Ireland – Abortion: the need to engage and explain

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Abortion: the need to engage and explain
Recent developments have underlined the scale of the task facing the repeal side

Feb 20, 2018

Three weeks have passed since Taoiseach Leo Varadkar fired the starting gun for the abortion referendum campaign after a late-night Government meeting to formally sign off on the plan. That important step, coming as it did 10 days after a surprise announcement by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that he would vote to remove the constitutional ban on abortion, energised pro-choice supporters and injected momentum into their campaign.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/abortion-the-need-to-engage-and-explain-1.3397802

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Ireland – Harsh penalties by church and State on those who have abortions do not work

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Harsh penalties by church and State on those who have abortions do not work
As Catholics we must now decide on what type of civic society we wish to create

Feb 20, 2018
Brendan Butler

The forthcoming referendum will present me and other committed Catholics with a dilemma. Do I vote to retain the present constitutional ban on abortion – which results in the criminalisation of women who have had abortions – or to recognise a changing reality where the present Irish population, especially the younger generation, are concerned, and who see opposition by the Catholic Church to repeal of the Eighth Amendment as a threat to their moral freedom to act according to their consciences?

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/harsh-penalties-by-church-and-state-on-those-who-have-abortions-do-not-work-1.3397839

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The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World

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The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World — EXCLUSIVE

By Nancy Northup & Anu Kumar
Feb 19, 2018

Jan. 23 marks one year since President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which bans overseas organizations that receive U.S. funding from using their own money to provide abortion information, referrals, or to advocate for law reform. The policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, not only harms women and girls around the world, it disproportionately impacts countries home to mainly people of color. It embodies the “America First” ideological imperialism and reliance on strong-arm coercion that have shaped and defined this administration’s first year.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has implemented the gag rule, using foreign policy to bully countries on abortion for decades. Since 1973, global health organizations have been working under the Helms Amendment, an egregious policy that bans any U.S. foreign aid funds from being used for abortion services. This policy remains in effect, and the gag rule bolsters it. Despite the Helms Amendment, in recent years the global community has made progress in expanding access to reproductive health care, particularly safe abortion.

Continued: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/the-global-gag-rule-is-harming-women-around-the-world-exclusive-8245633

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UK: Why buffer zones around abortion clinics do not threaten the right to protest

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Why buffer zones around abortion clinics do not threaten the right to protest
February 13, 2018
Arianne Shahvisi

Ealing council in West London could soon set up a buffer zone to limit the harassment faced by patients of a local abortion clinic. The clinic is run by the reproductive health charity Marie Stopes, one of many abortion providers across the UK regularly targeted by anti-abortion protestors. In mid-January, councillors voted to launch a public consultation about the creation of a Public Space Protection Order, or buffer zone, around the clinic.

Common forms of anti-abortion protest include public prayer, hymns, and chanting. Protesters also distribute leaflets exaggerating the risks of abortion, display posters including images of aborted foetuses, strew

continued: https://theconversation.com/why-buffer-zones-around-abortion-clinics-do-not-threaten-the-right-to-protest-90371

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Australia: New laws needed to protect abortion clinic workers

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New laws needed to protect abortion clinic workers

Michelle Thompson
February 12 2018

Imagine going to work and being told by strangers you are going to hell. You have to push past people who tell you what you do is wrong, that you should be ashamed and that you’re doing the devil’s work. Your vehicle is regularly splashed by "holy water" that mysteriously blisters the paint on your car, and you have graphic images shoved in your face as you enter your workplace.

This is the reality for many Australian healthcare workers each day who provide abortion care to thousands of patients.

Continued: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/laws-to-protect-abortion-clinic-workers-20180212-p4z00u.html

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I tried (and failed) to get a safe and legal abortion in Brazil

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I tried (and failed) to get a safe and legal abortion in Brazil

By Rebeca Mendes
Feb 09, 2018

I'm a 30-year-old Brazilian with two young children, temporary employment and hopes for an eventual legal career. When I sought permission to terminate my pregnancy, I was thinking about my family, my finances and my future. In the process I found myself at the center of a political story, becoming the first woman in our country to fight for an abortion in court based on personal, nonmedical needs.

Last month, the United States marked the 45th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade — a landmark decision that secured the right of American women to have an abortion. It remains the law of the land, despite repeated attempts to reverse the decision. Since filing my petition with Brazil's Supreme Court last year, many people have compared my suit to Jane Roe's. But there is one crucial difference: She won. The court denied my plea and women in Brazil continue to risk their health and lives if they decide to terminate a pregnancy.

Continued: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mendes-brazil-abortion-20180209-story.html

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Ireland: Abortion on request will follow shortly after repeal of amendment

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Abortion on request will follow shortly after repeal of amendment
It’s hard to see how anyone can really believe 12 weeks is line in sand

Feb 6, 2018
Fr Chris Hayden

What will happen after the referendum on the Eighth Amendment? Will the issue be parcelled neatly away, so that those who see the result as a victory can rest easy, and those who see it as a defeat can arrive at a sad acceptance of the way things are? Far from it.

This is one issue that is not going away, irrespective of the outcome of the eventual referendum. Anyone who votes in the hope of finally laying the matter to rest will be disappointed.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/abortion-on-request-will-follow-shortly-after-repeal-of-amendment-1.3380859

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Not only in Ireland is there a fight to be won on abortion

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Not only in Ireland is there a fight to be won on abortion
Sarah Ditum
Dublin might be preparing for change, but in Poland and elsewhere women’s rights are under threat

Sun 4 Feb 2018

Before the end of May, Ireland will hold a referendum that could finally give Irish women legal access to abortion in their own country. It feels like the time is right for change. The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who made the announcement last week, called himself “pro-life” as recently as 2015; now he says he’ll be campaigning against the repressive eighth amendment that values a foetus’s right to life equally with a pregnant woman’s (or, in the language of the constitution, the “unborn” and the “mother”). It’s a stunning and very welcome reversal.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/04/not-only-ireland-we-need-new-view-on-abortion

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Scotland: Abortion pill is safe — and helping rates fall

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Abortion pill is safe — and helping rates fall
Allowing women to take misoprostol at home is compassionate and humane

Gillian Bowditch
February 4 2018, The Sunday Times

As I write this, I am waiting to hear if the operation a close relative is due to undergo next week will take place as scheduled. He’s been waiting for treatment since last summer.

The procedure has been cancelled twice this year despite the health board in question instigating a three-week planned stoppage of non-urgent operations over Christmas, ostensibly to prevent the need for further cancellations.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/abortion-pill-is-safe-and-helping-rates-fall-cf5gf2962

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The Canada Summer Jobs kerfuffle: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

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The Canada Summer Jobs kerfuffle: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

Joyce Arthur
February 2, 2018

Should taxpayers fund summer jobs for youth where they will be trained to challenge and oppose the Charter rights of others? Of course not, but it's been going on under our noses for years. Anti-choice groups have been milking the Canada Summer Jobs fund to the tune of $1.7 million since 2010.

The story began in April 2017, when the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) reported that many anti-choice groups had been getting Canada Summer Jobs funding for years -- primarily "crisis pregnancy centres" that dissuade women from abortion, but also some political groups, including Campaign Life Coalition, LifeSiteNews, and Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform (CCBR). The latter group is infamous for its public display of gory signs showing alleged aborted fetuses and delivering similar graphic flyers to residences.

Continued at link: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/02/canada-summer-jobs-kerfuffle-full-sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing

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