Ireland – Harsh penalties by church and State on those who have abortions do not work

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Harsh penalties by church and State on those who have abortions do not work
As Catholics we must now decide on what type of civic society we wish to create

Feb 20, 2018
Brendan Butler

The forthcoming referendum will present me and other committed Catholics with a dilemma. Do I vote to retain the present constitutional ban on abortion – which results in the criminalisation of women who have had abortions – or to recognise a changing reality where the present Irish population, especially the younger generation, are concerned, and who see opposition by the Catholic Church to repeal of the Eighth Amendment as a threat to their moral freedom to act according to their consciences?

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/harsh-penalties-by-church-and-state-on-those-who-have-abortions-do-not-work-1.3397839

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Ireland – FitzGerald ‘railroaded’ into 1983 abortion referendum, Barry Desmond claims

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FitzGerald ‘railroaded’ into 1983 abortion referendum, Barry Desmond claims
Gemma Hussey recalls threatening letters warning ‘we know where you live’

Feb 19, 2018
Michael O'Regan

The late Fine Gael taoiseach Dr Garret FitzGerald was “ politically railroaded’’ by Fianna Fáil’s Charles Haughey into agreeing to the controversial 1983 abortion referendum, former Labour minister Barry Desmond has claimed.

Mr Desmond, who was minister for health in the then Fine Gael-Labour coalition, refused to handle the referendum Bill in the Dáil because of his strong opposition to the wording, and responsibility for it was instead allocated by Dr FitzGerald to Michael Noonan, who was minister for justice.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/fitzgerald-railroaded-into-1983-abortion-referendum-barry-desmond-claims-1.3396713

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International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland

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International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland
Feb 9, 2018

The worsening state of SRHR in Poland has brought multiple reactions from international human rights bodies. Please below find here the most crucial observations and recommendations.

Letter of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Poland, the Commissioner refers to recent developments affecting the independence of the judiciary; women’s access to sexual and reproductive rights; the deteriorating environment for NGOs active in the area of women’s rights and assistance to victims of domestic violence; and attacks against the independence and effectiveness of the Ombudsman.

Regarding women’s rights, the Commissioner regrets that new barriers are being created to hinder women’s access to comprehensive sexuality education, emergency contraception and abortion care. He urges the authorities to repeal any retrogressive laws and to reject any legislative or policy proposals which would weaken women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Here the main fragment related to SRHR:

Continued: http://en.federa.org.pl/international-concerns-about-womens-rights-backsliding-in-poland/

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Germany’s ambiguous abortion laws rankle with all sides

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Germany’s ambiguous abortion laws rankle with all sides
The country’s vague regulations are stirring tensions with both camps seeking change

Mon, Feb 5, 2018
Derek Scally

It’s almost 20 years ago, but Annika* remembers her abortion clearly. It was 1999, she had just moved from Zürich to Berlin with her two children after the break-up of her marriage.

It was only during the second, hassled month of building a new life in the German capital that she noticed her period hadn’t arrived.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/germany-s-ambiguous-abortion-laws-rankle-with-all-sides-1.3379731

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Ireland divided as vote on abortion tests faith and the old order

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Ireland divided as vote on abortion tests faith and the old order
In the only Irish county to vote against same-sex marriage, a close vote is expected in May

Kevin McKenna
Sat 3 Feb 2018

The eighth amendment of the Irish constitution makes Ireland, depending on your point of view, either a unique beacon of humanity in a godless world or a superstitious hamlet determined not to enter into the 21st century. The amendment was signed into law in October 1983 after two-thirds of the electorate voted in a referendum to accord equal status to the life of a child growing in the womb with that of its mother. As a result, only in extreme circumstances can an abortion take place.

Pointing out that no one under the age of 52 had ever voted on the issue, the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, last week announced that a referendum would take place by the end of May to repeal the amendment.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/03/ireland-abortion-referendum-divided-vote-faith-old-order

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Ireland’s abortion referendum: why it’s morally right to repeal the 8th amendment

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Ireland’s abortion referendum: why it’s morally right to repeal the 8th amendment
February 1, 2018
PA/Tom Honan

Ireland is to hold a landmark referendum that could finally see its abortion laws clarified and relaxed.

The referendum will ask Irish citizens if the wish to repeal the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution. Given how much suffering has been caused by the restrictive law, it’s ethically right to vote to repeal the 8th amendment, even if you’re morally opposed to abortion.

While abortion was already illegal, the 8th amendment created constitutional protection for a foetal right to life:

Continued: https://theconversation.com/irelands-abortion-referendum-why-its-morally-right-to-repeal-the-8th-amendment-91108

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Ireland: Ann Lovett 1968 – January 31 1984

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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: Nuance and abortion: Churches, other faiths, and atheists differ

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Nuance and abortion: Churches, other faiths, and atheists differ
All churches and faiths abhor abortion but most agree it can be the lesser evil

Patsy McGarry
Mon, Jan 29, 2018

It is highly unlikely Ireland’s Catholic and Protestant churches or its other faiths will take an active part in political campaigning leading up to the abortion referendum later this year.

They tend to avoid such campaigning in the main, apart from some individual clergy.

However, they will articulate their views in sermons or when asked by media, including being invited to take part in debates, and through their own leaflets, online and in other relevant publications.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/nuance-and-abortion-churches-other-faiths-and-atheists-differ-1.3371629?mode=amp

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Therapeutic abortion: a Costa Rican right ensnared in doubts and fears

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Therapeutic abortion: a Costa Rican right ensnared in doubts and fears

Paula Umaña
January 25, 2018

On Nov. 29, 2017, journalism student Paula Umaña published an in-depth feature for the weekly Semanario Universidad as part of Punto y Aparte, a mentoring program for young journalists. The Tico Times is proud to translate and publish her original piece with Semanario Universidad about therapeutic abortion in Costa Rica. Part I of III.

Because of lack of knowledge and fear of legal consequences, health care professionals contribute to the obstacles to therapeutic abortion in Costa Rica.

At 24, Lucía is in her last year of medicine at one of the country’s universities. When asked about therapeutic abortion, she says she remembers seeing it mentioned in one class and says “that it’s prohibited in Costa Rica”.

Continued: http://www.ticotimes.net/2018/01/25/therapeutic-abortion-a-costa-rican-right-ensnared-in-doubts-and-fears

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Ireland: Borders of the middle ground being redrawn in abortion debate

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Una Mullally: Borders of the middle ground being redrawn in abortion debate
Micheál Martin’s support for repeal of the Eighth Amendment is already being described as a key moment in the campaign

Jan 21, 2018
Una Mullally

A referendum campaign begins when a date is called and ends when the votes are counted. Officially. But on social issues in Ireland, we know that’s not the case. “Matters of public debate” drag on for years, perhaps none more so than the issue of abortion. If a campaign is to happen in May or June, we’ll know the date soon. Then the slog will begin. Referendum campaigns have a seemingly endless capacity for drama, for personalities, for emotion.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/una-mullally-borders-of-the-middle-ground-being-redrawn-in-abortion-debate-1.3363130

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