Ireland – On abortion we are subjects of Brexit Britain

Fintan O'Toole: On abortion we are subjects of Brexit Britain
Anti-abortionists depend on pagan England to uphold their vision of a holy Ireland

May 12, 2018
Fintan O'Toole

Independence means having your own state. But it is also a state of mind. There has been an independent Irish State for nearly a century, but whether Ireland has ever been psychologically independent is a whole other matter. It is a question, as it happens, that hovers over two of the biggest issues currently occupying Irish minds: Brexit and the abortion referendum. They may seem to be miles apart but underlying both is the extent to which Ireland is ready to be psychologically independent from Britain.

If we leave aside the existential questions of partition and Irish unity, abortion is arguably the last great remnant of post-colonial dependency. Where once the failure of Irish independence was symbolised by the emigrant crossing the Irish Sea on a cattle boat to get a job, now it is symbolised by the Irish woman crossing the Irish Sea on a Ryanair flight to terminate a pregnancy. When it comes to abortion, both those who want it and those who purport to despise it thank God for Mother England. Women depend on England to uphold their right to choose. Anti-abortionists depend on England to uphold their vision of a holy Catholic Ireland where such abominations are not permitted.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/fintan-o-toole-on-abortion-we-are-subjects-of-brexit-britain-1.3490655

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Ireland – 8th Amendment demands punishment for women

Fintan O’Toole: 8th Amendment demands punishment for women
Constitutional ban means Ireland too extreme even for mainstream social conservatives

April 30, 2018
Fintan O'Toole

I’m not sure people who want to defend the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution know how extreme their position is. Extreme, that is to say, not by the standards of those of us who always opposed it and would like it to be repealed, but even by the standards of mainstream social conservatism.

The Eighth is, in one crucial respect, on the lunatic fringe of anti-abortion activism. This is because, as has been made clear in recent years, it does not merely outlaw abortion in all but a very small range of circumstances. It does something else, something that most sensible conservatives regard as repugnant – it demands severe punishment for women who have abortions. There is no way around this: while the Eighth is in place, Ireland is committed to treating abortion, not just as a moral wrong, but as a crime more serious than, for example, child rape.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-8th-amendment-demands-punishment-for-women-1.3479390

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Fintan O’Toole: How I discovered what I felt about abortion

Fintan O'Toole: How I discovered what I felt about abortion
I was 18 when asked to help a girl get an abortion. I knew it was not about me, it was about her

April 23, 2018
Fintan O'Toole

When I was 18, I knew nothing about anything and even less about abortion. I had never really thought about it. I suppose I had a vague feeling that it was a bad thing, to be contemplated only in extreme circumstances. And then in summer 1976 I had to discover what I felt about abortion. It took me all of 30 seconds.

Very few people in my part of the world went to university. I was a student in UCD. This lent me an aura of sophistication and knowingness that was laughably distant from the truth. But because of it, a male friend my own age called in and asked me to go with him to his house. His mother and father were in the sitting room with his sister who was, I think, 16. She was pregnant and she had made up her mind that she did not want to have the baby. Did I know how to go about arranging to have an abortion in England?

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-how-i-discovered-what-i-felt-about-abortion-1.3471554

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Ireland – Eighth Amendment has failed even conservatives

Fintan O’Toole: Eighth Amendment has failed even conservatives
Effect was arguably to break silence on abortion and make it more acceptable

April 10, 2018
Fintan O'Toole

There is not much that the two sides in the abortion referendum campaign will ever agree on. But one perception they share is that the insertion of the Eighth Amendment into the Constitution in 1983 was a great victory for those who are opposed to abortion.

This seems blindingly obvious. After all, the self-described Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC) was stunningly effective. Within a mere two years of its foundation, it not only got the two main political parties to accede to its demand for a referendum, but persuaded two-thirds of voters to back its precise wording for the amendment.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-eighth-amendment-has-failed-even-conservatives-1.3455792

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Ireland- Myths and lies about abortion must be debunked

Myths and lies about abortion must be debunked
We are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs – but not our own facts

Apr 2, 2018
David Robert Grimes

Abortion has long been a contentious issue in Ireland, replete with emotive and frequently dubious rhetoric. This was recently exemplified by Save the Eighth billboard campaign featuring an abortion nurse detailing the horrors he had witnessed.

This testimony was somewhat undermined by the revelation it had been fabricated, leading to the unedifying sight of campaign manager John McGuirk rapidly pivoting from legal threats to grudging acceptance, a volte-face hard to distinguish from surrealist performance art. As the referendum looms ever closer, it is inevitable campaigning will become more charged, both online and off.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/myths-and-lies-about-abortion-must-be-debunked-1.3448176

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Ireland – Abortion fake-news firestorm heading our way

Fintan O’Toole: Abortion fake-news firestorm heading our way
Why has Save the 8th hired consultant at heart of Trump-Mercer-Brexit data nexus?

March 27, 2018
Fintan O'Toole

If you like my stuff you’re an ignoramus. Many people would agree with this as a general proposition, but I mean it in a more specific sense. If you’ve ever liked or shared one of my columns online, data-analysis firms probably identify you as a hopeless lefty liberal. And you will therefore be ignorant of the big social-media campaign against the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which bans abortion in almost all circumstances. That campaign will be modelled on those that helped both Donald Trump and Brexit to victory. It will use microtargeting to direct specific messages to those who can be most easily swayed by them. You won’t see them – and as things stand Irish regulations will do nothing to control them.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-abortion-fake-news-firestorm-heading-our-way-1.3440927

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In Ireland, A Vote Is Expected This Spring On Expanding Abortion Rights

In Ireland, A Vote Is Expected This Spring On Expanding Abortion Rights

March 6, 2018
Lauren Frayer

At her home in Dublin, actress Tara Flynn recalls how, 12 years ago, she learned she was pregnant. It was not planned.

"I was 37. I was single. I wasn't working very much, and I didn't want to be a parent," Flynn says.

She didn't want to have a baby and give it up for adoption, either. But with abortion illegal in Ireland, her only option at the time was to leave the country to end her pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/03/06/590922520/in-ireland-a-vote-is-expected-this-spring-on-expanding-abortion-rights

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Fintan O’Toole: Ireland’s abortion regime is too cruel even for Trump

Fintan O'Toole: Ireland's abortion regime is too cruel even for Trump
Eighth Amendment law about locking up women and doctors really is step too far

Dec 19, 2017
Fintan O'Toole

Is there no line Donald Trump would not cross? Actually, there is one. It’s not incinerating an entire country, as he threatened to do to North Korea, or incinerating the entire planet by undermining the Paris accord on climate change. It’s not smearing an entire nation, as he did by calling Mexicans rapists. It’s not cosying up to neo-Nazis by claiming that there are some “very fine people” among them. It’s not even republishing to his 40 million Twitter followers anti-Islamic propaganda videos from a British neo-Nazi group. Trump has crossed all of these lines and so many more and never felt that he had gone too far and ought to retreat.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-ireland-s-abortion-regime-is-too-cruel-even-for-trump-1.3331398

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