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 – 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 – 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

NORTHERN IRELAND – “The North is next” – proposals put forward to try and make this happen

As in Ireland up to now, it is almost impossible to get an abortion in Northern Ireland. The most immediate fallout of the Irish referendum results on 26 May was the call from many quarters for Northern Ireland to be next. However, there are complex political realities that will get in the way. The first and most important is that policy on abortion was devolved by the UK Parliament to Northern Ireland and Scotland some … Continued

MALAWI – Call for Malawi to emulate the spirit of Ireland’s yes decision

Women in Malawi should be given freedom to access sexual and reproductive health services without interference from the state and the church, said Brian Ligomeka, Executive Director, Centre for Solutions Journalism in an interview about the rejection of the former 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution. “Malawi as a nation needs to emulate what has happened in Ireland by reforming its abortion law. It is unacceptable for the state and religious denominations to be denying … Continued

IRELAND – Vote yes for repeal, vote today, 25 May!!

  Today is the Irish referendum to repeal the 8th amendment to the Constitution: Vote yes for repeal, vote today, 25 May!!   WATCH THE VIDEO by London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign Savita Halappanavar’s father, Andanappa Yalagi, called for a yes vote in her memory, and Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, who headed the enquiry into Savita’s death, also called for a yes vote. The professor said that she died because the team that was managing her … Continued

IRELAND – 1080 doctors in Ireland have called for a yes vote in the referendum – with commentary

  The Irish Times reported on 12 May that 1,080 doctors from across Ireland made a public declaration of their support for repeal of the Eighth Amendment in the upcoming referendum on 25 May, saying repeal will make abortion “safe and regulated” for Irish women. Standing in front of a projection of their names, Monaghan GP Dr Ross Kelly warned the current legislation had led to a breakdown of trust between women and their doctors. … Continued

IRELAND – A round-up of the news that is pouring in from Ireland

  Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley, who favours repealing the Eighth Amendment, has described as “disgusting” an anti-abortion leaflet depicting graphic scenes of fetuses, which was delivered to him in the parliament in early April in an envelope franked with a Government harp and marked freepost, without a stamp. *** A very thoughtful article, well worth reading, opens by asking: “How will you explain the abortion referendum to your children? The short answer is, I’d … Continued

IRELAND – What happens when an abortion debate goes viral

  Ireland is in the midst of a media storm in which something is published pretty much every day on abortion, featuring every politician in the country and many others with an opinion that have to air. Taken together it is a real political education in what our movement faces when trying to support law reform. On 27 March, a headline offered: “Six things to know about the abortion bill” and featured Irish Minister for … Continued

IRELAND – Not at Home

Stories from women who have had to travel to England from Ireland and Northern Ireland for abortions took centre stage at the Not at Home exhibition in London in December. Abortion is illegal in almost all circumstances in Ireland. It is also illegal in Northern Ireland, where the Abortion Act 1967, which allows women access to the procedure in the rest of the UK, was never extended. An estimated 10 women per day travel from … Continued

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