What’s Really At Stake In The Irish Abortion Referendum

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What's Really At Stake In The Irish Abortion Referendum
For Irish women, abortion remains both illegal and taboo. As the country faces a historic referendum, Lynn Enright reflects on a nation’s changing mood, and a past decision of her own.

By Lynn Enright
Tuesday 24 April 2018

I was 31 and living in London when I had an abortion. On a grey morning, I took the Tube to the hospital and afterwards, I got an Uber home. My then boyfriend (who is now my husband) gave me a hot-water bottle and my flatmate brought me a cup of tea. My best friend texted me. “I love you,” she said. It was an everyday abortion but it hadn’t been an easy decision. I’d always wanted children and I’d hoped to be in a situation to have them at 31. But I wasn’t. The website I worked at had shut down the previous month and I was broke. I lived in a rented flat, sharing with two others. And my relationship was young and unsteady on its feet. So I had an abortion. Because it wasn’t the right time. Because it felt impossible to be pregnant, impossible to be a mother.

Continued: http://www.vogue.co.uk/article/the-story-of-us

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Fintan O’Toole: How I discovered what I felt about abortion

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Fintan O'Toole: How I discovered what I felt about abortion
I was 18 when asked to help a girl get an abortion. I knew it was not about me, it was about her

April 23, 2018
Fintan O'Toole

When I was 18, I knew nothing about anything and even less about abortion. I had never really thought about it. I suppose I had a vague feeling that it was a bad thing, to be contemplated only in extreme circumstances. And then in summer 1976 I had to discover what I felt about abortion. It took me all of 30 seconds.

Very few people in my part of the world went to university. I was a student in UCD. This lent me an aura of sophistication and knowingness that was laughably distant from the truth. But because of it, a male friend my own age called in and asked me to go with him to his house. His mother and father were in the sitting room with his sister who was, I think, 16. She was pregnant and she had made up her mind that she did not want to have the baby. Did I know how to go about arranging to have an abortion in England?

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-how-i-discovered-what-i-felt-about-abortion-1.3471554

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Ireland- We felt so alone, says woman whose baby had a fatal foetal abnormality

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We felt so alone, says woman whose baby had a fatal foetal abnormality
Couple felt they had no option but to travel to Liverpool to have her longed-for daughter Grace induced, Sligo meeting told

Thu, Apr 5, 2018
Marese McDonagh in Sligo

Tracey Smith says she’ll never forget the plane journey to Liverpool on St Patrick’s Day 2014, four weeks after she discovered that the baby she was carrying had a fatal foetal abnormality.

“We went Ryanair from Knock – you can imagine the revellers,” she says recalling the journey and the loneliness she and her husband Kieran felt.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/we-felt-so-alone-says-woman-whose-baby-had-a-fatal-foetal-abnormality-1.3452074

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I’m a Catholic obstetrician who had an abortion. This is not politics or religion. It’s life.

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I'm a Catholic obstetrician who had an abortion. This is not politics or religion. It's life.

Rebecca Luckett, Opinion contributor
March 27, 2018

My job is to take care of women. As an obstetrician-gynecologist working in Botswana, I see women through the highs and lows of their reproductive lives. Until last year, I personally had only experienced the highs. In 2015, I gave birth to a perfect baby at the right time in my life given my values and goals. A few years later, when I was ready, I got pregnant with my second child.

Last August, I went for my 20-week ultrasound, expecting to find out if number two was a boy or a girl. Instead, I looked to the monitor and found a fetus struggling to survive in my womb. I’m used to being on the other side of that ultrasound probe, so I knew what was next. I would have said the same thing: “The baby can’t survive. And you can get very sick.”

Continued: https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/416614002

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ARROW – #OurStoriesOurselves!

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ARROW – #OurStoriesOurselves!

