What’s Really At Stake In The Irish Abortion Referendum

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What's Really At Stake In The Irish Abortion Referendum
For Irish women, abortion remains both illegal and taboo. As the country faces a historic referendum, Lynn Enright reflects on a nation’s changing mood, and a past decision of her own.

By Lynn Enright
Tuesday 24 April 2018

I was 31 and living in London when I had an abortion. On a grey morning, I took the Tube to the hospital and afterwards, I got an Uber home. My then boyfriend (who is now my husband) gave me a hot-water bottle and my flatmate brought me a cup of tea. My best friend texted me. “I love you,” she said. It was an everyday abortion but it hadn’t been an easy decision. I’d always wanted children and I’d hoped to be in a situation to have them at 31. But I wasn’t. The website I worked at had shut down the previous month and I was broke. I lived in a rented flat, sharing with two others. And my relationship was young and unsteady on its feet. So I had an abortion. Because it wasn’t the right time. Because it felt impossible to be pregnant, impossible to be a mother.

Continued: http://www.vogue.co.uk/article/the-story-of-us

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Fintan O’Toole: How I discovered what I felt about abortion

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Fintan O'Toole: How I discovered what I felt about abortion
I was 18 when asked to help a girl get an abortion. I knew it was not about me, it was about her

April 23, 2018
Fintan O'Toole

When I was 18, I knew nothing about anything and even less about abortion. I had never really thought about it. I suppose I had a vague feeling that it was a bad thing, to be contemplated only in extreme circumstances. And then in summer 1976 I had to discover what I felt about abortion. It took me all of 30 seconds.

Very few people in my part of the world went to university. I was a student in UCD. This lent me an aura of sophistication and knowingness that was laughably distant from the truth. But because of it, a male friend my own age called in and asked me to go with him to his house. His mother and father were in the sitting room with his sister who was, I think, 16. She was pregnant and she had made up her mind that she did not want to have the baby. Did I know how to go about arranging to have an abortion in England?

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-how-i-discovered-what-i-felt-about-abortion-1.3471554

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Ireland – Anti-abortion posters fail to take account of life

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Anti-abortion posters fail to take account of life
The signs risk oversimplifying the issues in the Eighth Amendment referendum

Mon, Apr 23, 2018
Chris Fitzpatrick

As I cycle to work foetuses look down at me from posters high up on the lampposts. They are as big as new-born babies. They tell me that their hearts are beating. They tell me that they can kick and yawn. They ask me to protect them. Their words are meant to hit you where it hurts most – in your heart.

The foetuses on the posters have no mothers. They are advanced for their age. They have grown-up thoughts. They choose their words carefully. They know how to get your attention. They know how to make you feel bad. I cycle on.

continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/anti-abortion-posters-fail-to-take-account-of-life-1.3470187

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UK – What it’s like to go to an abortion clinic during anti-abortion protests

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What it's like to go to an abortion clinic during anti-abortion protests
'The mood is strangely sombre'

Olivia Petter
Sunday 22 April 2018

Walking down a residential street in Ealing towards Marie Stopes, the abortion clinic where pro-life protesters will be banned from gathering outside as of Monday, I’m struck by an eerie silence.

Far from the vociferous protesters I’d expected, who have allegedly accosted visitors with fetal photographs and blocked them from entering clinics across the capital, the mood outside 87 Maddock Lane is strangely sombre and sepulchral.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/anti-abortion-protests-ealing-council-ban-marie-stopes-london-a8316036.html

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The Pro Life Campaign’s definition of love is cruel

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The Pro Life Campaign’s definition of love is cruel
Diarmaid Ferriter: It is a strange kind of love that denies a teenage rape victim an abortion

Sat, Apr 21, 2018
Diarmaid Ferriter

Speaking at the unveiling of the Pro Life Campaign’s “Love Both” campaign during the week, spokeswoman Caroline Simons said: “Voters who support abortion in limited circumstances need to know that what they hope for with repeal and what they get are two entirely different things.”

What astounding arrogance. Simons has decided that those who will vote for the removal of the amendment have no independence of mind and are naive, delusional dupes who will vote next month unaware of the reality of what they are doing and devoid of a capacity for love. She has also decided what they hope for.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/the-pro-life-campaign-s-definition-of-love-is-cruel-1.3468389

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Ireland abortion debate heating up as Ireland decides its next step

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Ireland abortion debate heating up as Ireland decides its next step

John Spain
April 19, 2018

The vote on whether to repeal the 8th Amendment of Ireland's constitution, paving the way to change abortion law in Ireland, is set for May 25, and campaigning is taking off.

