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 But, a historic vote in May delivered a landslide rebuke that rescinded the country’s constitutional provision recognizing the equal rights to life of both a woman and a fetus, opening the door to expanded reproductive autonomy.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 – Abortion Bill will commit to exclusion zones around services

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Abortion Bill will commit to exclusion zones around services
Zones of 100m-150m intended to stop women being harassed while accessing services

Fri, Jul 6, 2018
Sarah Bardon

The Government will commit to the introduction of exclusion zones of 100m-150m to prevent women facing vulgar imagery when accessing abortion services.

Minister for Health Simon Harris is to bring the Heads of the Health (Regulation of the Termination of Pregnancy) Bill to Cabinet on Tuesday, which will outline the circumstances in which abortions will be available in this country.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/abortion-bill-will-commit-to-exclusion-zones-around-services-1.3556802

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Ireland’s Path to Legalizing Abortion

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Ireland’s Path to Legalizing Abortion
At a time when the United States may render it illegal

Shirley Graham
July 5, 2018

On May 25, 2018, I traveled from Washington, D.C., to Dublin to vote in a referendum that would decide whether women in Ireland would have full access to their reproductive healthcare and rights. I was one of the 40,000 diaspora Irish who returned from different corners of the globe (only recent emigres were eligible) to be part of a feminist movement that would make history. When the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution was passed the next day with 66 percent voting in favor, the country heaved a collective sigh of relief.

In the lead-up to the referendum, women were forced to share previously untold stories of private ordeals and personal tragedies in order to persuade the Irish population that it could no longer export this problem to the United Kingdom.

Continued: http://prospect.org/article/ireland%E2%80%99s-path-legalizing-abortion

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Introduction of legislation on abortion not possible before summer break

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Introduction of legislation on abortion not possible before summer break
No mention of abortion Bill in list of 19 Bills Government is seeking to progress in next fortnight

June 27, 2018
Pat Leahy

The Government has conceded it will not now be possible to introduce legislation on abortion before the summer break, significantly extending the time before the legislation is on the statute books.

In a document circulated to members of the Dáil Business Committee, the Government has listed a large number of Bills it intends to bring to the House before the summer recess begins in mid-July. However, there is no mention of the abortion Bill in the list of 19 Bills that the Government is seeking progress on in the next fortnight.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/introduction-of-legislation-on-abortion-not-possible-before-summer-break-1.3544827

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Ireland – Abolish three-day waiting period for abortion, TD demands

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Abolish three-day waiting period for abortion, TD demands
Heads of a Bill to regulate the termination of pregnancy is due to be published next month

Fri, Jun 22, 2018
Sarah Bardon Political Reporter

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger has called on the Government to remove the three-day waiting period from the proposed abortion legislation.

Ms Coppinger has sent a lengthy submission to Minister for Health Simon Harris, who is preparing a Bill to regulate the termination of pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abolish-three-day-waiting-period-for-abortion-td-demands-1.3540373

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Ireland – Minister wants abortion services in place from next January

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Minister wants abortion services in place from next January

Thursday, 21 Jun 2018
By Joe Mag Raollaigh

The Minister for Health has reiterated that he wants to introduce abortion services from January 2019.

Speaking at the AGM of the National Women's Council, Simon Harris said that there are a number of legal challenges to the referendum result and he respects the court must do its work.

Continued: https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2018/0621/972142-national-womens-council/

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IRELAND – Women deserve a carefully considered abortion provision

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Women deserve a carefully considered abortion provision
Monday, June 18, 2018

Prior to legislation, the Government must take time for research and consultation on contraception and abortion services, says Claire McCarthy.

IT is more than three weeks since the referendum on the Eighth Amendment. With a turnout of over 64% and a Yes vote of 67%, voters gave the Government a strong mandate to repeal the Eighth and introduce abortion services in Ireland.

The challenge now is to ensure the services are provided appropriately, safely, and in a manner acceptable both to women and healthcare providers.

On May 31, six days after the vote, a group of doctors met in Cork to discuss these issues. The group was comprised mainly of GPs and obstetricians and gynaecologists based in Cork and Kerry. We all supported a Yes vote in the referendum; we have all experienced the negative effects of the Eighth, and are all relieved to finally see it repealed.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/analysis/women-deserve-a-carefully-considered-abortion-provision-849454.html

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Ireland – No abortion legislation until all court challenges have ended

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No abortion legislation until all court challenges have ended
Minister for Health plans to publish legislation in early July regardless of court actions

June 14, 2018
Sarah Bardon

The Government cannot introduce legislation to allow for abortion services until all court challenges to the result of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment are concluded, The Irish Times has learned.

The referendum, which paved the way for liberalising the State’s strict abortion laws, was passed by a near two-to-one majority last month, but there have been a number of court challenges to the result.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/no-abortion-legislation-until-all-court-challenges-have-ended-1.3529605

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Ireland – Government not ‘legally able’ to introduce abortion Bill, Harris says

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Government not ‘legally able’ to introduce abortion Bill, Harris says
Attorney General says law cannot be considered by Oireachtas until challenges dealt with

June 14, 2018
Sarah Bardon Political Reporter

The Government may not be able to introduce legislation to regulate the termination of pregnancy until the autumn, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Harris said he had received clear legal advice from Attorney General Séamus Woulfe stating that the law to implement the result on the referendum on the Eighth Amendment cannot be considered by the Oireachtas until all court challenges to the outcome have concluded.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/government-not-legally-able-to-introduce-abortion-bill-harris-says-1.3530823

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Ireland – Drafting of abortion law to proceed despite court challenge

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Drafting of abortion law to proceed despite court challenge
Concluding all possible legal avenues by early July will be extremely difficult

June 7, 2018
Pat Leahy

The Department of Health will continue to draft abortion legislation and make preparations for the introduction of abortion services while a court challenge to the result of the referendum proceeds.

The Government still hopes to table legislation in the Dáil before the summer recess, currently scheduled for July 12th or 13th. That would enable the committee stage of the Bill to take place in September before the Dáil returns, meaning that the legislation could be through the Dáil by late September.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/drafting-of-abortion-law-to-proceed-despite-court-challenge-1.3521632

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