Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged


Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged

NOV. 13, 2017

Late last month, Cosimo Borraccino, a left-wing member of the regional council for Apulia, in southern Italy, proposed passing a local law to require the enforcement of national legislation granting women access to abortion. His opponents on the council, mostly from center-right parties, said the bill was unnecessary and that Mr. Borraccino was “slamming into a wall of self-evidence.”

Yet when it comes to reproductive rights in Italy, respect of the law is anything but self-evident. In fact, 9 out of 10 gynecologists in Apulia refuse to perform abortions, even though the right to obtain one has been legal since 1978. Nationwide statistics are only slightly less staggering: Seven out of 10 gynecologists in Italy won’t terminate a pregnancy.

Continued at source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/abortion-italy-conscientious-objectors.html

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UK: I introduced the Abortion Act 50 years ago this week. This is why it now needs extending


I introduced the Abortion Act 50 years ago this week. This is why it now needs extending

Northern Ireland’s lack of access to abortion and the fact that we won’t decriminalise it altogether in England and Wales puts us miles behind our European neighbours who allow all women to access abortions on request

David Steel
Thursday 26 October 2017

I recently encountered a professor of medicine who fifty years ago was a young medical student witnessing the passing of the Abortion Act into law. His lecturer held up a newly printed copy of the Act and said: “This is a historic day because your generation of doctors will never have to confront the consequences of botched abortions”. If only this had truly been the case.

Continued at source: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-act-northern-ireland-law-referendum-a8020826.html

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Ireland: Choicebox: A platform for advocating choice


Oct 11, 2017

Choicebox is a pro-choice organisation in Ireland that has created a series of video responses to the abortion rights movement in Ireland. The videos comprise people performing pieces of prose, poetry or drama that touch on the themes of choice and bodily autonomy. More videos will continue to be added to reflect the variety of ways in which the 8th amendment can affect the people of Ireland.

Here is the link to the website:

and Facebook:

And a direct link to the video most recently posted:

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El Salvador: What women’s lives are like when abortion is a crime


What women's lives are like when abortion is a crime

By Alice Driver
Thu October 5, 2017

Story highlights
Alice Driver: Passage of a recent bill in the House of Representatives shows that for some Republicans, criminalizing abortion is a priority. If Americans want to know what women's lives are like in a country where abortion is a crime, they should listen to women in El Salvador, she writes

(CNN)During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump famously said that there should be "some form of punishment" for abortion. Although he later tried to walk these remarks back, he and his mostly male fellow Republicans have quietly been making headway since he took office on an agenda to make sure women have as few options as possible for reproductive choice and education, including limited access to birth control and the preventative care offered by Planned Parenthood.

Continued at source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/05/opinions/united-states-el-salvador-abortion-prison-driver-opinion/index.html

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How Dublin’s March for Choice was reported around the world


How Dublin's March for Choice was reported around the world
Reuters, the New York Times and French newspaper Le Monde covered the demonstration.
Oct 1, 2017

WHAT DID THE world’s media make of Ireland’s pro-choice march yesterday?

When Leo Varadkar was ordained as Taoiseach in June, we saw Ireland repeatedly referred to in foreign news outlets as an insular, conservative, Catholic nation.

After the success of the Yes Equality campaign, and with an ethnically diverse, young, gay man chosen as Ireland’s political leader (albeit not by the electorate), that world view of Ireland could be in the process of shifting.

Continued at source: http://www.thejournal.ie/march-for-choice-international-media-3624566-Oct2017/

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Ireland to Hold Abortion Referendum Next Year


Ireland to Hold Abortion Referendum Next Year
SEPT. 26, 2017

Ireland will vote in a referendum next year on whether to lift or ease the country’s constitutional ban on abortion, one of the most restrictive such laws in the Western world.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, announced on Tuesday that the vote would be held in May or June on the prohibition, which has been bitterly contested. Polls suggest that a majority of voters approve relaxation of the law, but they also show little support for allowing abortion on request.

