Sunday, 14 July 2013

Women of Ireland - Your Saviour is Here!

I've been a fan of Geoff's blog for about a year now, ever since he started looking into the links between Youth Defence and American support (using some sort of technological magic to suss out their twitter followers and the like).
He offered to write a guest post for my blog, and here it is - an insightful exposé into the American man who will save us Irish from our biggest enemy - ourselves (with free-thought coming in at a close second).
So, enjoy and don't forget to check out his blog and follow him on twitter.
Few can have escaped the focus gained by the abortion debate in Ireland over the past year. Caught at the intersection of old colonial laws, the softening of the Roman Catholic hierarchy's grip on Irish society and worries that we might be losing our cultural identity, efforts to provide the legal clarity required to allow doctors to save women's lives has caused widespread debate.
Newspaper columns, radio waves, TV shows and coffee break discussions have been overwhelmed by those wishing to tease out how greatly we should value the lives of women and what caveats we should place on any desire they might have to avoid death while reproducing. But fear not. A Man has come to save us from ourselves. His name is Victor Bermudez:
We are supremely blessed to have him. Not only is he a man, he is a Californian man, and having reached the age of 21 he has decided to fly all the way to Ireland (sponsored by a group that expresses their commitment to defending life by opposing vaccination in Ireland) to save Irish women from that sinister opposing group hellbent on their destruction - Irish women.
Victor Bermudez, Man, Californian, Thinker, Hero,
Saving Irish Women From Themselves
I'm sure, like me, you are amazed that this man of admittedly tender years has found the time to fully brief himself on the Irish legal system, the decades long struggle for access to contraception, the niceties of the Irish constitution and existing legislation before coming to a firm conclusion that the Irish people are wrong and must be saved from themselves. Yet we find that Ireland is not the only country that has benefited from his generosity - he also knows what's best for Spanish and Australian women too, and has tried to help them see the error of their ways by marching across their countries and blockading family planning services.
You can find his biography amidst those of his fellow Americans on Crossroads Walk Ireland's page here, with a more extensive biography here. Elsewhere he shares his thoughts on saving same sex couples from their desire to wed.
How do they help us poor Irish see the error of their ways? Unfortunately we lack the intellectual capacity to fully understand the issue on the same level they do. Thankfully they have a simple solution. In much the same way one might place a fence in front of a stairs to prevent an errant child from entering, they simply stand in front of any premises with which they disagree and block entry:
Champions of the Irish people, these fine folk save us from ourselves by blocking entrances to buildings we shouldn't be in.

Do read more from Rachel Mary about their success in blocking access to the IFPA on August 13th.
Some cynics might say that it's inappropriate for those from another country to take such sterling efforts to correct our foolish ambitions at self determination. That folk who have not spent any appreciable time in Ireland are not best equipped to decide for its citizens. Without fully understanding the depth of research performed by Victor and his friends some Irish might say that they do not have the right to fix the boundary to the march of this nation. To those I say: read their blog. You will see nuanced distinction and profound understanding of every aspect of Irish culture. Take this post, where a contributor too modest to be named discovers that 'chips' are the Irish way of saying fries. Or read how Angie correctly identifies that we Irish refer to jelly as 'jam'. And I challenge you to read Caitlin's realisation that Independence day is 'just another day' in Ireland without both misty eyes and a profound respect at their unparalleled cultural research.
Pro life, pro lats - this strapping chap on Grafton Street displays Crossroads All Ireland Pro Life Walk and Family and Life on his fine, strapping back.

Ladies, gentlemen - for too long we have been fooling ourselves with these notions of self determination. These fine folk have come all the way from America to tell us that they know better. Who are we to tell them they're wrong?


  1. I'm from California, and I'm pro-choice.* So why can’t I come to Ireland and defend clinics? Or march in your wonderful rallies? I would love to be there as a counter weight to Victor. But it’s probably better that we should all stay home.
    I love Geoff’s writing.

    *An aside: This is a weak term I use only for brevity's sake. I'm far more than that. My ideas about the desirability of legal accessible abortion come not only from my studies of its legal history and overall contribution to women’s reproductive health...they also come from having ‘em myself. I've had abortions, and I mention this mundane-yet-still-astonishing factoid any chance I can get -at the dinner table, in FB posts, in the essays I write- wherever I think it’s relevant.

