Decades of painful activism pays off for Ireland’s abortion campaigners

0

Decades of painful activism pays off for Ireland's abortion campaigners
For many, Friday’s vote was not just the culmination of months of campaigning, but years of pushing for change

Emma Graham-Harrison in Dublin
Mon 28 May 2018

Three decades ago, Anne Marie Keary was threatened with jail, burdened with legal bills and grappling with abuse and threats that poured down her phone, because she had published phone numbers for British abortion clinics in a student welfare guide.

In the pre-internet era, that information was a lifeline for women who did not want to continue with pregnancies. The desperation of those trying to find it shaped Keary’s life.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/28/painful-activism-pays-off-for-ireland-abortion-campaigners

Read more

Where Did Ireland Go? Abortion Vote Stuns Those on Both Sides

0

Where Did Ireland Go? Abortion Vote Stuns Those on Both Sides

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura
May 27, 2018

DUBLIN — Some were joyous. Others were devastated. But most of all, in the hours after Irish voters swept away a ban on abortion, many were simply astonished.

However they felt about the result of the referendum, they were witnessing, they knew, the culmination of a fundamental shift in Irish society — and one that has come about with stunning speed.

Continued; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/27/world/europe/ireland-abortion-refendum.html

Read more

On the Ground in Ireland: Fighting to Repeal Abortion Ban

0

On the Ground in Ireland: Fighting to Repeal Abortion Ban
Ireland's abortion ban "was a disaster for women’s rights, it was a disaster for the education of Irish children, but it really infected every aspect of Irish society and we are still undoing the legacy of this.”

May 23, 2018
Sarah Jaffe

In 1983, when Irish people voted in the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, the county of Donegal had some of the highest vote totals for the near-total abortion ban via fetal “personhood.” More than 80 percent of voters in the rural northwest of Ireland voted for the amendment. It was therefore a surprise to see it dotted with bright pink “yes” signs reading “Our Bodies, Our Choice” Monday and Tuesday before the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

The pink signs that I saw most often are from People Before Profit, a socialist party that organizes and holds elected office in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Northern Ireland, and I accompanied its canvassers into Donegal to see about the state of things in this conservative part of Ireland.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/05/23/ground-ireland-fighting-repeal-abortion-ban/

Read more

Ireland’s Feminists Lost the Abortion Argument in ’83. This Time We Can Win.

0

Ireland’s Feminists Lost the Abortion Argument in ’83. This Time We Can Win.

By Susan Mckay
May 5, 2018

DUBLIN — In 1983 the Irish people voted to give a fertilized egg the same right to life as the woman who carries it. Feminists tried to stop it. We argued that crisis pregnancies were a reality of women’s lives and that we needed the right to choose how to deal with them. We said that the constitutional amendment on the ballot, which made abortion illegal unless the mother’s life is in danger, would harm women. We marched and chanted “Get your rosaries off our ovaries.” A Catholic bishop pronounced that the most dangerous place for a baby was in a woman’s womb.

We lost, overwhelmingly. But Ireland has changed. On May 25, the Irish people will vote on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment. This time I think we can win.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/05/opinion/sunday/ireland-abortion-referendum.html

Read more

Geraldine Kennedy: Why I am a reluctant Yes to repeal Eighth Amendment

0

Geraldine Kennedy: Why I am a reluctant Yes to repeal Eighth Amendment
It’s a long way from what I voted against in 1983 to the right to abortion at 12 weeks ‘without any indication’

April 27, 2018
Geraldine Kennedy

There have been almost 30 referendums since the Constitution was adopted in 1937. I have covered the vast majority of them in my journalistic career. There have been more abortion questions put to the people in referendums than any other single issue in the history of the State. So, I have become something of a specialist on abortion. The referendum on May 25th is the sixth time around for me.

The first time was on September 7th, 1983, when the Eighth Amendment was put into the Constitution. It is hard to believe that it was held almost 35 years ago. This means every voter under the age of 53 years or so, depending on their political awareness, has no personal memory of that campaign.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/geraldine-kennedy-why-i-am-a-reluctant-yes-to-repeal-eighth-amendment-1.3476601

Read more

Ireland’s abortion debates through the years

0

Ireland's abortion debates through the years

Friday, 27 Apr 2018
By David McCullagh

With four weeks to go until Ireland votes on the referendum on the Eighth Amendment on Friday 25 May, David McCullagh looks back on the contentious debates over Ireland's abortion legislation.

1861
Offences Against the Person Act makes it an offence unlawfully to administer poison or to use an instrument on any woman with intent to procure her miscarriage.

1967
British Abortion Act is passed legalising abortion up to 28 weeks’ gestation.

Continued: https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2018/0424/956963-abortion-timeline/

Read more

Why Ireland faces fifth divisive referendum on abortion in 35 years

0

Why Ireland faces fifth divisive referendum on abortion in 35 years

Larry Donnelly
April 22, 2018

Back in 1983, two thirds of the Irish people voted to insert the following language into their constitution in a referendum: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

What became the 8th Amendment was largely driven by the Catholic Church and conservative forces, who were cognisant of a liberal abortion regime in the United Kingdom and the recognition of a constitutional right to abortion in the United States, and wanted to prevent something similar here in Ireland.

Continued: https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/others/ireland-fifth-referendum-abortion-35-years

Read more

Ireland – Eighth Amendment has failed even conservatives

0

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

Read more

Ireland – Long experience informs shifting views in abortion debate

0

Long experience informs shifting views in abortion debate
Members of older generation share thoughts on Eighth Amendment

Apr 4, 2018
Sorcha Pollak

Sheila and Paddy Donohoe, now in their 70s, voted in favour of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution in 1983. There was never any question in their minds regarding how they would vote. They were strict Catholics and active members of the Legion of Mary. They had grown up in a conservative country which taught them abortion was a sin in all circumstances.

“We were Catholics, we didn’t practise contraception, we did everything according to the book,” remembers Sheila. “At one stage I would have gone to Mass and Communion every day and we always brought the children to Mass. Whatever the church more or less said we believed. There was no reason for us to doubt or think otherwise. We weren’t encouraged to ask questions. Everything was totally hidden, everything was kept secret.”

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/long-experience-informs-shifting-views-in-abortion-debate-1.3449443

Read more

#HomeToVote: Irish expats snap up flights as abortion referendum date is set

0

#HomeToVote: Irish expats snap up flights as abortion referendum date is set
By Alice Cuddy
29/03/2018

Irish men and women living abroad are rushing to book tickets home to vote in the country’s highly-anticipated referendum on abortion rights after the government announced on Wednesday that it will be held on May 25.

The referendum on whether to repeal a constitutional amendment from 1983 that effectively bans terminations does not allow postal votes from outside of Ireland, and requires returning voters not to have lived outside of Ireland for more than 18 months.

Continued: http://www.euronews.com/2018/03/29/-hometovote-irish-expats-snap-up-flights-as-abortion-referendum-date-is-set

Read more