Ireland – Abortion and Love

Abortion and Love
Ireland’s wildly successful movement to repeal the Eighth Amendment has given us a new way to frame reproductive rights.

By Katha Pollitt
June 7, 2018

“There must be a way to make abortion rights be about love,” the journalist Anthea McTeirnan said to me when we met in Dublin in 2015, just before Ireland’s referendum on marriage equality. Same-sex marriage was going to win big, she believed, because the campaign was all about love and compassion and inclusion, not just abstract legal rights. People could see that their friends and neighbors and relatives simply wanted to express their commitment to their partners the way straight people do. The campaign reflected that spirit, full of joy and humor; its guiding spirit was the sweet and popular drag queen and bar owner Panti Bliss. And, as it turned out, McTeirnan was right: That May, the referendum won by 62 to 38 percent, making Ireland the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.


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Ireland – Personal stories are precious things and they made the difference

Anne Enright: Personal stories are precious things and they made the difference
‘How did we turn ourselves from fallen women into women rising? By telling the truth. It was that simple’

May 27, 2018
Anne Enright

The Eighth Amendment was always a failure - medical, practically, geographically - the only thing it did was make people’s lives worse.

Seventy five per cent of voters knew their mind before the campaign began, according to exit polling on Friday. Some would vote for pragmatic reasons, some for sympathetic ones, more than three quarters said they were influenced by personal stories they had heard in the media or from people they knew.

Personal stories are precious things. To speak can be to suffer twice, especially if you do not know how your story will be heard. People do need to speak, however. They know that if they tell it true, if their story is accurate to the experience, emotionally honest, unafraid of its own contradictions, then something else happens. A story of hurt becomes one of healing.


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What’s Really At Stake In The Irish Abortion Referendum

What's Really At Stake In The Irish Abortion Referendum
For Irish women, abortion remains both illegal and taboo. As the country faces a historic referendum, Lynn Enright reflects on a nation’s changing mood, and a past decision of her own.

By Lynn Enright
Tuesday 24 April 2018

I was 31 and living in London when I had an abortion. On a grey morning, I took the Tube to the hospital and afterwards, I got an Uber home. My then boyfriend (who is now my husband) gave me a hot-water bottle and my flatmate brought me a cup of tea. My best friend texted me. “I love you,” she said. It was an everyday abortion but it hadn’t been an easy decision. I’d always wanted children and I’d hoped to be in a situation to have them at 31. But I wasn’t. The website I worked at had shut down the previous month and I was broke. I lived in a rented flat, sharing with two others. And my relationship was young and unsteady on its feet. So I had an abortion. Because it wasn’t the right time. Because it felt impossible to be pregnant, impossible to be a mother.


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Ireland – Understanding the selective compassion of abortion vote

Understanding the selective compassion of abortion vote
Dealing with pro-life arguments will be the key to the controversial referendum being passed, writes Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch
March 11 2018

Already, with a couple of months still to go, the abortion referendum feels like our own Vietnam; a war that will never end.

The rote lines of both sides have beaten a country into submission. Maria Steen, Tara Flynn and Catherine Noone must be on the brink of nervous exhaustion, but they and others have, at least, moved us towards the bitter end.


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Ireland: The Women’s Podcast: ‘Everyday Stories’ of abortion

The Women’s Podcast: ‘Everyday Stories’ of abortion
Caoimhe Anglin talks to Róisín Ingle about the project aiming to get people talking about the Eighth Amendment

Jan 8, 2018
Jennifer Ryan

Have you ever wanted to talk to someone about abortion, but didn’t know how to go about it?

The Everyday Stories project is about facilitating those conversations through workshops in towns and villages across the country ahead of a referendum on the Eighth Amendment in the coming months.

The project is gathering the personal accounts of women who have experienced abortion and allowing them to be used to aid group discussions on the topic, organised in association with the campaign.

Continued at source:

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We can topple Ireland’s ludicrous abortion law, but it’s not a done deal

We can topple Ireland’s ludicrous abortion law, but it’s not a done deal
The referendum to ‘repeal the 8th’ is a reward for brave campaigning by Irish women. But unlike the same-sex marriage vote, we face huge political hostility

Emer O'Toole
Wednesday 27 September 2017 14.17

It is 34 years since the Irish people voted to amend the constitution to designate the right to life of the “unborn” as equal to that of a pregnant woman, effectively banning abortion. And for 34 years Irish feminists and their allies have been campaigning to end the shame and suffering that have been the fruits of our holy eighth amendment.

In 2011 the Abortion Rights Campaign organised its first annual March for Choice in Dublin. The police told the media that only 500 people had attended, a figure easily contradicted by video evidence. The national press barely blinked at us. The following year the then taoiseach, Enda Kenny, told Time magazine that abortion was “not of priority” for his government. We were not on the radar.

Continued at source: The Guardian:

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Ireland: To understand abortion travel, you have to be there

To understand abortion travel, you have to be there
The ‘Not At Home’ exhibition is an attempt to recreate the experience of the 170,000 Irish women who have travelled abroad for abortions

Róisín Ingle
Aug 28, 2017

Last year theatre makers Grace Dyas and Emma Fraser came to me with a big idea. They had plans to recreate the experience of the just over 170,000 Irish women who over the past few decades have had to travel out of Ireland for safe abortion services. It would be a “durational art installation” open to the public. It would feature video and live performances. There was talk of “soundscapes”. I did not immediately fall in love with the big idea.

Continued at source: Irish Times:

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Abortion In Ireland: Repeal The 8th Amendment

By Róisín Ingle

15 Sep 2016, Grazia Daily

Abortion is illegal in Ireland - but now, thanks to an increasing army of protestors fighting to repeal the 8th amendment (the law that makes it criminal) the Irish government is considering a referendum.

Róisín Ingle, senior editor of The Irish Times, who herself travelled to England to have an abortion, reports on this critical moment.

Every Saturday, for fifteen years, readers of The Irish Times were subjected to my particular brand of professional oversharing in a weekly lifestyle column. From cringe-making relationship blunders to mortifying tights-related malfunctions, I left no personal milestone unshared. And yet there was one revelation I stopped myself from divulging time and time again: when I was in my late twenties, I had an abortion.

[continued at link]
Source: Grazia Daily

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