Art : They .. Abortion rights

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Platform arts
Emma Campbell

‘They put their hand out like scales.”

In the book of the images When they put their hand out like scales, Emma Campbell quotes various people across the island of Ireland.
Paradoxically; david Ervine who was implacably opposed to a United Ireland and not exactly in touch with women’s issues as a cross border joint issue, is quoted. The quote above. Art from the crude language; he starts ‘They are not women they are people.. Bless, he instantly may as well be saying, not just women, not simply women, he takes an authority of judging the women seeking an abortion.
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A representative of organised terrorism unplacated and vile and violently encouraging young people to do his dirty work and kill human beings already born and fully alive he recoiled at the fact among his neighbours there were young women who, if they had found the means to travel at a minimum, went to England for an abortion. He used the phrase”they put their hand out like scales.” mixing the metaphor having right and wrong in each hand. The morality of it only being wrong on one hand and right on the other displacing the separation being made.
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Law and Justice
In our justice system, the law is inexorably cast with degrees of right and wrong. The person acted for a reason….but that reason carries wrong …being against the Law. In the case of the individual it is not like that. The individual has to divide in their own hands, into the right hand and into the left hand the right in the right, the wrong in the left. The moral judgement is theirs and the terms of their decision is going to weigh on one side or the other. This is the unambiguous truth. Into it once made come the social impediments. Into it has to be created a process in concert with her decision to enable it. These are the issues the state and authority act and intervene to hinder or enable the woman to act.
Politicians unwitting disconnection
Going back to the conflicted David Ervine I wonder what regard he had for the men on whose orders they acted who took their own lives, of the soldiers seeing the opposing forces inflict terror and death on each other’s community who took their own lives, of the people who shot people from their own community for their non-compliance. It was before Ervines time I think when a friend expressed his views in a pub in his community which because of its left leaning contempt of violence and killing of people of another religion he was taken to a toilet in the Pub and executed by people of the same community and religion. So the leaders had become the rulers of live and death and in their sacrament they murdered a fellow human being.
The Woman as a person alone and individual
Often it is put to women that the conction and the merging of chromosomes is a new life. It cannot be purely because at that time her womb carries a fertilised egg wholly dependant on her and of her body which includes her mind. Nothing else is involved. She has an extension of herself which she can grow to the birth of a child. It is a division of will or want and if unplanned and not willed it is for her to decide on a termination as soon as she has made the decision. The decision is probably already framed in her mind as conception is a continual presence in her sexual life but when the actual occurrence of pregnancy occurs it shifts to another level when the question has to be considered now it is present. The decision to have children is a life changing one and it is weighted in one hand.
No directions or Law can intervene.
In either event support and all help and assistance is required and in many places equipped to deal with both eventualities and decisions are less fraught.

John Graham

24 October 2014

Belfast

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