UK – We should rein in abortion clinic protests without threatening free speech

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We should rein in abortion clinic protests without threatening free speech

Telegraph View
11 April 2018

Free speech is a precious commodity that we constrain at our peril. But when its exercise hurts or intimidates others, what then? And who should set the boundaries? In Ealing, west London, confrontations have taken place outside an abortion clinic between so-called pro-life protesters and women attending for advice or terminations.

The local council has responded by imposing a “safe space” buffer zone, within which no protests are permitted. It is using a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to stop vigils being held outside the building. This is a contentious use of powers introduced to curb anti-social behaviour. The concept of “safe spaces” is associated with shutting down debate in universities where speakers whose views some do not share are denied a platform.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/11/should-rein-abortion-clinic-protests-without-threatening-free/

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Ireland – Eighth Amendment has failed even conservatives

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Fintan O’Toole: Eighth Amendment has failed even conservatives
Effect was arguably to break silence on abortion and make it more acceptable

April 10, 2018
Fintan O'Toole

There is not much that the two sides in the abortion referendum campaign will ever agree on. But one perception they share is that the insertion of the Eighth Amendment into the Constitution in 1983 was a great victory for those who are opposed to abortion.

This seems blindingly obvious. After all, the self-described Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC) was stunningly effective. Within a mere two years of its foundation, it not only got the two main political parties to accede to its demand for a referendum, but persuaded two-thirds of voters to back its precise wording for the amendment.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-eighth-amendment-has-failed-even-conservatives-1.3455792

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New Zealand – Terry Bellamak: Law commission has its work cut out on abortion

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Terry Bellamak: Law commission has its work cut out on abortion
6 Apr, 2018
NZ Herald
By: Terry Bellamak

In February the Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, asked the Law Commission to undertake a review of New Zealand's abortion laws in order to transform abortion from a criminal matter to a health matter. It's a big job. It amounts to nothing less than reconceptualising abortion in the eyes of the law.

It is also a huge opportunity to bring relief to pregnant people who will be consumers of this service in the future.

Continued: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12026649

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Ireland’s abortion debate proves how deeply the country trades on shame

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Ireland's abortion debate proves how deeply the country trades on shame

Una Mullally
5 April 2018

It's impossible to describe Ireland's abortion debate as anything but just sad. While politicians and religious fundamentalists wring their hands over matters of legislation and dogma, it’s the personal stories of Irish women and girls travelling out of the country to terminate their pregnancies that linger in the background; stories that, until a few years ago, largely went untold.

Occasionally, an Irish woman would talk about an abortion. But silence begets silence, and Ireland’s national sport is sweeping things under the carpet.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/irelands-abortion-debate-proves-deeply-country-trades-shame/

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Abortion and Human Rights in El Salvador

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Abortion and Human Rights in El Salvador

José Miguel Vivanco
Executive Director, Americas Division @JMVivancoHRW
April 3, 2018

Last August, I had the opportunity to testify before the Constitutional Tribunal in Chile, my home country, in support of a landmark law that decriminalized abortion in three circumstances. In my testimony before the court, I spoke about how Chile’s total abortion ban, in effect for 28 years, undermined women’s fundamental human rights.

I later was in the packed courtroom to hear arguments from other expert witnesses. Many people have strong, deeply held views on abortion. But the main question before the court was whether Chile’s constitutional protection for the embryo or fetus could be reconciled with allowing women to terminate their pregnancies in certain circumstances—for example, when the life of the woman or girl is at risk, or when the pregnancy resulted from rape. This question is a central part of the debate in El Salvador, where the constitution recognizes the right to life from conception, and the country bans abortion in all circumstances.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/04/03/abortion-and-human-rights-el-salvador

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Ireland- Myths and lies about abortion must be debunked

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Myths and lies about abortion must be debunked
We are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs – but not our own facts

Apr 2, 2018
David Robert Grimes

Abortion has long been a contentious issue in Ireland, replete with emotive and frequently dubious rhetoric. This was recently exemplified by Save the Eighth billboard campaign featuring an abortion nurse detailing the horrors he had witnessed.

This testimony was somewhat undermined by the revelation it had been fabricated, leading to the unedifying sight of campaign manager John McGuirk rapidly pivoting from legal threats to grudging acceptance, a volte-face hard to distinguish from surrealist performance art. As the referendum looms ever closer, it is inevitable campaigning will become more charged, both online and off.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/myths-and-lies-about-abortion-must-be-debunked-1.3448176

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UK – I had to risk miscarrying in a taxi after taking an abortion pill. Women should be allowed to take it at home

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I had to risk miscarrying in a taxi after taking an abortion pill. Women should be allowed to take it at home

These journeys back from the hospital are a completely unnecessary ordeal, and the government can change this overnight

Claudia Craig
Apr 2, 2018

One year ago, I found out I was pregnant. I was a 22-year-old student and I called my GP. They told me not to worry as I wouldn’t need to see a midwife for about eight weeks. “No”, I said, “you don’t understand – I’m pregnant and I don’t want to be.”

The phone was silent for a few seconds: “Oh. We don’t deal with that sort of thing.”

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-pill-home-england-mifepristone-misoprostol-campaign-jeremy-hunt-a8284796.html

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Ireland- Anti-abortion movement trusts politicians only when it suits them

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Anti-abortion movement trusts politicians only when it suits them
Eighth Amendment was result of efforts in 1983 to politicise abortion

Mar 31, 2018
Diarmaid Ferriter

Over the decades, champions of the Eighth Amendment have been conveniently selective in their assessments of the usefulness of politicians. During the Seanad debate on the abortion Bill on Wednesday, Senator Ronán Mullen was adamant that “politicians simply can’t be trusted on this issue”; indeed the Eighth Amendment, he insisted, was originally designed to “take this issue away from politicians”.

But it was the politicians who the orchestrators of the Eighth Amendment found extremely useful in 1983. Emily O’Reilly’s 1992 book, Masterminds of the Right underlines a secret world of a very small group who plotted the 1983 amendment and got the politicians to do their bidding.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/anti-abortion-movement-trusts-politicians-only-when-it-suits-them-1.3445715

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Ireland’s historic chance to trust women

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Ireland’s historic chance to trust women

By Cynthia Romero
03/31/18

In a moment when women globally are reclaiming their voice and power, Ireland faces a historic chance to overturn a law that hurts so many women. On May 25, the Irish people will decide whether to repeal the 8th amendment, which equates the life of a pregnant woman with that of an embryo or fetus and criminalizes abortion except if continuing a pregnancy would result in certain death.

Living in Ireland as a graduate student in my early 20s, I found Ireland’s harsh abortion ban paradoxical and out of sync with an Irish society so committed to social justice and compassion.

Continued: http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/380862-irelands-historic-chance-to-trust-women

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Ireland – Simon Coveney: My indecision on abortion is final (I think)

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Simon Coveney: My indecision on abortion is final (I think)
Simon Coveney is suffering brickbats for changing his mind on abortion. Is this only a personal crisis, or does it reflect a split in the government, asks Stephen O’Brien

Stephen O’Brien, Political Editor
April 1 2018

The headline in the Irish Examiner confirmed that all was not well in Cork. “Coveney plan for legal lock in tatters,” the newspaper declared on Wednesday as the tanaiste, a local TD, made the news for the third day running.

“Tanaiste Simon Coveney has been left humiliated after his two-thirds Dail majority legal-lock plan for the government’s post-referendum abortion law was labelled unconstitutional, naive and deeply damaging to the ‘yes’ campaign,” the Examiner railed.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/simon-coveney-my-indecision-on-abortion-is-final-i-think-qjxq07h2p

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