Bring on the Irish abortion referendum

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Bring on the Irish abortion referendum

Ella Whelan
assistant editor

This is our chance to make the positive case for women’s rights.

16 June 2017

In his first day in office as the new Fine Gael Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar announced that the Republic of Ireland will have a referendum on the Eighth Amendment next year.

The Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which was added following a referendum on abortion rights in 1983, ensures the right to life of the unborn. This means that a woman’s life and rights are equated with that of an embryo. Irish women cannot access abortion services, even in the event of rape or fatal fetal abnormality. They are forced to buy medicine illegally online, or travel to the UK at their own expense to access abortion services there.

Continued at source: Spiked: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/bring-on-the-irish-abortion-referendum/19967

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Ireland: Backing for repeal to fade during campaign, say anti-abortion group

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Backing for repeal to fade during campaign, say anti-abortion group
Pro-choice campaign hails ‘public support’ for abortion under certain circumstances

Sat, May 27, 2017
Ciarán D'Arcy

Public support for abortion in cases of rape and fatal foetal abnormality as outlined in today’s Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll will recede once a referendum is called, an anti-abortion group has claimed.

The survey of 1,200 voters carried out earlier this week revealed that 67 per cent of those polled would support access to abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, rising to 72 per cent where the woman’s mental health is at serious risk and 76 per cent for cases of rape.

Continued at source: Irish Times: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/backing-for-repeal-to-fade-during-campaign-say-anti-abortion-group-1.3099085

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Ireland: Abortion: Pro-choice rally urges February 2018 referendum

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Abortion: Pro-choice rally urges February 2018 referendum
Protest called by Coalition to Repeal the Eighth follows Citizens’ Assembly proposal

Tue, May 2, 2017
Aine McMahon

A rally was held by pro-choice campaigners outside Leinster House on Tuesday evening calling for an abortion referendum to be held next February.

It was organised by The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, an alliance of more than 70 organisations campaigning to repeal the Eight Amendment.

Continued at source: Irish Times: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/abortion-pro-choice-rally-urges-february-2018-referendum-1.3069199

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Ireland: Sinn Féin pressing ahead with campaign to repeal 8th Amendment

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Latest: Sinn Féin pressing ahead with campaign to repeal 8th Amendment
Monday, April 24, 2017

Update 3pm: Sinn Féin has said the Oireachtas should not be bound by the Citizens Assembly’s findings on abortion.

Health spokeswoman Louise O’Reilly says TDs should still have discretion to put forward their own policies on the subject.

The Assembly wants a referendum to give the Oireachtas the power to legislate on the subject, and then for laws to allow abortion in any circumstances up to 12 weeks.

Continued at link: http://www.wexfordecho.ie/2017/04/24/citizens-assembly-calls-to-legislate-for-abortion-politicians-need-to-do-as-they-say/

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Ireland Just Reached A “Milestone” In Its Fight To Legalise Abortion

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Ireland Just Reached A "Milestone" In Its Fight To Legalise Abortion

A referendum edges closer after a group of members of the public assembled by the Irish government voted overwhelmingly to allow abortion for a wide range of reasons.

Posted on April 24, 2017

Laura Silver
BuzzFeed News Reporter

The prospect of abortion being legalised in Ireland moved a step closer at the weekend after an advisory group of members of the public indicated they would like to see radical reform to the country's abortion laws.

Abortion is currently illegal in almost all circumstances in Ireland. The eighth amendment of the constitution states that the procedure can only be carried out if a women's life is in immediate danger.

On Saturday, 87% of the 99 members of the Citizens' Assembly – a group of ordinary people established by prime minister Enda Kenny to advise on changes to the law regarding several key issues – voted in favour of repealing the eighth amendment.

Continued at source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/laurasilver/ireland-just-reached-a-milestone-in-its-fight-to-legalise?

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Ireland: Citizens’ Assembly to vote on abortion laws recommendation

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Citizens’ Assembly to vote on abortion laws recommendation

Body will meet for final time to consider future of Eighth Amendment this weekend

April 18, 2017
Pat Leahy

The Citizens’ Assembly is due to vote this weekend on whether to recommend any change to the State’s abortion laws.