The referendum to introduce abortion into Ireland is now just over a month away -- the vote will be on May 25 -- and the national campaigns are finally kicking into life after weeks when surprisingly little has been heard from either side. Now it's all action, a bit like a baby in the womb when it gets to the stage when it suddenly begins kicking. Suddenly, like a bad rash that appears overnight, large red anti-abortion posters materialized on lampposts all over Dublin last week.

continued: https://www.irishcentral.com/news/irishvoice/ireland-abortion-debate

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Ireland – Anti-abortion campaigners dodging the real questio

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Anti-abortion campaigners dodging the real question
What do we do about women with unwanted pregnancies if Eighth is not repealed?

April 18, 2018
Aine Carroll

As long as women can become pregnant, some of them will want or require abortions. Another way of saying this is that not all women who are pregnant are in a position to carry their babies to full term: some can’t and some, for various reasons, won’t.

Sometimes these decisions are medically necessary and sometimes they are not. Some people describe this as killing a baby who otherwise would more than likely have grown into a healthy child and they describe some or all abortions as “immoral”.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/anti-abortion-campaigners-dodging-the-real-question-1.3464698

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‘I’d hoped not to – but here’s how I explained the abortion referendum posters to my children’

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'I'd hoped not to - but here's how I explained the abortion referendum posters to my children'
Referendum Insight: The impending referendum brings with it posters and campaigners and questions - here's how Fiona Ness explained the situation to her seven-year-old and nine-year-old

Fiona Ness
April 17 2018

How will you explain the abortion referendum to your children? The short answer is, I’d hoped not to. As with the other big ticket news items, I had expected the savage servility of the world to slide on by. Naivety, it seems, is not the sole preserve of the young.

An impending Referendum on Repealing the 8th Amendment of the Constitution brings with it posters and campaigners and questions, so many questions. For us, it begins when the nine-year-old’s friend attends a march in town. The concept of “Pro-choice” has come to Fourth Class. Not a moment too soon, some might say; our girls must be ‘woke’ on abortion while their Christmas presents still come from Santa.

continued: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/abortion-referendum/id-hoped-not-to-but-heres-how-i-explained-the-abortion-referendum-posters-to-my-children-36814769.html

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Why are Irish journalists again missing a movement?

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Una Mullally: Why are Irish journalists again missing a movement?
Media appears unable to interpret political movements formed outside traditional party structures

Mon, Apr 16, 2018
Una Mullally

We are at that moment in a referendum campaign where stories, takes, and points of view need to be generated as commentary. Some will be insightful, others less so. Some will be deliberately provocative, some will be more concentrated on facts. Some will fulfil the most tedious trope in journalism, where criticism will be levelled at a campaign by those who substitute expertise and experience for a “hunch”.

There are more than two opposing campaigns under way, of course, multiple campaigns – particularly on the pro-repeal side – emerging from grassroots activism and active citizenship. As the media narratives weave themselves in knots, what I find especially interesting is how this referendum campaign is frequently compared to the marriage equality referendum campaign. Generally, this comparison follows two narratives.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/una-mullally-why-are-irish-journalists-again-missing-a-movement-1.3462385

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UK – Like many women, I had an abortion in Ealing – and this is why I know they needed a buffer zone

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Like many women, I had an abortion in Ealing – and this is why I know they needed a buffer zone

We heard someone shout suddenly, 'You are awful, AWFUL people!' It was a loud and angry blast. From the look of astonished horror my son was giving me and the sensation in my throat, I realised the shouting had come from me

Shappi Khorsandi
Apr 14, 2018

Tucked away in a quiet corner of my native Ealing, dubbed “queen of the suburbs” on account of all the trees and general awesomeness (such as Ealing Studios and the country’s first Nandos) is a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. It’s just near the entrance of Walpole Park where, aged 15, I was stood up by a boy and wept poetically by the pond before wandering sadly home after waiting a mere two and a half hours for him.

A few years ago, after living most of my adult life in much more “cool” parts of London, both north and south, I moved back to my childhood manor to be nearer my parents. I was single and pregnant and needed my mum and dad on my doorstep.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-ealing-buffer-zone-women-terminations-pro-life-protesters-a8303271.html

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