Removing shackles of abortion restrictions in Ireland

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Removing shackles of abortion restrictions in Ireland

July 18, 2018

The landslide victory of the Yes campaign in the May 2018 referendum paves the way for an end to decades of harms caused by the abortion ban (the 8th amendment) of the Irish Constitution.

Inserted in 1983, this provision prevented legal abortion in all cases except risk to a pregnant woman’s life. It has forced thousands of women and girls to leave Ireland to access care, to undergo illegal abortions or to continue pregnancy against their will.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/removing-shackles-abortion-restrictions-ireland

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Why the fight for legal abortion is only half the battle

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Why the fight for legal abortion is only half the battle

July 13, 2018
By Shannon Kowalski and Susan Wood

For years, Irish women have been forced to travel abroad or seek underground abortion services. But, a historic vote in May delivered a landslide rebuke that rescinded the country’s constitutional provision recognizing the equal rights to life of both a woman and a fetus, opening the door to expanded reproductive autonomy. The euphoria over this victory has barely settled, and already steps are being taken to curb Irish women’s hard-won right. The new front of resistance to women’s rights emerges from those who seek to allow medical professionals to deny women abortion services based on their own religious or moral beliefs. It would be a mistake for Ireland’s legislators to allow such refusals, which ultimately endanger and discriminate against women.

Since 2000, 28 countries have liberalized their abortion laws. In response to this progress, anti-choice advocates and policy makers have mounted a deliberate campaign to undermine women’s access to legal abortion services. A primary tactic has been establishing laws and policies that allow doctors to opt out of fulfilling their professional obligation to provide health care services on the basis of their personal beliefs. The use of these so-called “conscience” claims is on the rise worldwide.

Continued: http://www.euronews.com/2018/07/13/why-the-fight-for-legal-abortion-is-only-half-the-battle-view

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Ireland – Court to hear legal challenges to abortion referendum result

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Court to hear legal challenges to abortion referendum result
One challenger questions if some student voters at NUIG were properly registered

June 11, 2018
Mary Carolan

The president of the High Court has fixed June 26th for hearing three separate applications for permission to challenge the result of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

One of the challengers, Charles Byrne, who has raised concerns about whether a number of student voters at NUI Galway were properly registered, also wants copies of the marked register of voters.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/court-to-hear-legal-challenges-to-abortion-referendum-result-1.3526581

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Ireland – Three court challenges initiated to abortion referendum result

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Three court challenges initiated to abortion referendum result

June 5, 2018
Mary Carolan

Three separate applications have been initiated seeking permission to bring petitions challenging the result of the referendum to repeal the Eighth amendment.

All three have been adjourned to Monday when they will come before the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/high-court/three-court-challenges-initiated-to-abortion-referendum-result-1.3520188

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The British territory with Europe’s harshest abortion laws

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The British territory with Europe's harshest abortion laws

By John Owen
9 May 2018

The tiny British territory of Gibraltar has the harshest anti-abortion laws anywhere in Europe - the penalty for breaching the law is life imprisonment. But with Brexit looming and the Irish abortion referendum just weeks away, campaigners are hoping for change.

Gibraltar's residents, who live on a two-mile strip of land at the tip of Spain, are British citizens, and many feel a deep affinity with the UK.

But in one respect they are very different.

continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44008790

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Fianna Fáil leader criticises ‘offensive’ anti-abortion claims

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Fianna Fáil leader criticises ‘offensive’ anti-abortion claims
Micheál Martin says Eighth Amendment ‘cruelly insensitive’ to women of Ireland

May 9, 2018
Sarah Bardon

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has criticised “dishonest and offensive” campaigning by some anti-abortion groups, claiming they are deliberately spreading inaccuracies about what a Yes vote in the May 25th referendum will mean.

Mr Martin rejected the suggestion that repealing the Eighth Amendment would lead to unlimited abortions or late-term terminations.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/fianna-f%C3%A1il-leader-criticises-offensive-anti-abortion-claims-1.3489596

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Exporting Censorship: How U.S. Restrictions on Abortion Speech and Funding Violate International Law, Part 1

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Exporting Censorship: How U.S. Restrictions on Abortion Speech and Funding Violate International Law, Part 1
May 7, 2018
Akila Radhakrishnan & Kristin Smith

Part 1: The Helms Amendment and Freedom of Speech

This is the first of a two-part post exploring how U.S. restrictions on abortion-related speech, activities, and funding violate U.S. human rights obligations under the ICCPR. Although much attention is rightfully paid to the devastating impact of the reimposed Global Gag Rule, the Helms and Siljander Amendments (which have been permanently in place since the 1970s) often command less consideration. These restrictions are discussed separately here in order to illustrate their unique effects on freedoms of speech and association. However, Helms, Siljander and the Global Gag Rule all fall short of the ICCPR’s requirements and therefore violate freedoms of speech and association in complex ways, as examined in more detail in the Global Justice Center’s recent brief. This post explores how the Helms and Siljander Amendments fail to meet the ICCPR’s standards for lawful restrictions on the freedom of speech. Part Two will focus on the Global Gag Rule and its violation of the freedom of association.

Continued: https://ilg2.org/2018/05/07/exporting-censorship-how-u-s-restrictions-on-abortion-speech-and-funding-violate-international-law-part-1/

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Malta – Need to reform abortion law – Nils Muižnieks

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Need to reform abortion law - Nils Muižnieks

Monday, February 26, 2018
Nils Muižnieks

When I visited Malta last November, I noted how the very restrictive legislation on abortion jeopardised women’s rights. I was also particularly struck by the lack of an open debate about this issue. It is, therefore, encouraging that some voices are now starting to challenge the taboo that still surrounds discussions on abortion. To increase the chances of this debate leading to positive change for all women, it is necessary that discussions be well informed and avoid misconceptions.

Some argue that access to abortion care is not a matter of women’s human rights. Others, in Malta and elsewhere, question whether this is a human right at all.

Continued: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180226/opinion/need-to-reform-abortion-law-nils-muiznieks.671761

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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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#25YearsOfWomen’sHell – 25th disgraceful anniversary of the Polish anti-abortion law

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#25YearsOfWomen’sHell – 25th disgraceful anniversary of the Polish anti-abortion law
Jan 9, 2017
Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning

7th January 1993 Act on Family Planning, Human Embryo Protection and Conditions of Legal Pregnancy Termination (later: the Act) has had a detrimental effect on women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights for 25 years. Due to the anniversary and upcoming debates about two abortion-related citizens’ bills[1] in the Parliament, the Federation for Women and Family Planning has launched the #25YearsOfWomen’sHell campaign so as to illustrate the fictional character of the Act and its multiple negative effects. Follow memes with the hashtag to learn and share facts about SRHR in Poland.

80 pro-choice organizations have supported and signed the Federation’s statement concerning the “Save women” bill on women’s rights and conscious parenthood so as to appeal to the MPs for a fact-based, open-minded and genuine debate in the Parliament as well as for a vote in favour of the bill.

Continued at source: http://en.federa.org.pl/25yearsofwomenshell/

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