  2. Hey Elizabeth,

    Would be great to have you over! I think there's a difference between folk who are interested in coming over to better understand the Irish situation and play a contributory role in marches (something I wouldn't begrudge either side), and those who go to another country without any real knowledge of the local situation with an intention to blockade access to family planning services.

    If you came over here without much local knowledge and, say, blocked access to anti choice buildings I'd feel it was a mite off.

    Hope that makes my position a little clearer. I'm sure Becca has her own thoughts.

  3. I don't think the point here is that outsiders should play no part in our abortion debate, but rather Geoff is showing the astroturf nature of much of the Pro-Life movement here in Ireland.

  4. I did that Crossroads Walk... I am from Ireland. Young and female. I guess the young Irish people were invisible?

    1. We really must of been invisible funny I thought our luminous yellow t-shirts fairly stood out.. oh wait they did that's why she has a picture of Sean an IRISH male walker from Galway in the above picture!!

  5. Can i just say that i'm from Mayo, and the vast majority of us that walked with crossroads this year were irish!! this post is so completely misleading, we are irish and yes we care about our country and what is right for our woman thats why we are protecting them from this disguistine bill! it has been said by the experts that woman who have abortions are more likely to end their own life, this bill is NOT life saving, not only is it killing babies but it will have major medical and psychological problems in woman who carry through with an abortion!! And for the record Victor Bermudez is a legend!!

  6. This is such a laughable article! Not only are your claims absurd but they’re completely distorted too - talk about pushing an agenda! Instead of engaging in a calm, healthy debate discussing the issues at hand, Becca et al simply deviate from the topic by targeting people and arguing silly, irrelevant and trivial so-called ‘facts’. Please don’t be offended Becca.. but as long as yourself and Geoff continue to warp truths and imagine the pro-life movement here is weak and geared by Americans, you will continue to give us Crossroads walkers (and the wider movement ) a great laugh.

    P.S Victor, Sarah & Meghan: come back to see us ASAP!

  7. I just read the "pro-choice side warp truths" line

    That first loud bang you just heard was an epic face-palm

    the second was my irony-meter exploding

  8. The briefest of points, it's past my bedtime:

    "it has been said by the experts that woman who have abortions are more likely to end their own life" <- not true, fake facts rarely endear.

    Why, as supposed pro lifers, are you taking money from the anti vaccine group Family and Life?

    1. Geoff if you were as clued into this topic as you are trying to make out you would of been listening to the Dail hearings earlier this year on this topic. I haven't made up anything these are true facts which have been quoted by many psychiatrists in the Dail which are very easy to find if you type into YouTube Dail hearings on abortion debate. I havent twisted any of there words it has been given quite clearly that abortion is not the treatment for any suicidal woman infact it induces suicidal thoughts after the abortion has been carried out. it can effect them straight away or years later, it effects all women differently and at different stages in their life!

    2. "I haven't made up anything these are true facts which have been quoted by many psychiatrists in the Dail"

      Great! I await your source and citation. Inviting me to rewatch every moment of the Dail hearings *when I know this was not said* is not a welcomed suggestion.

      Remember, you said "it has been said by the experts that woman who have abortions are more likely to end their own life". Get me a source or (in something of a first for the prolife movement) apologise for misleading people.

      there are many psychiatrists speaking out about the abortion issue, if you would like any more answers please dont expect me to spoon feed you, maybe if you were to do such research you might become more open minded and realise that abortion is disguistine that it just means in simple words the direct and intentional killing of a baby in the womb!
      Also you cant say that this isnt a baby this baby has a heartbeat at 18days, brainwaves at 42 days, they hiccup and yawn at 52days, all organ function is there at 8 weeks, at only nine weeks the little baby has fingerprints, at ten weeks they can feel pain and at only 12 weeks that little baby has the most beautiful smile!

  9. Great article! Well done, Geoff and Becca. It just reinforces how much foreign intervention our domestic debates are subject to. Ireland is its own sovereign nation, it doesn't need help on women's rights from America or elsewhere. We can do this on our own.

  10. Honestly, this defence that there were also a few Irish on this jaunt is laughable. (And something I've never denied.)

    1. Well obviously there were a few. How would the yanks even FIND the Garden of Remembrance if they didn't have a local guide?

