This week — while the right wing in the U.S. worked on making abortion harder to obtain — Ireland went the other way. A large majority voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which was one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the developed world.
The 1983 amendment had outlawed almost all abortions, including in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormality or supposedly non-life-threatening risk to the mother’s health. I say “supposedly” because doctors were wrong in their evaluation of that risk in a 2012 case that played a significant role in the call for reform. Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist, had gone to the hospital while suffering a miscarriage 17 weeks into her first pregnancy. Doctors determined there was no way to save the fetus, yet refused to give her an abortion because they could detect a fetal heartbeat. Halappanavar died from a septic infection caused by ruptured membranes.
Parliament is now set to pass a new law guaranteeing unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks and beyond that in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities or serious risks to a mother’s health, bringing Ireland’s access to abortion in line with the other 27 members of the European Union. Halappanavar’s father has asked that the new legislation be known as “Savita’s law.”
Voter turnout of 64.1% was Ireland’s third-highest for a referendum vote, below only the adoption of the constitution in 1937 and the decision to join the European Economic Community in 1972. Irish citizens traveled from the U.S., Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sweden — all over the world! — to participate in the vote: Check out the #HomeToVote hashtag if you’re a Twitter user and want to see some first-person stories.
— the cute hoor (@HoorayForNiamh) May 22, 2018
When it’s time to get out the vote here in the U.S., I want you all to take inspiration from Ireland! It can be done.
In other news, here’s what’s been on the blog recently.
- Monday, May 14: JCK Magazine and National Jeweler wrote about my Concierge program for jewelry retailers.
- Tuesday, May 15: Dollar-bill prints are back in fashion and I think I need some thigh-high boots.
- Wednesday, May 16: My jewelry designs move you … and they also move.
- Sunday, May 20: Purrkoy the cat woke me up to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married. Thanks, PK!
- Monday, May 21: I’m proud that my ring design for ANZA Gems was a finalist in the JCK Jewelers’ Choice Awards.
- Wednesday, May 23: Have you seen my crazy Hatshepsut locket? One ounce of 18K yellow gold that unscrews and then slides open. Check out that one, as well as some of my other mechanical jewelry, in this YouTube playlist.
- Thursday, May 24: I got out on the streets with Planned Parenthood to protest the new abortion gag rule.
- Friday, May 25: I wore slow fashion to Abigail and Max’s wedding.
Over on Instagram, you can see the Hathshepsut locket modeled by the gorgeous Ella Perez.
The Hatshepsut Locket is a #oneofakind design with diamonds peppered around the pendant. If you remove the pendant from its chain, the locket opens up, revealing space for a secret inscription or a memento from a loved one. #showyourcouture #couturedailydose #wendybrandesjewelry⠀ -⠀ -⠀ -⠀ #jewelry #jewellery #jewelryinmotion #mechanicaljewelry #mourningjewelry #locket #keepsake #futureheirloom #necklace #necklaces #statementnecklace #coutureselect #couture2018
Keep an eye on Instagram for stories from the Couture jewelry trade show in Las Vegas next week!