What’s been happening in Ireland & International Women’s Day in Norway

FEATURE: What's been happening in Ireland & International Women’s Day in Norway

International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
18 March 2019

In the midst of the continuing shower of news from all over the world that I share with you, I’ve been collecting stories for a feature on Ireland. This is not a definitive piece, that will come from those who have been on the frontlines, but is based primarily on written information from a few key people and what has been in the media. This history describes an almost unique series of events, and one worth learning from. It’s a story of optimism winning over pessimism, of passionate positive action breaking down out-of-date barriers, and particularly of women’s personal stories, doorstep advocacy, highly visible supportive doctors and policymakers, all working with government to change the mindset of a nation and win a critical mass of support. They successfully created a sea-change in law, policy and service delivery in the blink of an eye. Edited by Marge Berer

The story in a nutshell
It took only seven months from the referendum that repealed the 8th Amendment to the Constitution in May 2018 for the law to be changed, providers trained, methods approved and ordered, and abortion services to become available officially in Ireland on 2 January 2019, free for everyone who is covered by existing schemes, such as the Maternity and Infant Care Scheme.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-whats-been-happening-in-ireland-international-womens-day-in-norway-18-march-2019?e=372dd34034

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Mexico’s president wants abortion referendum

Mexico's president wants abortion referendum

By Patrick Timmons
Mar 11, 2019

MEXICO CITY, March 11 (UPI) -- Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he wants a referendum on abortion, sparking immediate opposition from abortion rights advocates in this overwhelmingly Catholic country.

Mexico's 32 states consider abortions criminal unless the pregnancy results from rape or if it endangers the woman's health and life or because of fetal abnormalities. Mexico City is the country's only jurisdiction that permits a woman to abort up to 12 weeks of gestation.

Continued: https://www.upi.com/Mexicos-president-wants-abortion-referendum/7351552323810/?rc_fifo=1

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Ireland’s new abortion service is the envy of many healthcare systems

Ireland’s new abortion service is the envy of many healthcare systems
I am incredibly proud as a GP to be part of something so worthwhile and rewarding

Thu, Feb 21, 2019
Mark Murphy

I never thought I would be a provider of abortion services. It’s not that surprising really. Abortion was not mentioned once in the medical curriculum when I qualified 14 years ago. It was an unspoken phenomenon, a secret reality. Before I became a GP, I never had a real conversation about abortion. It’s astonishing to consider that fact now, knowing that 25 million unsafe abortions happen each year, mostly in developing countries. High-profile legal cases, such as the X Case, were not seen as healthcare issues by our profession.

The threat of criminalisation contributed to this silence– a chilling effect, with doctors worried if they provided information or if they acted outside of the constitutional restraints, imposed by the Eighth Amendment. Though there are notable exceptions, including the Irish Family Planning Association, it is a sad epitaph that it took so long for the medical profession to find its voice.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/ireland-s-new-abortion-service-is-the-envy-of-many-healthcare-systems-1.3800440

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Theresa May is throwing Northern Irish women under the bus to protect her own weak majority

Theresa May is throwing Northern Irish women under the bus to protect her own weak majority

Emma Campbell
Co-Chair of Alliance for Choice Tuesday
29 Jan 2019

If you turn on the television or radio this week, you will likely hear men in suits discussing the future of Brexit. There will be business people, lorry drivers, farmers and fisherman debating the prospect of what might happen if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in two months time.

But as the clock ticks on towards 29 March and MPs scramble to stop a no-deal Brexit, there is a consequence that has received little media attention, and it could be one of the most serious yet.

Continued: https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/29/theresa-may-is-throwing-northern-irish-women-under-the-bus-to-protect-her-own-weak-majority-8407476/

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Abortion, Newly Legal in Ireland, Faces Old Roadblocks

Abortion, Newly Legal in Ireland, Faces Old Roadblocks

By Ceylan Yeginsu
Jan. 28, 2019

DUBLIN — The abortion clinic’s website pops up at the top of a Google search for “free ultrasound,” its content and color scheme mimicking the government’s new support service for unplanned pregnancy.

