Fintan O’Toole: Ireland’s abortion regime is too cruel even for Trump

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Fintan O'Toole: Ireland's abortion regime is too cruel even for Trump
Eighth Amendment law about locking up women and doctors really is step too far

Dec 19, 2017
Fintan O'Toole

Is there no line Donald Trump would not cross? Actually, there is one. It’s not incinerating an entire country, as he threatened to do to North Korea, or incinerating the entire planet by undermining the Paris accord on climate change. It’s not smearing an entire nation, as he did by calling Mexicans rapists. It’s not cosying up to neo-Nazis by claiming that there are some “very fine people” among them. It’s not even republishing to his 40 million Twitter followers anti-Islamic propaganda videos from a British neo-Nazi group. Trump has crossed all of these lines and so many more and never felt that he had gone too far and ought to retreat.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-ireland-s-abortion-regime-is-too-cruel-even-for-trump-1.3331398

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Northern Ireland needs equal marriage and abortion rights – but no referendum

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Northern Ireland needs equal marriage and abortion rights – but no referendum

Richard Angell
Tue 19 Dec 2017

Owen Smith, the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland, has a plan. He says that if Northern Ireland is to have a sustained period of unwelcome direct rule, he favours putting marriage equality and abortion to referendums so that Westminster can feel empowered to make change happen.

The shadow Northern Ireland secretary is right to want to see progress on both these issues – it is appalling that the people of Northern Ireland do not have the same equal marriage laws or reproductive rights as their fellow citizens in the rest of the United Kingdom. For the avoidance of doubt, our preference would be for the institutions to get back up and running as soon as possible. It is a tragedy that the UK government isn’t working harder to achieve that because of the survival pact Theresa May has signed with the DUP. Direct rule is bad for Northern Ireland for a whole range of reasons.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/19/northern-ireland-lgbt-abortion-rights-referendum

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Opinion: Rohingya women have suffered enough. They don’t deserve discriminatory health care.

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Opinion: Rohingya women have suffered enough. They don't deserve discriminatory health care.
By Anu Kumar, Sayed Rubayet
14 December 2017

Rape has been used as a weapon of war in conflicts all over the world. And has been used against women and girls caught up in the massive humanitarian crisis involving Rohingya refugees.

In the past few months, nearly 600,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh, and more continue to seek refuge every day. The camps are overcrowded. The smell of waste and small fires for cooking and sweat hangs in the humid, thick air. Tents fashioned out of reeds and tarps perch precariously in the mud. Throngs of people crowd the latrines and newly dug wells. And these conditions are better than those in the makeshift camps, where thousands of unregistered refugees are living.

Continued at source: https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-rohingya-women-have-suffered-enough-they-don-t-deserve-discriminatory-health-care-91751

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UK: A “controversial” Northern Irish anti-abortion campaign doesn’t deserve a PR award

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A “controversial” Northern Irish anti-abortion campaign doesn’t deserve a PR award
When women’s lives and freedoms are imperilled, the publicity should always be bad, says Rebecca Schiller

By Rebecca Schiller
Dec 13, 2017

“Controversial” is a word too often used to hide the leer of evil things or bad people attempting to pass themselves off as one side of a reasonable debate. Milo Yiannopoulos was “controversial” until he gave the thumbs-up to paedophiles. It is the epithet chosen to introduce Breitbart into polite society and let’s not forget the ever so “controversial” child tax credit “rape clause”.

Real controversy is important and can spark the kind of debate that makes positive change and progress happen. But these people, ideas and statements are not important facets of a three-dimensional debate. They are not controversial – they are malignant and dangerous.

Continued at source: https://www.the-pool.com/news-views/politics/2017/50/Rebecca-Schiller-on-Both-Lives-Matter-controversial-win?mc_cid=402a629e5a&mc_eid=daef22644f

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Malawi: Priest Advocates for Enactment of New Abortion Law

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Malawi: Priest Advocates for Enactment of New Abortion Law

8 December 2017

With over 141,000 women in Malawi inducing abortions annually mostly through unsafe means, an Anglican Church priest has called for enactment of new abortion law. Below is an article by REV. FR. MARTIN KALIMBE published in the column on Sexual and Reproductive Health which Centre for Solutions Journalism is running in The Daily Times of Malawi.

Is the church in support of legalisation of abortion? This is a question which the media posed to me during a recent live debate on Television Malawi.

It was a difficult question to answer because the church is completely divided on the issue of abortion. There are also cases where members of the clergy within the same church are also divided on the issue.

