Eighth Amendment: a watershed on abortion

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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

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Ireland: ‘Vital’ that abortion not be a crime, says Zappone

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‘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

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Ireland: Wavering pro-life TDs hold balance in vote to allow free abortion for all

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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

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Ireland: Abortion limit of 22 weeks is not enough, says doctor

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Abortion limit of 22 weeks is not enough, says doctor

Ellen Coyne
November 30 2017

Women would be rushed into deciding to terminate a pregnancy because of a foetal abnormality if doctors were working under term limits, a medical expert has said.

Peter Thompson, a consultant in foetal medicine at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s hospital, told the Oireachtas abortion committee that a woman would feel they had only one week to decide if terminations for foetal anomalies were limited to 22 weeks.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-limit-of-22-weeks-is-not-enough-says-doctor-fl8wh2fvj

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Ireland: Pregnant women, not lawyers, can best protect developing life

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Pregnant women, not lawyers, can best protect developing life
Abortion is an intensely personal issue. Behind politics, it is about reality and equality

Nov 17, 2017
Orla O’Connor

Women share their views and concerns about abortion with me every day. In my role as director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, it’s possible that people feel more comfortable talking with me about the issues. Pregnancy touches the most intimate, tender and sensitive aspects of our lives. Abortion is an issue about which many of us hold complex and sometimes contradictory feelings. What I have learned is that everyone has their own understanding of pregnancy, and everyone has their own thoughts on what we should do about abortion in Ireland. The one ambition we all share is that we avoid a divisive and ugly public debate, that we can build consensus this time around.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/pregnant-women-not-lawyers-can-best-protect-developing-life-1.3295906

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Ireland: Sinn Féin to amend its stance on abortion

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Sinn Féin to amend its stance on abortion
Party will expand position to include protecting the life and health of the mother

Nov 11, 2017
Sarah Bardon

Sinn Féin is to agree an amended position on abortion at its Ard Comhairle next Saturday, allowing for terminations when a mother’s health is at risk.

The party currently advocates for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution and enacting legislation to allow for abortion in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/sinn-f%C3%A9in-to-amend-its-stance-on-abortion-1.3287524

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UN will challenge Ireland further if abortion law unchanged, Oireachtas told

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UN will challenge Ireland further if abortion law unchanged, Oireachtas told
Anti-abortion professor declines to give evidence to ‘kangaroo court’
Nov 8, 2017
Sarah Bardon

Ireland will face further cases before the United Nations if it fails to change abortion laws, an Oireachtas committee has been advised.

The committee examining the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution was warned the State would be further criticised by the UN human rights committee and be forced to pay compensation to individual women if the status quo remained.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/un-will-challenge-ireland-further-if-abortion-law-unchanged-oireachtas-told-1.3284727

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Ireland: Adams believes women should have right to abortion

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Adams believes women should have right to abortion
Sinn Féin leader says he can only support party position which urges repeal of Eighth Amendment

Sat, Nov 4, 2017
Amanda Ferguson

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said his personal view is that it should be a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion.

The party has faced criticism from pro-choice activists for supporting a rights-based agenda in the Stormont talks but only extending its support for abortion reform in the cases or rape and fatal foetal abnormalities, which leads to views it only supports the rights of “worthy women”.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/adams-believes-women-should-have-right-to-abortion-1.3280549

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Ireland: Differences on abortion expose deep divisions in Sinn Féin

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Differences on abortion expose deep divisions in Sinn Féin
Urban-rural divide among party members crystallises in relation to eighth amendment

Sat, Oct 21, 2017
Harry McGee

Thousands of people took part in the March for Choice in Dublin in September, a protest that was filled with banners of all types, but mostly from parties of the declared left.

Solidarity and People Before Profit were prominent. So, too, were the Labour Party, the Greens and the Social Democrats. However, the complete absence of leading Sinn Féin personalities, or, indeed, the party’s banners was striking.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/differences-on-abortion-expose-deep-divisions-in-sinn-f%C3%A9in-1.3263362

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Eighth Amendment ‘played major role in Savita’s death’

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Eighth Amendment ‘played major role in Savita’s death’
Professor who chaired HSE inquiry tells Oireachtas committee about legal concerns

Thu, Oct 19, 2017
Kitty Holland

The Eighth Amendment “played a major role” in the death of Savita Halappanavar during pregnancy, a leading international expert in obstetrics has said.

Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, who chaired the HSE inquiry into Ms Halappanavar’s death in 2012, said it was “very clear” to him Dr Katherine Asbury, the consultant treating her, had been “concerned about the legal issues” throughout her considerations as to whether to terminate the pregnancy.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/eighth-amendment-played-major-role-in-savita-s-death-1.3261037

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