Ireland’s abortion referendum raises the bar for U.S. abortion politics

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Ireland’s abortion referendum raises the bar for U.S. abortion politics

By Abigail R.A. Aiken
June 9, 2018

Ireland’s landslide vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment of its Constitution signaled the end of one of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. Just as remarkable as the “yes” vote itself, however, was the debate that led to the result — and how refreshingly different it was from the debate here at home. In Ireland, politicians actually listened to evidence, and they listened to women. In America, too many politicians have done neither.

The United States and Ireland have long seemed far apart on abortion. The U.S. Constitution protects the right to choose, whereas until last week, the Irish Constitution explicitly equated the life of a fetus with the life of a pregnant woman. Yet the two countries are much more similar than they seem at first glance.

Continued: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Ireland-s-abortion-referendum-raises-the-bar-12981492.php#photo-15697587

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Ireland – Long experience informs shifting views in abortion debate

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Long experience informs shifting views in abortion debate
Members of older generation share thoughts on Eighth Amendment

Apr 4, 2018
Sorcha Pollak

Sheila and Paddy Donohoe, now in their 70s, voted in favour of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution in 1983. There was never any question in their minds regarding how they would vote. They were strict Catholics and active members of the Legion of Mary. They had grown up in a conservative country which taught them abortion was a sin in all circumstances.

“We were Catholics, we didn’t practise contraception, we did everything according to the book,” remembers Sheila. “At one stage I would have gone to Mass and Communion every day and we always brought the children to Mass. Whatever the church more or less said we believed. There was no reason for us to doubt or think otherwise. We weren’t encouraged to ask questions. Everything was totally hidden, everything was kept secret.”

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/long-experience-informs-shifting-views-in-abortion-debate-1.3449443

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At last, an abortion referendum. Women’s protest has won over Irish politicians

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At last, an abortion referendum. Women’s protest has won over Irish politicians

Emer O'Toole
Tue 30 Jan 2018

Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin have shifted from anti-abortion stances. If we can convince them, we can convince our families and friends

On Monday night, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed that Ireland will hold a referendum on abortion in late May. The electorate will be asked if they want to repeal or retain the eighth amendment to the constitution, which effectively bans terminations. In the case of repeal, people will also be asked to approve an addition to the constitution allowing the Oireachtas, the Irish legislature, to legislate for abortion. The government will draft legislation for unrestricted access to terminations up to 12 weeks, but this will only be voted on if the referendum passes.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/30/abortion-referendum-ireland-women-protest-politicians-leo-varadkar-micheal-martin-repeal-mov?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_todayworld

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Ireland: Micheál Martin’s abortion stance a response to strong mood for change

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Micheál Martin’s abortion stance a response to strong mood for change
The promise of change, renewal, reform is a very powerful political trope

Jan 20, 2018
Pat Leahy

When the referendum on same-sex marriage was passed in 2015, the world marvelled at how Ireland had changed. Once a byword for austere Catholic conservatism, suddenly we had become the first country in the world to endorse marriage equality in a popular vote. Truth to tell, we were probably surprised ourselves.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/miche%C3%A1l-martin-s-abortion-stance-a-response-to-strong-mood-for-change-1.3361479

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Ireland: Abortion law campaigners ‘preach only to converted’

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Abortion law campaigners ‘preach only to converted’

Colin Coyle
December 10 2017

The abortion debate in Ireland mostly reinforces the opinions of your peer group “rather than convinces the opposite party to change their position”, Finnish academics have concluded.

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland checked parliamentary records and online news sources, including blogs, to analyse how abortion was debated in Ireland and Finland. The abortion law in Finland is more liberal, with terminations available in most circumstances up to 20 weeks.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-law-campaigners-preach-only-to-converted-h37x5g9lq

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