The 100-strong body will meet for the final time to consider the future of the Eighth Amendment, which was inserted into the Constitution in 1983 and guarantees to protect the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn.

In a statement to The Irish Times on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the assembly said the weekend’s programme “will be focused exclusively on reaching these recommendations primarily by ballot paper voting.

Continued at source: Irish Times: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/citizens-assembly-to-vote-on-abortion-laws-recommendation-1.3053200

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Ireland compensates woman forced to travel to Britain for an abortion

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Government agreed to pay compensation for trauma to Amanda Mellet after she was forced to obtain a termination of her pregnancy in England

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent, The Guardian

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Ireland has for the first time in its history compensated a woman for the trauma caused by forcing her to travel to Britain for an abortion.

Pro-choice campaigners in the Republic said the Fine Gael-led minority government’s agreement on Wednesday to pay compensation to Amanda Mellet was highly significant.

Mellet and her husband James took their case all the way to the UN’s Human Rights Committee after the couple were forced to obtain a termination of her pregnancy in England.

[continued at link]
Source: The Guardian

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Ireland’s Long Journey on Abortion

Bill Bragg

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By SADHBH WALSHE
September 2, 2016, New York Times

DUBLIN — “Not the first or the last bleeding women about to face a long trek home.” This was one of the tweets sent this month to the Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, from a woman who was traveling abroad for an abortion.

The woman and a friend set up a Twitter account, @TwoWomenTravel, to live-tweet her experience as she flew from Ireland to England for an abortion that she could not obtain safely or legally in her own country. By documenting the dreary trip with photographs of bleak-looking places along the way, the women sought to highlight the hypocrisy of lawmakers. These politicians turn a blind eye to the thousands of Irish women who travel abroad for terminations while imposing a 14-year prison sentence on any woman who procures the same service at home.

Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion, known as the Eighth Amendment, grants a fetus the same right to life as the woman carrying it. Since the amendment was championed by Roman Catholic groups in the 1980s, successive Irish governments — despite probably fearing more for their re-election chances than for their mortal souls — have allowed the church to dictate the terms of the abortion debate.

[continued at link]
Source: The New York Times

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Ireland: In a country where no one wants to talk about abortion, these women live-tweeted it

Forced 2 leave Ireland, @EndaKennyTD waiting room,waiting for our loved ones #twowomentravel 8:59 AM - 20 Aug 2016

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August 25, 2016 · 12:00 PM EDT
By Shondiin Silversmith

It is illegal for women to get an abortion in Ireland unless the pregnancy directly threatens her life.

With no other options, two women live-tweeted as they traveled to the United Kingdom for the procedure.

@TwoWomenTravel live-tweeted from Friday to Sunday. The description of the Twitter account states “Two Women, one procedure, 48 hours away from home.”

The women kept their identities private, and the account of the trip could not be independently confirmed.

Many of the tweets sent out from that account included Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny's Twitter handle @EndaKennyTD as well as the hashtag #twowomentravel.

[continued at link]
Source: PRI.org

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This Irish Abortion Activist Has Been Fighting For Women’s Rights For Decades

Irish feminist and LGBTQ activist Ailbhe Smyth

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by Hillary E. Crawford
Aug 25, 2016

The fight for reproductive rights and physical autonomy extends far past U.S. borders, necessitating an international movement that unites pro-choice women everywhere. As the battle to make abortion more accessible in the states continues, women in Ireland are protesting their constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which bans abortion entirely unless extremely special circumstances are met. Impassioned feminist and LGBTQ activist Ailbhe Smyth is at the front lines of the movement to eradicate Ireland's Eighth Amendment and create a more inclusive society. For the past 40 years she has pushed for women’s rights, and she has great hope for Ireland’s next generation.

Smyth, the convenor of Ireland's Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, became involved in the women’s rights movement as a college student during the 1970s. When her daughter was born, she remained in the movement to fight for her rights. And when her daughter’s daughter was born years later, the new grandmother viewed the struggle as even more relevant to the next generation. Her efforts, in other words, know no generational boundaries. They apply to women of all ages who want reproductive autonomy.

[continued at link]
Source: Bustle.com

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