Continued at source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201712080750.html

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UK: Men can now buy Viagra over the counter – but women can’t take an abortion pill from a doctor at home

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Men can now buy Viagra over the counter – but women can't take an abortion pill from a doctor at home
A spokesperson from the MHRA was quoted as saying they were glad of the change because it would prevent men from buying unregulated pills illegally on the internet. This is the same agency that does week-long raids every year on abortion pills

Holly Baxter
Tuesday 28 November 2017

Great news for Britain: men with erectile dysfunction can now buy Viagra over the counter, so long as a pharmacist agrees. What a fantastic coup this is for a country which has such a huge commitment to reproductive health – huge enough that our rates of death in childbirth still lag far behind many of our European counterparts, including Poland, Belarus and Greece. Huge enough that we still haven’t fully decriminalised abortion despite the recommendations of GPs, gynaecologists and the British Medical Association. Huge enough that Northern Irish women still can’t access abortion where they live (except in certain, extremely restrictive circumstances), and only won the right to access free abortion services in England this year. Doesn’t it feel great to live in real civilisation?

Continued at source: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/viagra-buy-over-counter-abortion-pill-men-women-compared-a8080851.html

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No exceptions for health and rights: Women’s movements hold the key to get the world we want

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No exceptions for health and rights: Women’s movements hold the key to get the world we want
November 26, 2017
Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO, Global Fund for Women

In today’s world, women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights are being attacked and rolled back by those in positions of power. Take the Mexico City Policy, or Global Gag Rule, for instance, which has been expanded by the U.S. administration. It cuts off billions of dollars in funding for critical health services around the world like access to contraception or STD screenings.

However, women have never been known to sit and wait for change to happen. And while rollbacks threaten women’s health and rights each day, grassroots women’s groups and movements around the world are working to ensure that women and girls not only have access to critical health services that they need in their own communities, but understand their bodies, are aware of their rights and how to access them, and are safe from violence and discrimination.

Continued at source: http://www.thedailystar.net/women-action/no-exceptions-health-and-rights-womens-movements-hold-the-key-get-the-world-we-want

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Canada: Indigenous women on the Prairies deserve reproductive freedom

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Indigenous women on the Prairies deserve reproductive freedom
2 women take on Sask. Party leadership candidate's claim 'First Nations don't believe in abortion'

By Erica Violet Lee, Tasha Spillett
CBC News Posted: Nov 25, 2017

An anti-abortion group has quoted Rob Clarke, a former MP for northern Saskatchewan and a Sask. Party leadership candidate, as telling them 'First Nations don't believe in abortion. I'm First Nations and I don't believe in abortion.'

As Indigenous women, we understand why it can feel like a waste of our time to participate in electoral politics with governments that have little to do with our sovereignty as pre-existing nations.

But as Indigenous women in the Prairies, we know how often governments block access to the most basic reproductive health care for which we have always had rights and freedoms.

Continued at source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/opinion-indigenous-women-reproductive-freedom-1.4418787

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Australia: When a woman can control when she has children, she can control her future

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When a woman can control when she has children, she can control her future
Chris Turner

In Australia we often take the access to contraception for granted. We have to talk about the right to reproductive choice for women globally

Friday 24 November 2017

With issues of reproductive rights being raised in the senate and abortion law reform on the agenda for the election in Queensland on Saturday, it’s time to stop and think about what it might be like if we had no choice in planning our own families.
Cory Bernardi's provocative motions on abortion divide Coalition
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Earlier this year my wife and I had our first child. She was 37 and I was 39. I couldn’t imagine being better prepared than we were and yet today our house looks like one of the Wiggles exploded inside it and we are both very, very tired. I often asked myself, how would I ever have coped as a teenage father? What would my life be like if I had not one, but 10 children? While I can never know the answer, my job has given me some reliable insight; it would probably be really tough.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/25/when-a-woman-can-control-when-she-has-children-she-can-control-her-future

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Ireland: Handmaid’s Tales at abortion committee

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Handmaid’s Tales at abortion committee

Justine McCarthy
November 19 2017

Forget science fiction — the eighth amendment debates are truly dystopian

Tammy Wynette was right — sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Ever more so, these days, when 21 parliamentarians gather in Leinster House each Wednesday to discuss abortion. It’s a topic guaranteed to elicit deeply held grievances, frustration, feelings of victimhood, accusations of prejudice and spittle-licking outrage at perceived injustices, and it does — from men.

Women are in a majority of one on the joint committee on the eighth amendment to the constitution. When its work is done, all of them ought to be awarded a medal, regardless of their personal views on abortion, for their sheer endurance and dignity. For to sit in that room with a womb — or the memory of having had one — is to be subjected to a sort of medieval torture.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/handmaids-tales-at-abortion-committee-f5fsw3rgq

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