Abortion in Ireland: Four weeks in, how’s it working?

Abortion in Ireland: Four weeks in, how’s it working?
Abortion has been legal in Ireland for almost a month, yet uncertainties and problems persist

Jan 26, 2019
Jennifer Bray

Next week will mark one month since the introduction of general abortion services for the first time in the history of the Irish State. In the final weeks of 2018, there were dire warnings from senior medics and family doctors that the January 1st deadline was being “rushed” and was “dangerously unrealistic”.

Only nine maternity hospitals were ready to provide full access to abortion care, with the remaining 10 expected to come on board shortly. Some 240 general practitioners have now signed up to the service. Despite the less than comprehensive level of access, abortions are now happening across the country in hospitals and in general practices.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/abortion-in-ireland-four-weeks-in-how-s-it-working-1.3770442

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Isle of Man becomes first place in British Isles to decriminalise abortion

Isle of Man becomes first place in British Isles to decriminalise abortion

Telegraph Reporters
15 January 2019

The Isle of Man has become the first place in the British Isles to decriminalise abortion.

The new law will allow abortion for any reason up to 14 weeks and in certain circumstances between 15 and 23 weeks. From 24 weeks until birth, abortion will be permitted when pregnancy would cause risk to the mother's life or if the baby when born would suffer serious impairment or die shortly after birth.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/politics/isle-man-becomes-first-place-british-isles-decriminalise-abortion/

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Ireland – Call for immediate exclusion zones after anti-abortion picket

Call for immediate exclusion zones after anti-abortion picket
HSE warns websites are claiming to offer services using variation of official MyOptions site

Jan 4, 2019
Vivienne Clarke, Paul Cullen

Veteran abortion services campaigner Ailbhe Smyth has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to introduce legislation immediately for exclusion zones around medical practices offering terminations.

Ms Smyth’s call, on Newstalk’s Breakfast programme, comes after an anti-abortion group protested outside a Galway GP practice on Thursday, just three days after termination services became legal in the State.
Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/call-for-immediate-exclusion-zones-after-anti-abortion-picket-1.3747644

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Ireland – Health Minister to ban protests at abortion providers

Health Minister to ban protests at abortion providers

Friday, December 28, 2018
By Elaine Loughlin

The Government hopes to fast-track the introduction of safe access zones to prevent protests outside hospitals and clinics that provide abortion services.

Health Minister Simon Harris had hoped to pass legislation to ban such demonstrations in tandem with the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill, which will come into force from January 1.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/health-minister-to-ban-protests-at-abortion-providers-894311.html

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‘Sheer Joy’: Ireland Will Have Free Abortion Care on January 1

‘Sheer Joy’: Ireland Will Have Free Abortion Care on January 1

Dec 17, 2018
Sarah Jaffe

Abortion in Ireland will be free, safe, and legal up to 12 weeks into pregnancy starting January 1, a major blow to the Catholic Church and opponents of the country’s abortion rights law, who tried to drag out the legislative process with support from U.S. anti-choice advisers.

To Bríd Smith, People Before Profit member of Irish parliament, the repeal of the Eighth Amendment banning abortion in Ireland was “one of those rare moments in life when you feel such joy, the sheer joy of beating back the Catholic Church’s agenda, really beating it back for once. And pride, because we put a huge amount of effort into it and had witnessed a new generation of young Irish people completely different to what we had known.”

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/12/17/sheer-joy-ireland-will-have-free-abortion-care-on-january-1/

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Isle of Man – Abortion Reform Bill 2018 passed unanimously by the House of Keys today with three minor amendments

Abortion Reform Bill 2018 passed unanimously by the House of Keys today with three minor amendments

30 October 2018
For immediate release

CALM [Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation] is delighted that the House of Keys has voted to pass Dr Alex Allinson MHK’s Abortion Reform Bill 2018, and that once the three new amendments agreed today are passed by the Legislative Council, it will now be set before the Court of Tynwald for signing.

Today’s sitting (Tuesday 30 October) confirmed that the Isle of Man’s politicians agree that the current legislation is out of date, restrictive and discriminatory and that the Island’s women deserve better.

“CALM is proud that the Isle of Man is leading the way, and will be the first jurisdiction in the British Isles to decriminalise abortion, meaning that those who choose to terminate a pregnancy for whatever reason will no longer be seen as criminals. They will also be able to choose to access full reproductive healthcare at home, and no longer have to travel to clinics across,” says CALM.

