Thursday December 14, 2017

‘Parent by Choice for Choice’ : Thousands Join Protests Against Ireland’s Abortion Laws

This year's march against abortion laws was more significant than ever given the latest confirmation that there will be a referendum on abortion next year

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Thousands gathered to protest against Ireland's abortion laws holding placards saying "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries" and "Parent by choice for choice (representational image) Wikimedia

Dublin, September 1, 2017 : Thousands of people staged a massive protest in Dublin, calling for an end to Ireland’s strict abortion laws, the media reported.

Campaigners took part in the March for Choice in the capital’s city centre on Saturday, chanting: “Hey, hey Leo (Prime Minister Leo Varadkar), the eighth amendment has got to go” and carrying banners which read: “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries” and “Parent by choice for choice”, reports the Guardian.

This year’s march against abortion laws, the sixth in a series of annual events, was more significant than ever given the latest confirmation that there will be a referendum on abortion next year.

The Irish government recently set a potential timescale of early 2018 for the referendum on the eighth amendment, the section of Ireland’s constitution imposing tight legal restrictions on terminations.

ALSO READ Anti-abortion Activists and supporters of a Woman’s right choose staged demonstrations in US

The amendment, which was voted into the constitution by referendum in 1983, affords equal rights to unborn babies and pregnant women and gives foetuses the right to life by law, the Guardian reported.

Terminations are only permitted when the life of the mother is at risk, and the maximum penalty for having an illegal abortion in Ireland is 14 years in prison.

Thousands of Irish women travel to the British mainland each year to have a legal termination.

ALSO READ DIY abortions: To do or not to do?

Anti-abortion activists staged counter events in the city and across Ireland to warn against the relaxation of the current law reports the BBC.

A pro-choice rally was also staged outside the Irish embassy in London on Saturday, with campaigners highlighting the numbers of Irish women who have traveled to the UK for an abortion in the last three decades.  (IANS)

 

 

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Genetic Testing Likely To Raise Thorny Ethical Issues around Pregnancy: Study

Genetic testing directly affects a woman's experience of pregnancy and may contribute to a decision not to transfer an embryo or to terminate an established pregnancy

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Genetic testing raises ethical issues of pregnancy. Pixabay

Wellington, Sep 05, 2017: Having a baby may never be the same again as increasingly sophisticated genetic testing is likely to raise thorny ethical issues, a New Zealand study said on Tuesday.

“Pregnant women now face a bewildering world of genetic testing,” said Jeanne Snelling, the lead author of the New Zealand Law Foundation Report.

Genetic testing in the reproductive context is a particularly high-stakes endeavour, Snelling said, adding that it directly affects a woman’s experience of pregnancy, and may contribute to a decision not to transfer an embryo or to terminate an established pregnancy, reports Xinhua news agency.

The study looks at a number of rapidly evolving genetic technologies that a woman may be offered, either during pregnancy or regarding embryos created by IVF (in-vitro fertilization).

A common feature of all of these tests is that they enable an increasing and significant amount of health-related information to be derived, compared with traditional prenatal tests, and all are associated with particular technical, ethical and legal challenges, Snelling said.

“The report considers how this new landscape reignites debates about the implications of new technology for women and how it affects the experience of pregnancy.” (IANS)

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Basil is a Boon For Pregnant Women, Here’s Why!

Here are some medical usage of Basil for pregnant women

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Basil leaves helpful for pregnant women. Pixabay
  • Basil was the first native to India, Asia, and Africa
  • Basil leaves contain healing properties in abundance for pregnant women
  • The tradition of reverence of basil has been continuing in the wide range of cultures

New Delhi, Aug 01, 2017: Basil blooms in many regions across the world, but it was the first native to India, Asia, and Africa. It is chiefly featured in varied cuisines throughout the world including Italian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian.

The name “basil” is derived from the old Greek word basilikohn, meaning “royal,” revealing the importance of herb in the ancient cultures as noble and sacred. The tradition of reverence of basil has been continuing in the wide range of cultures. For example, in India, basil was revered as an icon of hospitality, while in Italy, it was seen as a  symbol of love.

Do you know that the therapeutic properties of Basil are beneficial for pregnant women too? Basil leaves contain healing properties in abundance. Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K, copper, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), vitamin C, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.

In addition, the basil leaves contain antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. There is also plenty of quantity available in it.

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1- Basil has antibacterial properties which save the body from every type of infection. If pregnant women devour some leaves of Tulsi regularly during her pregnancy, her body will lessen the risk of infections.

ALSO READ: Eighteen Must-know facts about Tulsi (Basil) and the Benefits Attached to it!

2- Basil helps combat the problem of low blood levels in human body. Women often have a problem of lack of blood during the pregnancy days where consuming basil leaves every day will solve the problem. It is advised that the pregnant women must eat atleast two basil leaves every day.

3-Basil contains a rich amount of vitamin A which promotes the healthy development of the child the womb.

