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Murder according to law in Ireland
by Jake Highton
Jan 16, 2013 | 1810 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Ireland murders pregnant Indian dentist,” the India Times headline declared.

And so it had.

Abortion is against the law in Ireland. The woman was allowed to die at University Hospital in Galway rather than have an abortion that would have saved her life.

The woman, Savita Halappanavar, a popular dentist in Galway, checked into the hospital and was told she was miscarrying. She repeatedly requested an abortion but was repeatedly refused.

She was allowed to die of blood poisoning.

The husband, rightly angered by refusal of an abortion, was primly reminded by one of the doctors: “This is a Catholic country.”

It is also an inhumane and uncivilized country.

This all happened in late October. But the concept of absurd laws goes back farther than that. In 1839 Charles Dickens wrote in “Oliver Twist”: “If the law supposes that, said Mr. Bumble, “the law is a ass--a idiot.”

The Irish law is asinine whether you are a Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or an atheist. Refusal to grant an abortion in those dire circumstances is medical malpractice.

To escape the law, about 3,000 Irish woman travel to Great Britain a year for abortions. But that route is difficult for working class and poor woman.

While “the Catholic country” of Ireland finally legalized divorce and homosexuality in the 1990s, abortion remains beyond the pale, defying common sense and humanity.

Do-nothing Congress

Steubenville, Ohio, high school football players recently raped an unconscious 16-year-old girl, who was either drunk or drugged, repeatedly. The rapists carried the girl from party to party for night-long violence.

Still, a worthless Congress refuses to renew the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. The Act, which targets rape and abuse, is a human issue. It is hardly partisan.


Penn State and Talleyrand

French diplomat Talleyrand wittily described the Bourbons as learning nothing and forgetting nothing. Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania is like that.

He filed a suit in federal court to revoke the sanctions imposed on Penn State by the NCAA.

Oh, woe, is Penn State economically after the sanctions, he said, ignoring the horrible serial pedophilia and rape by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Moreover, all university officials, including the revered coach Joe Paterno, were involved in an unforgiveable mass cover-up.

The governor has learned nothing from the scandal, deeming the Penn State football “program” more important than the abused kids.

Actually, the sanctions were not as severe as they should have been. Penn State was fined $60 million and had lucrative bowl games suspended for four years. That was not enough to show the severity of the crimes. Penn State football games should have been canceled last fall.


Soccer racism persists

It’s hard to imagine in 2013 that international soccer is still marred by racism.

Things got so bad in Italy recently that the powerful A.C. Milan soccer club quit a match because of racist chanting by fans.

As Silvio Berlusconi, A.C. Milan owner, said: these “uncivil episodes, these catcalls and defamatory chants,” are uncalled for.

The glaring examples of racism are directed at Africans playing for Italian teams.

Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.
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