FEATURE: What's been happening in Ireland & International Women’s Day in Norway
International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
18 March 2019
In the midst of the continuing shower of news from all over the world that I share with you, I’ve been collecting stories for a feature on Ireland. This is not a definitive piece, that will come from those who have been on the frontlines, but is based primarily on written information from a few key people and what has been in the media. This history describes an almost unique series of events, and one worth learning from. It’s a story of optimism winning over pessimism, of passionate positive action breaking down out-of-date barriers, and particularly of women’s personal stories, doorstep advocacy, highly visible supportive doctors and policymakers, all working with government to change the mindset of a nation and win a critical mass of support. They successfully created a sea-change in law, policy and service delivery in the blink of an eye. Edited by Marge Berer
The story in a nutshell
It took only seven months from the referendum that repealed the 8th Amendment to the Constitution in May 2018 for the law to be changed, providers trained, methods approved and ordered, and abortion services to become available officially in Ireland on 2 January 2019, free for everyone who is covered by existing schemes, such as the Maternity and Infant Care Scheme.
Ahead of the abortion referendum, Ireland explains #WhoNeedsYourYes
Supporters of the Yes campaign are dedicating their votes to the women they want to help
By Emily Baker
It’s now just under two weeks until Irish citizens will vote on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment in their constitution and allow the government to make abortion legal up to 12 weeks. And as the No campaign becomes more and more malicious, those in favour of a change in law are choosing a more altruistic approach with the Twitter hashtag #WhoNeedsYourYes.
Those intending to vote Yes are using the hashtag to shine a light on the women who will ultimately benefit from legal abortion, with high-profile and everyday voters raising their voices:
Mother might still be alive but for Eighth Amendment – gynaecologist
Michelle Harte missed many weeks of cancer treatment due to Eighth – Prof Louise Kenny
May 13, 2018
A gynaecologist has said a mother she had treated might still be alive if she had been able to obtain an abortion in Ireland.
Mother-of-one Michelle Harte might still be alive were it not for the Eighth Amendment having prevented her from obtaining a termination here when she was taking a new cancer therapy and was in remission, Prof Louise Kenny said.
Eighth Amendment ‘casts shadow’ over care for pregnant women
Obstetrician says abortion law has impact on how people with cancer are treated
Apr 8, 2018
The Eighth Amendment has caused pregnant women with cancer to die and will continue to put them at risk if it is not repealed, an obstetrician has said.
Louise Kenny, a professor of obstetrics and a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, said she had witnessed care being denied to a pregnant woman with cancer because of the State’s abortion laws.