 07:15:04 AM EST

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