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 - 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and legal abortion to a nation that was long a bastion of staunchly conservative Catholicism, seven months after voters repealed a constitutional ban on abortion.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.
Abortion laws ‘must not leave doctors in fear of prosecution’
Jennifer Bray, Ireland Deputy Political Editor
August 24 2018
The government has been urged to improve its draft legislation on abortion to stop doctors interpreting the new laws too conservatively.
A position paper by experts from Dublin City University, the University of Birmingham and Queen Mary University of London said that the government should consider asking doctors who have a conscientious objection to providing abortion care to declare it before the law comes into effect. Clinical guidelines that are due to be introduced alongside the legislation should clarify when and how a doctor who holds a conscientious objection should disclose it, it says.
The young Americans trying to stop Ireland from voting Yes to abortion
By Kara Fox, CNN
Wed May 23, 2018
Dublin (CNN) Emily Faulkner is in central Dublin, handing out leaflets featuring fetuses in various stages of development, when she's pelted by an egg.
Covered in yolk, she turns to her fiancé, Nathan Berning, who has a GoPro video camera mounted on his chest.
"Did you get that on tape? Is it on, babe? Turn it on," she says.
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.