What’s been happening in Ireland

Introduction In the midst of the continuing shower of news from all over the world that I share with you, I’ve been collecting stories for a feature on Ireland. This is not a definitive piece, that will come from those who have been on the frontlines, but is based primarily on written information from a few key people and what has been in the media. This history describes an almost unique series of events, and … Continued

CANADA / IRELAND / NORTHERN IRELAND – Crossing Troubled Waters

This book examines and compares the stories of abortion access in Prince Edward Island, Canada, Northern Ireland and Ireland. It is co-edited by Dr Colleen MacQuarrie, Fiona Bloomer, Claire Pierson, and Shannon Stettner. It was launched on 19 November at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). The book considers, for each island, the nature of the discourse of abortion on the island, the impact that restrictions have had, ongoing efforts to improve access, and … Continued

Ireland: The Abortion Bill passes the first house

Abortion bill passed by a large majority On 6 December 2018, the lower house of the Irish parliament passed the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill at midnight with a vote of 90 for, 15 against, and 12 abstentions, after hours of debate and consideration of 60 amendments, almost all of which were voted down with large majorities. Minister of Health Simon Harris remained in strict control throughout the process, rejecting amendments by pro-choice members … Continued

IRELAND: NORTH AND SOUTH – Women from Northern Ireland to have access to abortion in the South (next year…)

Simon Harris, the Irish Health Minister, has told the main political parties in Northern Ireland that access to abortion won’t stop at the border. He told the Festival of the People, an annual community event in West Belfast, that he was planning to ensure that women in Northern Ireland will be able to access terminations through the Irish health service after the law is reformed. He also called on the Northern Irish political parties to … Continued

TWO NEWS SHORTS: ANTI-ABORTION BEHAVIOUR REJECTED  

AUSTRALIA – Safe zones outside abortion clinics are welcome The New South Wales state government recently passed a law imposing a ban on anti-abortion protests outside abortion clinics. A commentary in response defends the ban by saying: “If you live in Victoria or one of the four other [Australian] states with such bans, then you won’t have seen one of these protests for a few years…. Still, I remember what the ‘protests’ looked like. They were … Continued

IRELAND – Justice for Ms Y – finally

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) of Ireland has acknowledged liability and said it is willing to compensate a young woman known as Ms Y for failing to ensure she was provided with an abortion when she first sought one as a teenager in 2014. Ms Y sought refugee status in Ireland after she was kidnapped, beaten, and repeatedly raped by the head of a paramilitary organisation in her home country. She discovered she was … Continued

IRELAND – Irish Health and Safety Executive (HSE) finally acknowledges responsibility and is willing to compensate a woman rape victim who sought asylum and was denied a legal abortion

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has admitted liability and said it is willing to compensate a woman known as Ms Y for failing to provide her with an abortion when she first sought one. Ms Y is a young woman who sought refugee status in Ireland after she was kidnapped, beaten, and repeatedly raped by the head of a paramilitary organisation in her home country. She discovered she was pregnant shortly after she arrived … Continued

IRELAND – Three great responses to the referendum result and how the future is already being shaped

Journalist Róisín Ingle said: “With the landslide for Yes, I finally felt like I belonged… The referendum result was Ireland confirming that women are equal citizens.” Journalist Una Mullally described what happened as a “collective victory driven by a national movement”. But she felt that with everyone clambering onto the victory wagon, young women were “already being written out of the story of repeal”. What was really remarkable, she said, “was the increase in turnout … Continued

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