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
March 22, 2018

On International Women’s Day, the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) launched the online version of their publication #OurStoriesOurselves!, which contains stories of women’s experiences of pregnancy, abortion, the consequences of sex, child marriage and more. In addition to the stories of women themselves, the webpage includes podcasts, a photo gallery and images of hand-written journals by women that form the basis of the publication. Here is an excerpt from one of those stories from a Moroccan woman:

Fatima’s story
Five years ago, Fatima (then aged 16 years) was raped in her home by her uncle. Initially, she kept the incident to herself. “Shocked and afraid, I could not talk about it to my family or anyone I knew,” she narrated.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/arrow-ourstoriesourselves/

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Abortion rights in Ireland, north and south of the border

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Abortion rights in Ireland, north and south of the border
Readers respond to Suzanne Moore’s piece about the ongoing fight for the right to legal abortion

Letters
Thu 8 Mar 2018

Irish women have been travelling to Britain for abortions for decades. In 1975, when I was a young English woman working as a union officer in Dublin, a desperate male friend asked how his wife’s 15-year-old sister could get an abortion (We must never stop fighting for the right to legal abortion, 8 March). Without knowledge of or access to contraception, her first sexual foray had left her pregnant. As a Brit, it was assumed I knew how to use my own country’s still new abortion law.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/08/abortion-rights-in-ireland-north-and-south-of-the-border

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UK – Abortion pill: ‘Traumatic’ barriers to access

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Abortion pill: 'Traumatic' barriers to access
March 7, 2018

A woman who paid for two surgical abortions after contraception failed has said she would support moves to let women take abortion pills at home.

"Claire" told the BBC Wales Live programme that the requirement to return to a clinic to take the second of the two pills needed for the process made things "unnecessarily traumatic" for women in remote areas without transport.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-wales-politics-43316892/abortion-pill-traumatic-barriers-to-access

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Ireland – Sean Moncrieff: ‘My girlfriend listed all the reasons to have an abortion’

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Sean Moncrieff: ‘My girlfriend listed all the reasons to have an abortion’
Sometimes the best we can do is to be kind, if anything that’s what being human means

Feb 24, 2018
Sean Moncrieff

Back in the early 1980s, access to contraception involved visiting a GP, whose job it was to adjudicate if you wanted them for bone fide family planning reasons; whatever they were. But not any GP: people quickly learned that some would be sympathetic, and some would run you out the door.

Then there would be a prescription and a visit to a pharmacy. But not any pharmacy; such was Ireland’s horror at the thought of sex, of talking about it, that many refused to co-operate. There were entire counties free from the diabolic poison of synthetic oestrogen or latex.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/sean-moncrieff-my-girlfriend-listed-all-the-reasons-to-have-an-abortion-1.3393628

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I tried (and failed) to get a safe and legal abortion in Brazil

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I tried (and failed) to get a safe and legal abortion in Brazil

By Rebeca Mendes
Feb 09, 2018

I'm a 30-year-old Brazilian with two young children, temporary employment and hopes for an eventual legal career. When I sought permission to terminate my pregnancy, I was thinking about my family, my finances and my future. In the process I found myself at the center of a political story, becoming the first woman in our country to fight for an abortion in court based on personal, nonmedical needs.

Last month, the United States marked the 45th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade — a landmark decision that secured the right of American women to have an abortion. It remains the law of the land, despite repeated attempts to reverse the decision. Since filing my petition with Brazil's Supreme Court last year, many people have compared my suit to Jane Roe's. But there is one crucial difference: She won. The court denied my plea and women in Brazil continue to risk their health and lives if they decide to terminate a pregnancy.

Continued: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mendes-brazil-abortion-20180209-story.html

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UK: A bitter pill

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A bitter pill
Health bodies are proposing a change to make abortions easier to get. Could this stop the trade in illegal abortion pills?

Josh Wilmer 6th November 2017

You need to be at home or somewhere comfortable. Know which hospital you’re going to if things go wrong, and be able to get there in less than an hour. It’s normal to carry on bleeding for days, even weeks.

That makes up some of the online advice for women who buy abortion pills online instead of having a termination on the NHS. Despite having access to free abortions, under medical supervision, many British women are paying money to buy pills online and going it alone.

Continued at source: https://theovertake.com/~alpha/abortion-pills/

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