Amy Dunne on her lonely, harrowing abortion fight: 'I was told I would be done for murder'
At 17, Dunne was pregnant with a baby who had a fatal abnormality. She was given a pseudonym and became the focus of a landmark Irish legal case – but now she is reclaiming her story
Thu 5 Dec 2019
The week Amy Dunne turned 17, she was several months pregnant and made two discoveries – one devastating and the other incomprehensible. A hospital scan showed something badly wrong in her womb. The foetus had anencephaly, a fatal abnormality. Doctors said the baby, a girl, would die soon after birth.
Although she was living in foster care and still a child herself, Dunne had looked forward to becoming a mother and building a new life with her boyfriend. Distraught, she shared the news with her social workers and said she needed to travel to Britain from Ireland for an abortion. That’s when Dunne discovered something badly wrong in her country.
How We Won the Right to Choose
By Maev McDaid and Brian Christopher
Coming hot on the heels of Dublin’s repeal of anti-abortion laws, decriminalization in the North is a decisive victory for Irish feminists. The church and the state are losing their control over our bodies — but we still need to make abortion legal, safe, and free.
October 22 marked a decisive victory in the North of Ireland, as abortion was finally decriminalized. This news will surely have passed many people by — after all, in national as in international media, the North is almost only ever “represented” by the bigots in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). But last week, this stridently anti-choice party was finally overruled by the Westminster parliament. Its move to decriminalize abortion in the North came fifty years after a similar step was taken on the British mainland. Yet this success especially owes to decades of heroic struggles waged by Irish feminists.
Interview: Amanda Palmer, on how her latest album was informed by the abortion referendum
By: Emily O Callaghan
Oct 14, 2019
In a fascinating Q&A, Amanda Palmer talks about how the Irish abortion referendum informed her stunning new album, There Will Be No Intermission. Also up for discussion are artistic epiphanies in Iceland, and why the singer’s fans inspire her to be artistically braver.
Emily O'Callaghan: At least one of your songs on your latest album, There Will Be No Intermission, was inspired by your trip to Dublin last year. Can you tell me about that?
Why Ireland’s battle over abortion is far from over
From sham websites to rogue crisis pregnancy centres, Irish anti-abortionists are using shocking tactics to block women’s rights to safe abortions
Thu 3 Oct 2019
It has been more than a year since the landslide vote for abortion rights in Ireland, yet last weekend hundreds of people were once more marching through the streets of Dublin, chanting: “Get your rosaries off our ovaries!” “It’s nonsense, what are they marching for?” a guard standing on the road outside the National maternity hospital asked a colleague on a motorbike – referring to the 2018 referendum in which the Irish public voted overwhelmingly to repeal the law prohibiting abortion. The answer is that, while the law may have changed, many people are still struggling to access abortions in Ireland due to a lack of provision, the time restrictions on terminations, the illegal activities of anti-abortion campaigners – and an enduring legacy of shame.
GIBRALTAR – A referendum on a better abortion law set for Gibraltar March 2020
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
July 23, 2019
The government of Gibraltar went back on its promise to make Gibraltar’s abortion law compliant with the Human Rights set out by the UK Supreme Court. Instead they have decided to put changing the abortion law to a public referendum. As the people of Ireland will be able to tell them, a public referendum will mean people who have had abortions being called upon to tell their “stories” in order to be judged by their peers. We are pretty cross about this, and while we hope the voters of Gibraltar do the right thing, we are sorry that the government has decided to play politics with women’s bodies (Abortion Support Network).
The Long Road Ahead For Abortion & Same-Sex Marriage In Northern Ireland
Emma Gallen, Alliance For Choice
10 July 2019
Last year, when the results of Ireland’s big referenda on same-sex marriage and abortion rights came, people knew what was coming. There had been a build up, and they were ready to celebrate (or commiserate) surrounded by those they had campaigned alongside for decades.
By contrast, last night in Northern Ireland, after MPs in Westminster surprised us all by actually voting in favour of liberalising abortion and extending same-sex marriage to us if our executive – Stormont – isn’t sitting by 21st October (ICYMI they’ve been on hiatus since January 2017), festivities were a bit more last minute.
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.
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.
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
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.
Theresa May is throwing Northern Irish women under the bus to protect her own weak majority
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.