Simon Harris to give free contraceptives to women aged 17-24
Stephen O’Brien, Political Editor
December 29 2019, The Sunday Times
Simon Harris, the health minister, is preparing to provide free contraception to Irish women, starting with making the pill, condoms and long-acting reversible contraceptives (Larcs) available for those aged 17-24, in a bid to reduce unwanted pregnancies.
The minister is expected to bring plans to cabinet next month to give free contraception to younger women initially, with the option of expanding the scheme to older age groups after it becomes established. The Oireachtas committee on the eighth amendment recommended that universal access to free contraception be introduced alongside the legalisation of abortion in Ireland.
HSE will ‘remain neutral’ on abortion debate, says health chief
Committee hears of HSE staff member using official paper to correspond on issue
Feb 7, 2018
The HSE will take no position in the forthcoming referendum on abortion and will remain neutral, its director general has said.
Tony O’Brien told the Oireachtas health committee that a member of staff who used official notepaper to send correspondence to Oireachtas members urging opposition to repeal of the Eighth Amendment had been met with and taken through the appropriate procedures.
Tánaiste ‘united with the Cabinet’ on abortion referendum
Coveney says referendum is once in a generation chance and a ‘no result will mean nothing can change’
Sun, Feb 4, 2018
Tánaiste Simon Coveney has insisted he is united with the Cabinet and will campaign for a Yes vote to repeal and replace the Eighth Amendment on abortion. He said the referendum is a once in a generation chance and a “no result will mean nothing can change”.
Mr Coveney was responding following a challenge from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin who said that if there was an alternative to the Oireachtas committee’s recommendation “there’s an obligation to publish that alternative, to formulate it precisely and clearly so that there would be clarity about what people are saying”.
TDs are evenly split on 12-weeks abortion proposal
‘Irish Times’ survey raises doubt over whether such legislation would pass in Dáil
Feb 3, 2018
TDs are deeply divided on the proposal to introduce abortion on request up to 12 weeks, an Irish Times survey has found, and there is significant doubt over whether proposed abortion legislation would command a majority in the Dáil.
The Government has said it will introduce legislation to give effect of the findings of the Oireachtas Committee on abortion if the forthcoming referendum to abolish the Eighth Amendment, which bans abortion is almost all circumstances, is passed.
Legislating for abortion in rape cases is very difficult
Politicians who oppose the 12 weeks proposal must outline a realistic alternative
Feb 2, 2018
We need to talk about abortion and rape. Neither of these are comfortable subjects, but they are part of the real-life context in which the current debate about repeal of the Eighth Amendment takes place.
A whole series of published and unpublished opinion research conducted over the last two years shows that an overwhelming majority of the electorate strongly support the availability of abortion in Ireland for women who become pregnant as a result of rape or other criminal offences.
Ireland to hold landmark abortion referendum in May
Text by NEWS WIRES
Latest update : 2018-01-30
Ireland will hold a referendum at the end of May on liberalising its restrictive abortion laws, a highly sensitive issue in the traditionally devoutly Catholic country.
Leo Varadkar, who as the country's youngest ever prime minister is regarded as relatively liberal on social issues, made the announcement late Monday, accepting it would be a difficult decision for Irish voters.
"This is a decision about whether we want to continue to stigmatise and criminalise our sisters, our co-workers, and our friends," he told a press conference in Dublin.
Ireland's abortion referendum signals progress for women – but north of the border under the DUP, things look grim
Many thought that the referendum on equal marriage in the Republic of Ireland in 2015 would encourage politicians to campaign for a similar change in the law in Northern Ireland. But the last couple of years has shown us that progress can suddenly stall
Caitlin De Jode
Tuesday 30 January 2018
“Essentially what we’re asking people to do is to allow us to change the constitution so that we can make changes to our laws – liberalise them, relax them, make them more compassionate… We’re asking people, now, to trust women.”
For thousands of Irish people watching a blurry YouTube live stream, or desperately refreshing Twitter last night, hearing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar say those words proved to be a surprisingly emotional moment.
Abortion debate cut short for second night as 20-TD quorum not met
Government risks ‘hornet’s nest’ if it does not go with repeal simpliciter option – Paul Murphy
Wed, Jan 24, 2018
Debate on abortion in the Dáil was cut short for a second night running after it proved impossible to reach a quorum of 20 TDs.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath called the quorum, requiring that a minimum of 20 TDs be in the chamber to allow the debate to continue.
Una Mullally: Borders of the middle ground being redrawn in abortion debate
Micheál Martin’s support for repeal of the Eighth Amendment is already being described as a key moment in the campaign
Jan 21, 2018
A referendum campaign begins when a date is called and ends when the votes are counted. Officially. But on social issues in Ireland, we know that’s not the case. “Matters of public debate” drag on for years, perhaps none more so than the issue of abortion. If a campaign is to happen in May or June, we’ll know the date soon. Then the slog will begin. Referendum campaigns have a seemingly endless capacity for drama, for personalities, for emotion.
Abortion referendum is going to happen so let's drop the histrionics and simply get on with it
January 11 2018
It seems pretty clear now we'll be voting on the abortion referendum in the summer.
Nobody in Government will say it out loud but there is a growing consensus among ministers that the country will be asked a reasonably straightforward question along the lines: Do you want to repeal the Eighth Amendment and give the Oireachtas the power to legislate for abortion? And in the event that is your preference, do you want TDs to allow unrestricted terminations up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy?