Why Ireland’s battle over abortion is far from over
From sham websites to rogue crisis pregnancy centres, Irish anti-abortionists are using shocking tactics to block women’s rights to safe abortions
Thu 3 Oct 2019
It has been more than a year since the landslide vote for abortion rights in Ireland, yet last weekend hundreds of people were once more marching through the streets of Dublin, chanting: “Get your rosaries off our ovaries!” “It’s nonsense, what are they marching for?” a guard standing on the road outside the National maternity hospital asked a colleague on a motorbike – referring to the 2018 referendum in which the Irish public voted overwhelmingly to repeal the law prohibiting abortion. The answer is that, while the law may have changed, many people are still struggling to access abortions in Ireland due to a lack of provision, the time restrictions on terminations, the illegal activities of anti-abortion campaigners – and an enduring legacy of shame.
Abortion law change: Is Northern Ireland really next?
Pro-choice activists in the North hope a string of court cases will advance their cause
Sat, Jan 12, 2019
On the 29th of this month, Sarah Ewart will appear before the High court in Belfast to present her case that women in Northern Ireland should have access to rights enjoyed by women in all other parts of the United Kingdom.
Ewart is bracing herself – this appearance, while demanding, will be infinitely less agonising than other ordeals she has been through. Five years ago, aged 23, the Belfast woman travelled to an abortion clinic in England to terminate a much wanted pregnancy that was otherwise going to end with the birth of a baby with a foetal abnormality.
FEATURE: Brilliant Letter to Irish Minister of Health Simon Harris
from the Abortion Support Network, London
19 December 2018
6 December 2018
Dear Mr Simon Harris
You and I don’t know each other, although I follow you on Twitter. We share a common area of interest, or, if not interest, a common duty to protect.
I am not a health official or a medical professional. I am the founder of Abortion Support Network (www.asn.org.uk), the England-based charity that provides information on the least expensive methods of abortion and travel and money towards the E500 to E3000 it can cost to travel and pay privately for the procedure. We are a small organisation, without an office or a land line, and since we started in 2009 we have helped almost 5,000 people. The majority have been resident in the Republic of Ireland.
FEATURE - Ireland: The Abortion Bill passes the first house
International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion.
11 December 2018
Abortion bill passed by a large majority
On 6 December 2018, the lower house of the Irish parliament passed the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill at midnight with a vote of 90 for, 15 against, and 12 abstentions, after hours of debate and consideration of 60 amendments, almost all of which were voted down with large majorities. Minister of Health Simon Harris remained in strict control throughout the process, rejecting amendments by pro-choice members to make the bill less restrictive and by conservative/anti-abortion members to make it more restrictive, claiming throughout that he was determined to give the people the bill he promised before the referendum on the 8th Amendment to the Constitution in May. A small number of conservative members fought till the end, talking at length each amendment. Then, finally, it was passed. It moved the very next morning to the upper house. Ivana Bacik, a Labour Party member in the upper house, said she thought it very likely that the bill would become law before the holiday recess later this month.
Irish Lawmakers Vote to Allow Abortion, Part of Landmark Liberal Shift
By Ed O’Loughlin
Dec. 6, 2018
DUBLIN — Fighting off last-ditch resistance, Irish lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill introducing free and legal abortion to a nation that was long a bastion of staunchly conservative Catholicism, seven months after voters repealed a constitutional ban on abortion.
An often heated session of the Parliament’s lower house on Wednesday had to be extended several times, as a small number of members — mainly independent conservatives — talked at length on dozens of amendments, almost all of which were voted down by large majorities. The bill’s opponents attempted to prolong the debate even further, which could have derailed the government’s plan to make abortion available in January.
This abortion law isn't what Ireland voted for
The Dáil should listen to the voters, not generate red tape that could stop vulnerable people getting the care they need
Tue 4 Dec 2018
In 1983, as the Irish electorate voted in favour of a constitutional ban on abortion, campaigners warned in bold print: “This Amendment Could Kill Women.”
Following the tragedy of Savita Halappanavar’s death in 2012, Irish politicians were forced to legislate on a 20-year-old supreme court decision, one that consecutive governments had conspicuously kicked into the long grass. In 1992, a judge had ruled that a suicidal teenage rape victim had the right to an abortion. When the government finally produced the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, it was so clearly unfit for purpose that the Abortion Rights Campaign doubted it would enable a suicidal teenage rape victim to access a termination at all.
From Linda Kavanagh to Tracy Harkin: A guide to who's who in Ireland's divisive abortion debate
With Ireland's landmark referendum on the Eighth Amendment looming, voices on both sides of the abortion debate are getting louder. But who exactly is lining out?
February 4 2018
It has been a momentous week for campaigners on both sides of the great abortion debate as it was finally confirmed that a referendum would be held this summer. Friday, May 25, is thought to be the most likely day for the referendum, one that pro-choice supporters hope will forever lift the ban on abortion.
But despite a series of opinion polls that indicate that the majority of the country wants change, the pro-life side believes a large cohort of people opposed to abortion have not had their voices heard.