Continued at source: New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/world/europe/ireland-abortion-ban-referendum.html

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Inside the Philippines’ women-run crime ring selling abortion elixirs


Inside the Philippines’ women-run crime ring selling abortion elixirs
For poor Filipinas with unwanted pregnancies, this is what reproductive care looks like.

Patrick Winn
Aug 23, 2017

The drug deal takes place in the back of a sedan, parked near one of Manila’s most exalted cathedrals.

The dealer, Elsa — not her real name — has brought her wares in a plastic shopping bag. At my request, she dumps the illicit inventory on the backseat for inspection.

Continued at source: Global Post Investigations: https://gpinvestigations.pri.org/inside-the-philippines-women-run-crime-ring-selling-abortion-elixirs-51cd2de6cb8b

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Can faith and freedom co-exist? When faith-based health providers and women’s needs clash


Can faith and freedom co-exist? When faith-based health providers and women's needs clash

by Jon O'Brien
Editor: Caroline Sweetman
Gender & Development Volume 25 Issue 1 Fundamentalisms
28 Mar 2017
DOI: 10.1080/13552074.2017.1286808
Publisher: Oxfam GB, Routledge

Faith-based health providers are a major component of health services delivery in many developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. They receive millions of dollars annually from unilateral and bilateral aid agencies to deliver care. At the same time, they often use conservative interpretations of religious teachings to deny access to essential health care, including reproductive health care and HIV/AIDS prevention services. How can we balance the presence of faith-based providers against the rights and needs of women and other vulnerable populations to receive the care they need?

Continued at source: Oxfam: http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/can-faith-and-freedom-co-exist-when-faith-based-health-providers-and-womens-nee-620228

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Will the Tuam Babies Scandal Ignite an Investigation into Church-State Relations in Ireland?


Will the Tuam Babies Scandal Ignite an Investigation into Church-State Relations in Ireland?
by Julia Canney • 17 March 2017

In 2012 amateur historian Catherine Corless began investigating the abandoned Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland. Disconcerted by the lack of media attention given to her finding that 796 babies had died there in the span of thirty-six years, Corless began the painstaking journey to discover the truth of what happened under the eyes of the Bon Secours nuns. Her work led to the creation of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, which has come under increased scrutiny in the past weeks with the discovery of what’s been reported as “significant quantities of human remains” buried in septic tanks on the grounds of the home for unwed mothers and their children operated by Catholic nuns from 1922 to 1961. Despite the fact that the Irish government has held the outrageously high death registers of the home since 2011, the excavation process was only begun by the Commission of Investigation in November of last year, leaving many stakeholders wondering: Why this inhumane delay in justice?

Continued at source: The Humanist: https://thehumanist.com/commentary/will-tuam-babies-scandal-ignite-investigation-church-state-relations-ireland

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Ireland: The Catholic church is ‘shocked’ at the hundreds of children buried at Tuam. Really?


The Catholic church is ‘shocked’ at the hundreds of children buried at Tuam. Really?

by Emer O'Toole
The discovery of remains at a former home for unmarried mothers shows that Ireland is still in denial over a horrific legacy
Tuesday 7 March 2017

It has been confirmed that significant numbers of children’s remains lie in a mass grave adjacent to a former home for unmarried mothers run by the Bon Secours Sisters in Tuam, County Galway. This is exactly where local historian Catherine Corless, who was instrumental in bringing the mass grave to light, said they would be. A state-established commission of inquiry into mother and baby homes recently located the site in a structure that “appears to be related to the treatment/containment of sewage and/or waste water”, but which we are not supposed to call a septic tank.

The archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, says he is “deeply shocked and horrified”. Deeply. Because what could the church have known about the abuse of children in its institutions? When Irish taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked if he was similarly shocked, he answered: “Absolutely. To think you pass by the location on so many occasions over the years.” To think. Because what would Kenny, in Irish politics since the 70s, know about state-funded, church-perpetrated abuse of women and children? Even the commission of inquiry – already under critique by the UN – said in its official statement that it was “shocked by this discovery”.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/07/catholic-church-children-buried-at-tuam-ireland?CMP=share_btn_link

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