    2. Of coarse, our team was full of Irish it just the way the prochoice side works,they pick one american and suddenly the whole prolife movement are American! I wonder if they also think the 60,000 who marched in Dublin on the 6th of July were they all Americans too!?


    4. Am I being accused of falsely painting Crossroads walk as American? Just because it's founded by an Americans, based in the United States, and has as its motto "Walking across America to save the unborn"? How awful of me.

  11. Geoff,
    Thanks pal. I'm flattered. However, please don't paint me out to be such a hero. I was there to learn from the Irish pro-life movement. They are the real heroes. Please, do them some justice, and write 50,000 more of these little posts.
    Americans have much to learn from them.

    1. What will you be doing differently following this learning experience?

    2. And, seriously, how do you square your 'pro life' position with accepting funding from Family and Life, a group that opposes vaccines for Irish children?

    3. Victor just a suggestion from one of your fellow countrymen.

      "If you're so pro-life, do me a favour: don't lock arms and block medical clinics. If you're so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries."
      Bill Hicks

  12. Victor, Tara, Cáit - can you explain to me how the "pro life" movement seems to stop being active once it's not about about foetuses and is about born children and adults?

    Example: there were widespread media reports last year of a school in Tipperary which refused to accept a pregnant schoolgirl as a pupil. After she had the baby, it still refused to accept her as a pupil on the grounds that she'd set a bad example (the school principal's words!) for other pupils.

    It took 10 minutes on Google to find what school was being reported on.

    The obvious implication behind the principal's remarks was that it would have been better for the pupil to keep quiet and have an abortion, and she would have been accepted.

    Why were there no protests outside this school or the Principal's home from Youth Defence, Pro Life, Crossroads Walk Ireland, or any of the other anti-choice organisations?

    Also - could you answer Geoff's questions about the vaccines? Why are pro-life organisations against vaccination?

  13. I would be interested to hear what the 'Pro Life' people think about 'Spontaneous Abortions' and how they feel they should best be dealt with?
    Do they think that women who are undergoing a spontaneous abortion should be denied painkillers?
    Should the way that the miscarriage develops be primarily managed with respect to the religion of the hospital, or the religion of the mother?

  14. James,
    I believe they'd prefer it if such women were held on suspicion of murder.

  15. No Geoff, I am looking for a nuanced reply, one where they have actually thought about what it is really like to be in someone else's shoes.
    Not easy, but neither is it impossible, so get on with it 'Ms and Mr Pro Life'

  16. Okay so first guys obviously you guys don't realise what a lot of people in the pro life movement have gone through! It consists of many people been in situations where choosing life was a extremely difficult decision where people are rapeed abused fell pregnant in there early early teens and without getting too personal I can say that my very own family members have been in this situation on more than one occasion so please take back that comment of not been in another persons shows because we personally have had to make these decisions!! And it is soo hard but from personally having dealt with certain circumstances choosing life has been the most healing thing in the world, I have seen in a family situation again where abortion and life have been chosen on many occasions, but it is sdoo safe to say that there is not one woman in my family who has had an abortion who doesn't regret it now!!! And that's what the pro life movement is, its about protecting woman from ever having to suffer the regret, the anger the depression and all this negativity emotionally psychologically and physically after an abortion!!!!

  17. "we personally have had to make these decisions!!"

    Am I correct in saying you do not wish others to have the freedom to make such decisions? If so, your statement is ironic. If not, welcome to being pro choice :-)

  18. Dear Tara,
    I have great sympathy for the distress you and your family must have gone through and I sincerely respect their right to make the decisions which they felt were right for them in those situations. I also presume that they made their decisions based on their own beliefs, without being influenced by other people with their own agendas?

    You don't protect women however when you take away their right to make a decision.
    You still seem to want to force them to obey 'your' beliefs and that proves to me once again, that you lack the ability to be truly empathic and non-judgmental.
    Practicing empathy, requires that you try to see what it is like to be in another person's situation and non-judgmental means that you accept that person's right to freely make a decision, based on their own beliefs and feelings and that you then support them without judging them whilst they exercise that right and support them while they face the consequences of their actions.
    I guess it is like being a very, very good friend.

    I am still waiting to hear what you think about Spontaneous Abortions and how you feel they should best be dealt with.