“Looking for abortion advice?” “How far along am I?” The bright orange speech bubbles attached to stock images of smiling medical experts purport to inform women about abortion options that became legally available in Ireland on Jan. 1.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/world/europe/ireland-abortion.html

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Ireland – Opinion: ‘The debate on abortion isn’t over and don’t expect that it ever will be’

Opinion: 'The debate on abortion isn't over and don't expect that it ever will be'
The experience in the US shows that the divisive abortion debate will continue, writes Larry Donnelly.

Thu Jan 17, 2019
Larry Donnelly Law lecturer, NUI Galway

SOME READERS MIGHT be hoping for a break from this divisive debate, now that the legislation has been introduced and abortion services are being rolled out across Ireland for the first time.

Of course, that follows last May’s referendum in which the Irish people overwhelmingly opted to repeal the Eighth Amendment and, tacitly in so doing, to approve mooted legislation permitting abortion for the first 12 weeks of a person’s pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.thejournal.ie/readme/opinion-the-debate-on-abortion-is-not-over-nor-will-it-ever-be-4439441-Jan2019/

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Do you think the Irish citizens’ assembly on abortion was a good idea?

Do you think the Irish citizens' assembly on abortion was a good idea?
If you live in Ireland, tell us about the assembly and its findings – did it help resolve a complex issue, might it help with Brexit?

Mon 14 Jan 2019

In 2018, Ireland voted in a referendum to legalise abortion. Irish politics had been debating this divisive and emotive issue for decades, however the Irish citizens’ assembly, which deliberated on the matter prior to the referendum, was cited as a successful process in helping people understand the complex issues.

The citizens’ assembly was established in 2016 by parliament and its purpose was to deliberate on a number of issues, including the eighth amendment that outlawed abortion. The 99 citizen members of the assembly were selected to be electorally representative and included those in favour of the change, those against and those undecideds.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/14/irish-citizens-assembly-abortion-referendum-brexit

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‘Irish history is moving rapidly’: backlash to abortion law fails to emerge

'Irish history is moving rapidly': backlash to abortion law fails to emerge
Besides a fleeting protest in Galway, abortion has become available in 22 of Ireland’s 26 counties with barely a fuss

Rory Carroll, Ireland correspondent
Fri 11 Jan 2019

Ireland voted by a landslide to legalise abortion – but turning that social revolution into medical reality has fallen largely on the shoulders of just 200 GPs.

That is the approximate number, representing 5% of all general practitioners, that have signed up to perform the service which started rolling out on 1 January.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/11/irish-gps-slow-to-offer-abortions-despite-muted-backlash

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Abortion is legal in Ireland—but the fight isn’t over

Abortion is legal in Ireland—but the fight isn’t over
Groups like ours helped fight for inclusive, accessible healthcare. Together, we achieved a culture change. But there's a phenomenal amount still to do

by Anna Carnegie
January 10, 2019

Last year, on May 25th 2018, the Irish public voted emphatically to repeal the country’s constitutional ban on abortion and enable the passage of legislation to provide abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in limited circumstances thereafter.

The months since the referendum were a whirlwind of court challenges, parliamentary debates, marches, and media coverage. Finally, on the 13th December, the Irish senate passed the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, paving the way for a new law and signifying a much welcome, and long overdue, step forward. On the 20th, President Michael D Higgins signed the bill into law.

Continued: https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/other/abortion-is-legal-in-ireland-but-the-fight-isnt-over

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Ireland/N.Ireland – Abortion for a select few wasn’t the goal when we campaigned to repeal the eighth – but that’s exactly what’s happening

Abortion for a select few wasn’t the goal when we campaigned to repeal the eighth – but that’s exactly what’s happening
Now that it’s emerged that Northern Irish people seeking abortion services in the republic will have to pay €450, it’s clear this isn’t the end of the fight for legalisation in Ireland

Katie Goh
Jan 7, 2019

In May of last year, when Ireland voted for legalisation of abortion in its historic referendum, pro-choice campaigners on both sides of the Northern Irish-Irish border celebrated. The campaign to repeal the eighth amendment (the law that previously made abortion illegal in Ireland) had begun as a grassroots movement, culminating in a mass cultural shift led by both Irish and Northern Irish activists.

Many in the north, particularly those in border counties, canvassed in the republic, held fundraisers and rallies, and threw themselves behind pushing for a Yes vote despite not being able to vote in the referendum themselves.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-northern-ireland-republic-repeal-eighth-vote-referendum-family-planning-a8715276.html

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