Ireland – Imperfect system and cruel barriers still stopping women access abortion

Imperfect system and cruel barriers still stopping women access abortion

By Joyce Fegan
Monday, June 03, 2019

There has been a drop of up to 85% in the number of Irish women travelling to Britain for abortions, one year on since the Eighth Amendment was repealed from the Irish Constitution.

Nine women had been leaving Ireland every day to have a termination in Britain.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/specialreports/imperfect-system-and-cruel-barriers-still-stopping-women-access-abortion-928382.html

Read more

IN MEMORIAM – David Paintin, UK obstetrician-gynaecologist, lifelong abortion rights campaigner

IN MEMORIAM – David Paintin, UK obstetrician-gynaecologist, lifelong abortion rights campaigner

David Paintin Hon FFSRH MB ChB FRCOG was part of the group from the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) in Britain, which he joined in 1963, that supported Lord Silkin and MP David Steel during the parliamentary debates that resulted in the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act. He also worked hard to increase the acceptability of abortion. He promoted innovation and good practice through his involvement with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and by lecturing on the provision of legal abortion to medical students, family planning doctors and gynaecologists throughout the country.

David qualified in Bristol in 1954. He trained under the supervision of Professor Dugald Baird, in Aberdeen, also a strong abortion rights advocate, before becoming a reader in  obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1963. From 1963 to 1991, based at St Mary’s Medical School, he organised the teaching of medical students and also as an honorary consultant, provided NHS abortion services for Paddington and North Kensington. He was a chair of the Birth Control Trust (1981-1998) and a trustee of the Pregnancy Advisory Service (1981-1996) and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (1996-2003).

He continued to work on abortion issues. He was editor of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for a period, and became Emeritus reader in obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s Hospital. In a recent book, he reflected on the legal debates that led to the 1967 Abortion Act and its subsequent implementation, and attempts by parliamentarians to undermine and restrict abortion law in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s. He died aged 88 on 30 March 2019 after a long illness.

SOURCES: Friends of Bpas Newsletter, March 2019 ; Charter for Choice 2015 ; Wikipedia, 4 April 2019 ; Bucks Free Press, 5 April 2019

-------------------------
Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/in-memoriam-david-paintin-uk-obstetrician-gynaecologist-lifelong-abortion-rights-campaigner/

Read more

Northern Ireland’s abortion laws are an abomination. Westminster must step in

Northern Ireland’s abortion laws are an abomination. Westminster must step in
The government must heed a select committee report – and end the brutal, primitivist treatment of women in the region

Polly Toynbee
Thu 25 Apr 2019

They were all there: Northern Ireland’s DUP and Sinn Féin leaders, side by side with the Good Friday agreement’s guarantors, the British and Irish prime ministers. All were gathered at the funeral of the journalist Lyra McKee. “Why in God’s name,” asked Fr Martin Magill, had it taken her death to bring them together? But his exasperated tone implied he didn’t expect a political miracle.

Visit this deadlocked region, the UK’s poorest, and it feels transformed from the dark days of the troubles. But its political paralysis is partly a product of Westminster’s longstanding neglect of the region, at least until the DUP unexpectedly came to play a pivotal role in the Brexit psychodrama. The red hand of Ulster holds in its palm the fate of May’s Brexit deal, though the DUP doesn’t represent the far more progressive and forward-looking remain-voting country. The party may yet become Boris Johnson’s kingmakers through its refusal to back Theresa May’s deal.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/25/northern-ireland-abortion-laws-westminster-dup-women

Read more

Anti-abortion activists harassing women at UK clinics during Lent

Anti-abortion activists harassing women at UK clinics during Lent
Clinic staff say protesters are calling women ‘murderers’ and giving out misleading leaflets

Simon Murphy
Mon 8 Apr 2019

Anti-abortion protesters are harassing vulnerable women at UK clinics as they ramp up demonstrations for Lent and are giving out leaflets suggesting that having a termination is harder to deal with than being raped, it has been claimed.

Hardline religious activists, some of whom are part of a so-called “40 Days for Life” campaign, have been targeting women in increasing numbers at 10 clinics across the country in the run-up to Easter, the Guardian has been told.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/08/anti-abortion-activists-harassing-women-at-uk-clinics-during-lent

Read more

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

Introduction
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

Read more

UK- Police called in after medics attacked by anti abortion campaigners

Police called in after medics attacked by anti abortion campaigners

Laura FitzPatrick
24 FEBRUARY 2019

Police have been called in by medics attacked by pro-life abortion campaigners, as experts warn that social media has made these activists more militant.

It comes ahead of a US-backed campaign that will see vigils held outside 10 UK clinics over the period of lent, for 12 hours a day.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/24/police-called-medics-attacked-anti-abortion-campaigners/

Read more

Ireland – Caitlin Moran: let’s be upfront about abortion

Caitlin Moran: let’s be upfront about abortion
‘Abortion is not “contentious”; it has been used by aunts, bosses, teachers and this columnist’

Feb 23, 2019

Three weeks ago, an episode of Call the Midwife, set in the pre-Abortion Act world of 1962, centred on a pregnant woman who sought out a back-street termination, then died from complications.

When any broadcaster puts out a show dealing with life-changing issues, we know what the usual protocol is. An announcement over the closing credits, as we sigh, shiver or palm tears from our face: “For anyone affected by the issues in tonight’s show, there is help and information on our website.”

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/caitlin-moran-lets-be-upfront-about-abortion-9skdvbv86

Read more

Ireland – Explainer: What could Ireland’s abortion exclusion zones look like?

Explainer: What could Ireland's abortion exclusion zones look like?
The government aims to have draft legislation in place by the summer.

Feb 23, 2019

FOLLOWING A SERIES of anti-abortion protests since Ireland’s termination of pregnancy legislation came into effect on 1 January, the issue of exclusion zones around clinics and GP practices has become a pressing issue.

On 3 January, two days after abortion services became legal in the state, a group of pro-life protesters picketed a GP practice in Galway.

Continued: https://www.thejournal.ie/explainer-what-could-irelands-abortion-exclusion-zones-look-like-4501125-Feb2019/

Read more

BBC provides abortion information after Call the Midwife row

BBC provides abortion information after Call the Midwife row
BBC had said it could not offer advice because abortion was a ‘contentious’ issue

Catherine Avery
Sun 17 Feb 2019

The BBC has said it will give viewers information about abortion after it was criticised following an episode of the popular drama Call the Midwife.

Women complained that no information was provided on the BBC Action Line after an episode, broadcast this month, in which a patient died following an illegal backstreet abortion.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/17/bbc-provides-abortion-information-after-call-the-midwife-row

Read more

The BBC should treat abortion as a healthcare procedure, not just a plot point for Call the Midwife

The BBC should treat abortion as a healthcare procedure, not just a plot point for Call the Midwife
The BBC, rightly, has links on its website to advice from organisations like Stonewall, Mind and Beat. So why did it refuse to link to abortion advice?

15 February 2019
By Glosswitch, BBC

As the saying goes, you can’t be a little bit pregnant: you’re either gestating a new life at enormous cost and potential risk to your physical and mental wellbeing, or you’re not. As far as this experience goes, there is no middle ground.

Similarly, you’re either in favour of women being forced to remain pregnant against their will, or you’re not. The alternative to safe, legal abortion is not the absence of abortion; it’s the torture of compulsory gestation, or it’s illegal, unsafe abortion. There is no neutral option, no world in which unwanted pregnancies must neither continue nor end.

Continued: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/health/2019/02/bbc-should-treat-abortion-healthcare-procedure-not-just-plot-point-call

Read more