Buffer zones around places which provide abortion services will also be possible once this Bill is enacted.

“The public consultation in 2017 showed that the vast majority of respondents wanted some provision for buffer or access zones, and our politicians listened,” continues CALM. “Provisions in this Bill mean that people seeking abortions, or even those wanting to access counselling, will not be subjected to pressure from those who only want to frighten women or make them uncomfortable about any decision they’ve made, or
which they might make.”

Following today’s House of Key’s sitting, CALM would like to thank all those who have worked tirelessly on the Abortion Reform Bill, particular Dr Allinson MHK, seconder Clare Bettison MHK, Ralph Peake MHK for adding the provision of access zones to the original draft, the Attorney General, the legal drafters and all those MHKs and MLCs who have tabled amendments which have made the final Bill better for all those who believe that women in theIsle of Man should be able to access safe, legal and most of all LOCAL abortion services.

"We'd also like to thank everyone who has supported our campaign, all those who wrote to the prospective MHKs before the last election and since, and those who've told their own stories publically for the first time," says CALM. "We know that women who've had abortions, for whatever reason, have been stigmatised and ignored for too long, and we're proud that our campaign has helped to make this a thing of the past."

CALM: http://calmiom.org/

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Australia – Abortion clinic protests should be allowed even if women’s dignity hurt: lawyer

Abortion clinic protests should be allowed even if women's dignity hurt: lawyer
Anti-abortion campaigners tell the high court that safe zones breach their political freedom

Paul Karp
Tue 9 Oct 2018

Anti-abortion campaigners should be allowed to protest outside clinics, even if it harms the dignity of women entering the clinics or hurts their feelings, lawyers for anti-abortion protesters argued today.

On Tuesday the high court held a hearing into anti-abortion campaigners’ constitutional challenge against Tasmanian and Victorian laws prohibiting protests in “safe zones” outside abortion clinics.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/09/abortion-clinic-protests-should-be-allowed-even-if-womens-dignity-hurt-lawyer

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Abortion clinic safe-access zones face challenge in Australia’s high court

Abortion clinic safe-access zones face challenge in Australia's high court
Campaigners challenging Victorian and Tasmanian laws argue they stifle free speech

Melissa Davey
Mon 8 Oct 2018

The validity of the safe-access-zone laws in Victoria and Tasmania that prevent anti-abortion protesters from harassing women seeking medical treatment will be challenged before the high court on Tuesday.

The Victorian case has been brought by anti-abortion campaigner Kathleen Clubb, who was the first person to be convicted of breaking Victoria’s safe-access-zone laws in 2016. The laws mean anti-abortion protesters cannot protest within 150m of health and fertility clinics. Clubb was fined $5,000 for communicating about abortion to a woman attending an East Melbourne medical clinic. Clubb’s conduct was found to be “reasonably likely to cause distress or anxiety”.

continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/09/abortion-clinic-safe-access-zones-face-challenge-in-australias-high-court

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UK – The government is wrong to dismiss abortion clinic buffer zones

The government is wrong to dismiss abortion clinic buffer zones
Protests outside abortion clinics are a form of harassment which undermine the free choices of women

By Sophie Kilminster
September 22, 2018

Last week, Home Secretary Sajid Javid rejected calls for buffer zones outside abortion clinics by saying that protest-free areas around clinics “would not be a proportionate response” to the harassment from protestors. Now perhaps it’s the English student in me, but the suggestion of a “proportionate response” seems to imply that the Home Secretary feels we should wait for a ‘proportionate’ number of women to be harassed before any action is taken to stop this harassment.

Abortion is a contentious issue, but I believe wrongly so; abortion should be personal and the business of only the woman who needs it, like any medical procedure. Protestors have attempted to undermine women’s choices through tactics such as physically blocking the patient’s path, assault and displaying distressing images.

Continued: http://cherwell.org/2018/09/22/the-government-is-wrong-to-dismiss-abortion-clinic-buffer-zones/

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UK – Women tell us why abortion clinics need buffer zones

Women tell us why abortion clinics need buffer zones

Rebecca Reid
Friday 14 Sep 2018

The first time I went to an abortion clinic, I was in my teens accompanying a friend having a termination.

We talked a lot about what was going to happen. We questioned what you were supposed to wear to go and get abortion pills. We looked up the route from the tube station to the clinic on Google maps.

Continued: https://metro.co.uk/2018/09/14/women-tell-us-why-abortion-clinics-need-buffer-zones-7943627/

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