Ahead of the abortion referendum, Ireland explains #WhoNeedsYourYes

Ahead of the abortion referendum, Ireland explains #WhoNeedsYourYes
Supporters of the Yes campaign are dedicating their votes to the women they want to help

By Emily Baker
on 14.05.18

It’s now just under two weeks until Irish citizens will vote on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment in their constitution and allow the government to make abortion legal up to 12 weeks. And as the No campaign becomes more and more malicious, those in favour of a change in law are choosing a more altruistic approach with the Twitter hashtag #WhoNeedsYourYes.

Those intending to vote Yes are using the hashtag to shine a light on the women who will ultimately benefit from legal abortion, with high-profile and everyday voters raising their voices:

Continued: https://www.the-pool.com/news-views/latest-news/2018/20/Emily-Baker-on-who-needs-your-yes

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

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

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Ireland – ‘I was Ann Lovett’s boyfriend

I was Ann Lovett’s boyfriend
Ann Lovett died aged 15 in 1984 after giving birth at a grotto in Granard, Co Longford – a tragedy that continues to resonate. Today, Ann’s former boyfriend Ricky McDonnell speaks publicly for the first time

May 4, 2018
Rosita Boland

Richard “Ricky” McDonnell is standing at the gate, staring at a house on Colmcille Terrace, Granard, Co Longford. There was a time, 34 years ago, when he knew this house inside out. It was here he had lived from the age of six to 17 – including several years on his own – until he had to leave. It was here he had spent many hours with his former girlfriend Ann Lovett, who died aged 15 after giving birth at the grotto in the town on January 31st, 1984. It was here, on that January day, Ricky McDonnell’s life changed utterly.

Ann Lovett’s death became one of the most soul-searching events of 1980s Ireland. It continues to resonate in the national psyche more than three decades later, in part because so many questions were left unanswered.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/i-was-ann-lovett-s-boyfriend-1.3484311

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Ireland -Tánaiste says those undecided on repeal may be frightened into No vote

Tánaiste says those undecided on repeal may be frightened into No vote
Yes campaign must convince voters that the status quo is no longer acceptable

April 28, 2018
Barry Roche

The Tánaiste has expressed concern that those campaigning to retain the Eighth Amendment may try to frighten undecided voters into voting No if they have any doubts about the proposal.

Simon Coveney predicted that undecided voters, which he estimated as being about 30 per cent of the electorate,would decide the outcome of the May 25th referendum.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/t%C3%A1naiste-says-those-undecided-on-repeal-may-be-frightened-into-no-vote-1.3477946

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Ireland’s historic chance to trust women

Ireland’s historic chance to trust women

By Cynthia Romero

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 – Ann Lovett: Death of a ‘strong, kick-ass girl’

Ann Lovett: Death of a ‘strong, kick-ass girl’
Ann Lovett died aged 15 after giving birth at a grotto in Granard, Co Longford in 1984. Had she lived, she would turn 50 next month

Sat, Mar 24, 2018
Rosita Boland

“I remember being outside the church when the hearse arrived . . . I remember when they were taking the coffin out of the hearse, there was a collective gasp . . . Usually at a removal, you’d hear a mumble of people talking. But apart from that gasp, there was silence. What could anyone say?”

Nuala Ledwith, who lived three miles outside Granard, Co Longford, at the time, is talking about the removal of Ann Lovett and her stillborn son to St Mary’s Church in Granard on Thursday, February 2nd, 1984. Two days previously, Ann Lovett had died after giving birth in the grotto adjoining St Mary’s. She was 15. The repercussions of her death continue to resonate powerfully in Irish society, more than three decades later.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/ann-lovett-death-of-a-strong-kick-ass-girl-1.3429792

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Irish abortion referendum: Every vote counts in emotive poll

Irish abortion referendum: Every vote counts in emotive poll

By Shane Harrison, BBC NI Dublin correspondent
22 February 2018

It is a cold morning despite the sunshine, and snow lines the grotto behind the Catholic church at Granard, County Longford, in the Irish midlands.

It was here beneath the gaze of a statue of the Virgin Mary on a similar January day that Ann Lovett, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, died giving birth to a baby son.

She and her child died in 1984.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43156726

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Ireland: Ann Lovett 1968 – January 31 1984

Ann Lovett 1968 – January 31 1984
By Donal O'Keeffe
January 31, 2018

34 years ago today, Ann Lovett died after giving birth at a grotto in Granard. Ann’s death changed an Ireland which is still trying to escape the long shadow of the 1980s, writes Donal O’Keeffe.

Granard, Co Longford, is a very picturesque town. It dates back at least to Celtic times and is mentioned in the Táin Bó Cuailgne. Queen Medb and her army stopped in Granard, on their way to take the brown bull of Cooley. So ancient a place is Granard that the original meaning of its name is unclear in Irish. It’s said St Patrick appointed the son of his former master the first bishop of Granard.

Granard is dominated – literally – by the Catholic Church. As you enter from the Edgeworthstown side, you’re immediately aware of the hill looming up on your left, and the grey St Mary’s Church which overlooks the entire main street. At the top of the hill, above the church, is a statue of St Patrick. Below that statue, behind the church, is a Marian shrine. The concreted ground is slick with moss, as a stone Saint Bernadette gazes up with unliving eyes at the statue immortalised by Paula Meehan in her poem ‘The Statue of the Virgin at Granard Speaks‘.

Continued: https://avondhupress.ie/ann-lovett-1968-january-31-1984/

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Ireland: Harris raises Kerry babies and Lovett cases in abortion debate

Harris raises Kerry babies and Lovett cases in abortion debate
Minister for Health: 3,265 women from every county had travelled abroad for abortions last year

Wed, Jan 17, 2018
Marie O'Halloran

Abortion is a reality for women living in Ireland and is an issue that is not going to go away, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said.

“Ultimately, there is always a deeply personal, private story behind each individual case which I believe is a matter for a woman and her doctor. I believe the Irish people trust women and they trust doctors to make these difficult decisions.”

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/harris-raises-kerry-babies-and-lovett-cases-in-abortion-debate-1.3358750

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Irish abortion referendum will bring out the fanatics

Irish abortion referendum will bring out the fanatics

Cahir O'Doherty
January 14, 2018

The 1983 abortion referendum in Ireland was a circus.

I wasn't old enough to vote in the last major abortion referendum in Ireland in 1983, but I remember it well. It would be impossible not to, it was so toxic and shameful.

In particular I remember the atmosphere of undeclared civil war that had erupted by that summer, filling the airwaves with enraged fanatics. Whisper campaigns and innuendo flourished everywhere, insane conspiracy theories were being presented as fact.

Continued: https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/cahirodoherty/irish-abortion-referendum-brings-out-the-fanatics

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