4- There is also plenty of magnesium found in Basil leaves. Magnesium strengthens the bones of the baby in the stomach. And also helps in eliminating the manganese deficiency found in the child.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Leo Varadkar: Irish PM in waiting and his India connection

Leo said: "I know when my father traveled 5,000 miles from India to build a new home in Ireland, I doubt that he ever dreamed that one day his son would grow up to be its leader and despite his differences, his son would be judged by his actions not his identity."

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Leo Varadkar applauds on stage to make his acceptance speech at the count centre as he wins the Fine Gael parliamentary elections to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

By Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s governing Fine Gael party elected Leo Varadkar as its new leader on Friday, choosing the gay, 38-year-old son of an Indian immigrant to succeed Enda Kenny as prime minister in a striking sign of the country’s rapid social change.

Leo Varadkar arrives with his parents Ashok (R) and Miriam (L) Varadkar as it is announced that Varadkar won the Fine Gael parliamentary elections to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Varadkar overcame ministerial colleague Simon Coveney as expected, winning an overwhelming majority among the center-right party’s lawmakers who hope the straight-talking Dubliner can lead them to third successive term for the first time.

Leo Varadkar poses for pictures after winning the Fine Gael parliamentary elections to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party, in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Bar an unexpected development, Varadkar will be voted in as prime minister when parliament next sits on June 13 and become the once-staunchly Catholic country’s first openly gay premier and the youngest person ever to hold the office.

Leo Varadkar arrives at the count centre as it is announced that he won the Fine Gael parliamentary elections to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

“If my election today shows anything, it is that prejudice has no hold in this Republic,” Varadkar said to huge applause in a speech at Dublin’s Mansion House, where Ireland’s parliament first sat almost a century ago.

Leo Varadkar wins the Fine Gael parliamentary elections to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party, in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

“I know when my father traveled 5,000 miles to build a new home in Ireland, I doubt that he ever dreamed that one day his son would grow up to be its leader and despite his differences, his son would be judged by his actions not his identity.

“Every proud parent in Ireland today can dream big dreams for their children,” Varadkar said.

Leo Varadkar wins the Fine Gael parliamentary elections to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

His election marks another chapter in the social change that has swept through the country of 4.6 million people that only decriminalized homosexuality in 1993 but became the first country to adopt gay marriage via a popular vote in 2015.

Counting takes place during the Fine Gael party leader election to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party in Dublin, Ireland, June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

It also shows another face of modern-day Ireland. Varadkar’s father Ashok, who like his son is a doctor, was born in Mumbai in India. He met his wife Miriam, an Irish nurse, in England in the 1970s before moving to Ireland where Varadkar was born.

Counting takes place during the Fine Gael party leader election to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

The generational shift from Kenny, 66, who led the party for 15 years and has been prime minister since 2011, will likely be matched with Varadkar’s cabinet choices. Paschal Donohoe, 42, is expected to be promoted to finance minister, replacing the retiring Michael Noonan.

Varadkar’s opponents, who hope his blunt style will prove a liability rather than an asset to Fine Gael, were quick to claim that the current social protection minister — who recently led a campaign against “welfare cheats” — would move the government to the right.

Counting takes place during the Fine Gael party leader election to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

“Leo Varadkar is a Tory. Fine Gael will be dragged even further to right under his leadership and that can only mean further hardship for ordinary people,” Gerry Adams, president of the left-wing Sinn Fein opposition party said in a statement.

“CUT AND RUN?”

Supporters, on the other hand, excitedly compare their new leader to charismatic Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and new French President Emmanuel Macron, anticipating a rebound from last year’s disappointing election where they only returned to power as the senior party in a fragile minority government.

Counting takes place during the Fine Gael party leader election to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Fine Gael has already received a bounce, regaining its standing as the most popular party in most opinion polls and Varadkar has pledged to hit the ground running with promises of increased infrastructure spending and further income tax cuts.

However, despite inheriting the fastest-growing economy in Europe, he will have less room to boost spending and cut taxes in his first budget than Kenny enjoyed in each of his last two as Ireland seeks its first balanced budget in a decade.

He will also face the diplomatic and economic challenge of Brexit, which is set to impact neighboring Ireland more than any other European Union country due to its close trading links with Britain and land border with British-run Northern Ireland.

The constraints of minority rule, where Fine Gael relies on the backing of rival Fianna Fail on key votes, could also act as a brake on his ambitions, and while Varadkar has ruled out an early election, analysts are alive to the possibility.

A woman has a sticker supporting candidate Leo Varadkar on her handbag as counting takes place during the Fine Gael party leader election to replace Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny as leader of the party in Dublin, Ireland June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

“Having Leo Varadkar at the helm in the next election probably sets Fine Gael up better than under Enda Kenny, I think that’s a safe bet but everyone watching Irish politics knows this is to all extents and purposes a zombie government,” said David Farrell, politics professor at University College Dublin.

“I think the fact that he will be so tightly constrained would suggest that on balance going for an early election may be best for him. Cut and run during a honeymoon, on his terms, might be the way to go.”

(Writing by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Helen Popper)