Family Planning Champions Seek Increased Investment In Reproductive Healthcare
By Chioma Umeha -
January 31, 2018
To improve reproductive healthcare in the country, Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN), a non-governmental organisation, has tasked government at levels to increase its investment in the area.
The demand came after a strategic meeting and training workshop of the Network which its members are Nigerian journalists that campaign for Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) issues and policies.
Ann Lovett 1968 – January 31 1984
By Donal O'Keeffe
January 31, 2018
34 years ago today, Ann Lovett died after giving birth at a grotto in Granard. Ann’s death changed an Ireland which is still trying to escape the long shadow of the 1980s, writes Donal O’Keeffe.
Granard, Co Longford, is a very picturesque town. It dates back at least to Celtic times and is mentioned in the Táin Bó Cuailgne. Queen Medb and her army stopped in Granard, on their way to take the brown bull of Cooley. So ancient a place is Granard that the original meaning of its name is unclear in Irish. It’s said St Patrick appointed the son of his former master the first bishop of Granard.
Granard is dominated – literally – by the Catholic Church. As you enter from the Edgeworthstown side, you’re immediately aware of the hill looming up on your left, and the grey St Mary’s Church which overlooks the entire main street. At the top of the hill, above the church, is a statue of St Patrick. Below that statue, behind the church, is a Marian shrine. The concreted ground is slick with moss, as a stone Saint Bernadette gazes up with unliving eyes at the statue immortalised by Paula Meehan in her poem ‘The Statue of the Virgin at Granard Speaks‘.
'Shrouded in shame': the young women on either side of Ireland's abortion debate
Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists are gearing up for a hard-fought referendum in which the youth vote could prove key
Tue 30 Jan 2018
An average of 11 women travel each day from the island of Ireland to have an abortion in England and Wales, according to the most recent Department of Health data. That adds up to more than 200,000 journeys since 1983, when the passing of the Eighth Amendment underlined the ban on abortions in the republic.
In Northern Ireland, the potential punishment for contravening the ban is even more severe. “It’s much more difficult even to have a conversation about abortion in Belfast,” says Jess Brien, a 25-year-old pro-choice campaigner who lives in Northern Ireland’s capital, “because the maximum sentence for having one here is life imprisonment.”
Mixed views after Cabinet agrees to vote on replacing Eighth
Reaction: Harris says suggesting that women would abort disabled child is offensive
Jan 30, 2018
It is offensive to suggest that Irish women would seek an abortion to avoid having a child with a disability, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said.
Mr Harris pointed out that the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment had voted specifically to avoid disability as grounds for abortion.
Questions and Answers: Key abortion issues
A number of medical issues will arise if there is a policy of termination of pregnancy on request
Jan 30, 2018
As we move towards a date for a referendum on a repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution and the possible implementation of a policy of termination of pregnancy on request, a number of medical and health system issues will arise. They include the availability of prenatal ultrasound scans and the effect new regulations may have on pregnancies where there is a foetal chromosomal abnormality.
Ireland to hold landmark abortion referendum in May
Text by NEWS WIRES
Latest update : 2018-01-30
Ireland will hold a referendum at the end of May on liberalising its restrictive abortion laws, a highly sensitive issue in the traditionally devoutly Catholic country.
Leo Varadkar, who as the country's youngest ever prime minister is regarded as relatively liberal on social issues, made the announcement late Monday, accepting it would be a difficult decision for Irish voters.
"This is a decision about whether we want to continue to stigmatise and criminalise our sisters, our co-workers, and our friends," he told a press conference in Dublin.
The Astonishing Numbers Behind the Republican Crusade Against Pregnant Women
Jan 30, 2018
AlterNet, News & Politics
Forty-five years after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party and far-right Christian fundamentalists remain obsessed with ending safe and legal abortion in the United States. But their opposition to universal health care and attacks on everything from Medicare to school lunch programs demonstrate that their concern for human life ends once a baby is born. If the GOP and its evangelical base truly were pro-life, they might object to the fact the U.S. now has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world—a figure that is especially pronounced in Republican-dominated red states.
In 2016, The Lancet published the results of an international study on maternal mortality that found U.S. women were almost three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications as their counterparts in Germany or the U.K., and almost seven times as likely as women in Finland. According to the medical journal, maternal mortality in the U.S. increased from 16.9 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 26.4 per 100,000 live births in 2015.
It's been a long road to Ireland's abortion referendum - so what will happen now?
Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of Bpas
30 January 2018
I became a pro-choice advocate 30 years ago, when I met a girl of my age who had been sent to a young mothers’ home in England before her pregnancy was visible. She had been told to stay there until she ‘looked normal again’ so no one would know her family’s shame.
So, when I heard that the Irish Prime Minister has confirmed a referendum that could change the country's laws that all but ban abortion and enable women's access to terminations, I thought - at last.
Ireland’s abortion referendum is finally happening – but the campaign will be ugly
The anti-abortion side has hired a digital campaigns company that previously worked for Donald Trump.
By Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin
30 January 2018
This summer, after 35 years, Ireland will finally hold a “yes-no” vote on repealing the eighth amendment to its constitution, which prohibits abortion in almost all circumstances.
That the referendum is happening at all is a huge victory for feminist campaigners, who have spent decades battling cowardice and apathy on the part of government. What’s more, the campaign to repeal will have the support of both Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin – the leaders of Ireland’s infamously conservative major parties – and of the entire cabinet. Even five years ago, this situation would have seemed impossible.
Ireland's abortion referendum signals progress for women – but north of the border under the DUP, things look grim
Many thought that the referendum on equal marriage in the Republic of Ireland in 2015 would encourage politicians to campaign for a similar change in the law in Northern Ireland. But the last couple of years has shown us that progress can suddenly stall
Caitlin De Jode
Tuesday 30 January 2018
“Essentially what we’re asking people to do is to allow us to change the constitution so that we can make changes to our laws – liberalise them, relax them, make them more compassionate… We’re asking people, now, to trust women.”
For thousands of Irish people watching a blurry YouTube live stream, or desperately refreshing Twitter last night, hearing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar say those words proved to be a surprisingly emotional moment.