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.
Master's voice: Mahony stresses need to properly fund abortion services
December 1 2018
Outspoken Dr Rhona Mahony, who finishes her seven-year term as Master of the National Maternity Hospital this month, has appealed for the new extended abortion service to be properly resourced. The privacy of women availing of the service and the staff involved must also be protected, she said.
Dr Mahony, who was a prominent supporter of the Repeal the Eighth campaign, has revealed that 60 women attending the hospital during 2016, whose unborn baby was diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality, travelled to Britain for a termination.
Dáil votes down proposal to fully decriminalise abortion
Criminalisation is necessary to protect women from forced abortions, says Minister
Nov 28, 2018
Attempts to fully decriminalise abortion as part of new legislation have failed following a debate in the Dáil.
A number of TDs called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to support amendments to the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill which would see doctors protected from criminalisation where they act in good faith, and which would drop the current 14 year jail term.
Ireland’s President signs law repealing constitutional ban on abortion
Michael D Higgins officially repealed the Eighth Amendment following a vote in May’s referendum on the issue.
September 18 2018
The bill repealing the Eighth Amendment, amending Ireland’s abortion laws was signed on Tuesday by the President of Ireland.
The Irish electorate voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment in May’s referendum, with just under 67% voting in favour of repeal.
Abortion debate: Ireland’s most Catholic times were its ‘least Christian’
Minister of State opposes ‘purposeful destruction’ of a viable pregnancy
Jan 18, 2018
Michael O'Regan, Marie O'Halloran
Ireland was at its least Christian point during its most Catholic years, Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell has told the Dáil debate on abortion.
Ms O’Connell, who supports the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the equal right to life of the unborn, said the position of the Catholic Church had been sewn into the Constitution in 1937, two years after the sale, advertising and importation of contraceptives was banned.
Harris raises Kerry babies and Lovett cases in abortion debate
Minister for Health: 3,265 women from every county had travelled abroad for abortions last year
Wed, Jan 17, 2018
Abortion is a reality for women living in Ireland and is an issue that is not going to go away, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said.
“Ultimately, there is always a deeply personal, private story behind each individual case which I believe is a matter for a woman and her doctor. I believe the Irish people trust women and they trust doctors to make these difficult decisions.”
Abortion and the eighth amendment: putting it up to the politicians
The abortion committee has voted in favour of repealing the eighth amendment — now it’s up to the Dail
December 17 2017
After 13 weeks, 16 meetings, 47 witnesses and sporadic outbreaks of umbrage, a stunned silence suddenly descended on committee room three in the basement of Leinster House on Wednesday evening. The Oireachtas committee on the eighth amendment had just voted to recommend the repeal of the constitution's most divisive clause, the 34-year ban on abortion.
“Should we clap or what?” asked Brid Smith, a Solidarity-People Before Profit TD who has told how she took a boat to England in 1985 to have a pregnancy terminated. Laughter rippled through the public gallery and around the horseshoe-shaped committee desk. It stopped where Rónán Mullen, an independent senator, and the TDs Mattie McGrath, an independent, and Peter Fitzpatrick of Fine Gael sat together, stony-faced.
Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/abortion-and-the-eighth-amendment-putting-it-up-to-the-politicians-fjz8f0pzm
Eighth Amendment: a watershed on abortion
In drawing up a referendum wording and draft legislation, the Government has more scope than many believed
Dec 14, 2017
One of the peculiarities of the Irish debate on abortion in the early 1980s – a debate that was to culminate, but not find resolution, in the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution – was that it was the anti-abortion side that set the terms. In the United States and mainland Europe, the momentum in those years was generated by pro-choice lobbies, but in Ireland the current moved in the opposite direction. Those who sought a more restrictive regime initially did all the running, and in time, by out-organising their opponents on the ground and skilfully playing politicians off against one another, they succeeded in having a ban on abortion written into the Constitution. Their fear was always that future, more liberal judges or politicians could move ahead of public opinion and pave the way for legal abortion.
Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/eighth-amendment-a-watershed-on-abortion-1.3326263
‘Vital’ that abortion not be a crime, says Zappone
Minister’s vexed remarks come as committee reviewing amendment set to make proposals
Dec 7, 2017
Kitty Holland, Sarah Bardon
Abortion should be legal, safe and freely available to anyone who needs it, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has said.
In her strongest comments to date, Ms Zappone said the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution must be removed and should not be replaced with other constitutional wording.
In a speech delivered at Dublin City University on Thursday evening, the Minister said decriminalisation of abortion was “vital”, while the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act needed to be replaced with a law “under which abortion is safe, legal and available to all who need it”.
Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/vital-that-abortion-not-be-a-crime-says-zappone-1.3319483
Wavering pro-life TDs hold balance in vote to allow free abortion for all
Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
December 2 2017
Politicians could decide that abortion should be completely decriminalised in Ireland in a vote this month.
The move would mean that an unapproved abortion would no longer be a criminal offence and that the procedure would be covered by the same regulations as other medical procedures. It is understood that there is growing support for decriminalisaiton among Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
At least two TDs who described themselves as “pro-life” have now decided to fully support decriminalisation and free access to the procedure.
Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/wavering-pro-life-tds-hold-balance-in-vote-to-allow-free-abortion-for-all-06hxl3brz