It’s no time to be a woman in Ireland - and an even worse time to be a pregnant woman.
We might pride ourself on our fighting spirit. Sinead O’Connor declaring ‘I’m not Bossy, I’m the Boss’ may be number one in the music charts - but let’s not kid ourselves.
Women are not the boss. They will never be the boss in a country which disregards a woman’s right to autonomy of thought - or a woman’s right to autonomy over her own body.
And this week again a story has emerged of (possibly) men in suits making the decisions about the welfare of a pregnant woman - decisions in which she has no say.
To summarise for those who have not been following the news - a teenage woman comes to Ireland to escape conflict in her country where she has been raped. Shortly after arrival she discovers she is around eight weeks pregnant - she is horrified, terrified, suicidal. She asks for help.
Under the new legislation introduced in the wake of the Savita case, her case has to be put before a three strong panel of experts before they decide whether or not she can have an abortion.
There is, in the interim, much messing about and confusion until the case eventually comes before the board when the woman is 20 weeks pregnant.
Due to the stage of her pregnancy (not her suicidal state) the board refuse the termination. The woman goes on hunger strike, the HSE threatens to take her to court. In the end the woman is essentially forced to have a C-section at 24 weeks and the baby (who may well have serious health issues taken from her).
Is anyone a winner here? Was this woman, who raped in her own country, metaphorically raped again in Ireland? Her control over a situation was torn from her. Her body was not her own. She was forced to have major surgery.
It sickens me. To the core.
And while the thought of a late term abortion is, to me, abhorrent - there is something more abhorrent about how this scenario has played out.
We have proven, once again, that women in Ireland are not free. We are still the property of the Church and State - and no amount of spin on what a progressive society we are can change that.
It would be laughable - how backward we are - if it wasn’t so exceptionally unfunny.
Women of Ireland - if you want something to get angry about, this should come top of your list.