Ireland – Abortion vote moves step closer as cabinet prepares policy paper

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Abortion vote moves step closer as cabinet prepares policy paper

Jennifer Bray, Ireland Deputy Political Editor
February 19 2018

Plans for a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment will be set in motion by the Irish government at a cabinet meeting tomorrow.

Simon Harris, the health minister, will bring a memo forward containing the heads of a new bill to provide the legislative grounds for a vote in late May or early June.

It is expected that the full bill will be published early next month and that the government will publish a policy paper at the same time that will detail the laws it intends to bring in if the ban on abortion is repealed.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-vote-moves-step-closer-as-cabinet-prepares-policy-paper-zlbxzjmfx

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The Irish Expats Flying Home to Vote Against Ireland’s Abortion Ban

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The Irish Expats Flying Home to Vote Against Ireland's Abortion Ban
“I am traveling home to vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment on behalf of all the women and girls in Ireland who do not have a choice about what happens to their bodies.”

Zing Tsjeng
Feb 16 2018

As the month of the Irish abortion referendum draws closer, a new campaign is encouraging people to make the journey home to Ireland to cast their ballot.

At the beginning of the year, the Irish government announced that it would hold a vote on repealing the Eighth Amendment by the end of May. The controversial legislation gives an unborn fetus the same right to life as a mother and effectively prohibits abortion unless the pregnancy is life-threatening to the woman. In 2016, the United Nations declared that the ban on abortion was illegal and inhumane.

Continued: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/neq3kw/ireland-abortion-vote-referendum-expats

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Ireland: Abortion: Taoiseach defends 12-week plan amid Cabinet split

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Abortion: Taoiseach defends 12-week plan amid Cabinet split
Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris and nine other Ministers support the 12-week proposal

Feb 6, 2018
Sarah Bardon

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended the Government’s proposals to legislate for abortions up to 12 weeks in light of criticism of the measures by Tánaiste Simon Coveney.

Mr Coveney has outlined his difficulties in legislating for unrestricted access to terminations in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-taoiseach-defends-12-week-plan-amid-cabinet-split-1.3381941

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Ireland: ‘It’s going to be divisive’: FG members remain split on abortion

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‘It’s going to be divisive’: FG members remain split on abortion
Party’s female politicians tend to back reform, but rural representatives have concerns

Feb 5, 2018
Harry McGee

For weeks, even months, in Leinster House, the abortion issue has dominated discussion within Fine Gael so much that little else has got a look-in.

But if you step outside its ornate wrought-iron gates and travel south to liberal Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, or to the mixed political terrain of Co Wicklow and across the country to conservative counties such as Sligo and Leitrim, is it the same? Are councillors and party members quite as engaged as their TDs and Senators?

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/it-s-going-to-be-divisive-fg-members-remain-split-on-abortion-1.3379685

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Not only in Ireland is there a fight to be won on abortion

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Not only in Ireland is there a fight to be won on abortion
Sarah Ditum
Dublin might be preparing for change, but in Poland and elsewhere women’s rights are under threat

Sun 4 Feb 2018

Before the end of May, Ireland will hold a referendum that could finally give Irish women legal access to abortion in their own country. It feels like the time is right for change. The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who made the announcement last week, called himself “pro-life” as recently as 2015; now he says he’ll be campaigning against the repressive eighth amendment that values a foetus’s right to life equally with a pregnant woman’s (or, in the language of the constitution, the “unborn” and the “mother”). It’s a stunning and very welcome reversal.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/04/not-only-ireland-we-need-new-view-on-abortion

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From Linda Kavanagh to Tracy Harkin: A guide to who’s who in Ireland’s divisive abortion debate

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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?

John Meagher
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.

Continued: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/abortion-referendum/from-linda-kavanagh-to-tracy-harkin-a-guide-to-whos-who-in-irelands-divisive-abortion-debate-36558195.html

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Ireland divided as vote on abortion tests faith and the old order

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Ireland divided as vote on abortion tests faith and the old order
In the only Irish county to vote against same-sex marriage, a close vote is expected in May

Kevin McKenna
Sat 3 Feb 2018

The eighth amendment of the Irish constitution makes Ireland, depending on your point of view, either a unique beacon of humanity in a godless world or a superstitious hamlet determined not to enter into the 21st century. The amendment was signed into law in October 1983 after two-thirds of the electorate voted in a referendum to accord equal status to the life of a child growing in the womb with that of its mother. As a result, only in extreme circumstances can an abortion take place.

Pointing out that no one under the age of 52 had ever voted on the issue, the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, last week announced that a referendum would take place by the end of May to repeal the amendment.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/03/ireland-abortion-referendum-divided-vote-faith-old-order

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It’s been a long road to Ireland’s abortion referendum – so what will happen now?

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It's been a long road to Ireland's abortion referendum - so what will happen now?

Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of Bpas
30 January 2018

I became a pro-choice advocate 30 years ago, when I met a girl of my age who had been sent to a young mothers’ home in England before her pregnancy was visible. She had been told to stay there until she ‘looked normal again’ so no one would know her family’s shame.

So, when I heard that the Irish Prime Minister has confirmed a referendum that could change the country's laws that all but ban abortion and enable women's access to terminations, I thought - at last.

Continued: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/long-road-irelands-abortion-referendum-will-happen-now/

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Irish health minister defends abortion ban referendum

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Irish health minister defends abortion ban referendum

The Associated Press
Gregory Katz
January 30, 2018

LONDON — Irish women are having abortions regardless of a near-total constitutional ban on terminating pregnancies, the country’s health minister said Tuesday in defence of a planned referendum that will ask voters whether the amendment should be repealed.

Health Minister Simon Harris said on Ireland’s RTE television that he is beginning work on a proposed abortion law that would be submitted to parliament if the May referendum removes the constitutional ban. The legislation would allow abortions during the first trimester, he said.

Continued: http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/irish-health-minister-working-on-proposed-new-abortion-law

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At last, an abortion referendum. Women’s protest has won over Irish politicians

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At last, an abortion referendum. Women’s protest has won over Irish politicians

Emer O'Toole
Tue 30 Jan 2018

Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin have shifted from anti-abortion stances. If we can convince them, we can convince our families and friends

On Monday night, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed that Ireland will hold a referendum on abortion in late May. The electorate will be asked if they want to repeal or retain the eighth amendment to the constitution, which effectively bans terminations. In the case of repeal, people will also be asked to approve an addition to the constitution allowing the Oireachtas, the Irish legislature, to legislate for abortion. The government will draft legislation for unrestricted access to terminations up to 12 weeks, but this will only be voted on if the referendum passes.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/30/abortion-referendum-ireland-women-protest-politicians-leo-varadkar-micheal-martin-repeal-mov?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_todayworld

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