Ireland's longstanding abortion legislation could change due to a ruling expected to be handed down by the European Court of Human Rights next week.
When two Irish women and one Lithuanian woman who were forced to travel to Britain for abortions they took the action against the Irish state five years ago.
But, but, but. . . (emphasis mine)
When Pope Benedict XVI departed from previous Church doctrine two weeks ago by saying condoms are acceptable in certain cases, Catholic-dominated Ireland was so distracted by news it might need an economic bailout that it barely noticed. There was a time, though, when a Vatican softening on the contraception veto would have made the top headline in Irish newspapers. A time when, in Ireland, things like condoms, pills and diaphragms were not just taboo, but outright illegal, according to a 1935 law forbidding the import and sale of contraceptives. In the 1970s, Irish feminists would challenge their government’s anti-birth control policies by staging protests like massive condom-buying expeditions to Northern Ireland, where contraception devices were legal. But this was still an Ireland where taking on the Catholic Church was socially daring and politically suicidal.
But the Ireland of today has the world’s largest percentage of married women under 49 using contraception, according to the United Nation’s 2010 Human Development Index. The UN figure of 89 per cent of women using birth control includes those who resort to so-called natural contraceptive methods, with which the Church has no moral qualms, but Irish studies looking exclusively at artificial contraception show use among 18- to 24-year-old girls is well over 90 per cent. It’s a startling change of social attitudes, some 30 years after the government lifted the birth-control ban in 1979, and one that illustrates how much the Church’s influence has waned in a country that was once a stronghold of Catholicism in Europe.
Among the Irish clergy, there is a sense “the battle has been lost” on birth control, said Garry O’Sullivan, editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper. In a historic upset, contraceptives, it seems, have gone from being social taboos to no longer being a topic for Sunday sermons. “The bishops have stopped pushing the issue,” said O’Sullivan. “People have moved on.”
Sanity busting out all over.
Take that, Pope Maledict!
h/t for the abortion law link to Sister Sage