Ireland: Mixed views after Cabinet agrees to vote on replacing Eighth

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Mixed views after Cabinet agrees to vote on replacing Eighth
Reaction: Harris says suggesting that women would abort disabled child is offensive

Jan 30, 2018
Vivienne Clarke

It is offensive to suggest that Irish women would seek an abortion to avoid having a child with a disability, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said.

Mr Harris pointed out that the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment had voted specifically to avoid disability as grounds for abortion.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/mixed-views-after-cabinet-agrees-to-vote-on-replacing-eighth-1.3373571

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Ireland: Abortion and the eighth amendment: putting it up to the politicians

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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

Justine McCarthy
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

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Irish Lawmakers Back Repeal of Abortion Ban

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Irish Lawmakers Back Repeal of Abortion Ban

By ED O’LOUGHLIN (Web Summary: A parliamentary committee also said a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy up to the 12th week.) December 14, 2017

DUBLIN — An Irish parliamentary committee recommended on Wednesday that a constitutional ban on abortion be repealed, paving the way for the liberalization of one of the world’s strictest abortion laws.

The committee recommended removing the provision in the Irish Constitution that gives a fetus and the mother an equal legal right to life, which has been the law since 1983. That provision has been used to ban abortion in all circumstances, including rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormality and any risk to the life of the mother.

Continued at source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/12/13/irish-lawmakers-back-repeal-abortion-ban/TK3ik8LUnFoEr96NXmi6CJ/story.html

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Ireland: May timetable for abortion referendum – Tánaiste

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May timetable for abortion referendum - Tánaiste
Three anti-abortion members of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment to boycott final meeting

Thu, Dec 14, 2017
Sarah Bardon

The Government is working to a timetable for a referendum on abortion in May, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said.

He said most of the work on the Bills is expected to be completed by mid-March and he appealed to TDs to show leadership, with a respectful debate on an issue that “will divide households”.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/may-timetable-for-abortion-referendum-t%C3%A1naiste-1.3326633

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Ireland: Pressure increases on Government after committee votes on abortion

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Pressure increases on Government after committee votes on abortion
Possible dates for referendum on Eighth Amendment are May 14th and June 8th

Dec 14, 2017
Sarah Bardon

The Oireachtas committee on the amendment has concluded that a number of significant changes should to be made to abortion laws in Ireland.

Pressure has increased on the Government to hold a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment and provide abortions up to 12 weeks following the recommendations of an Oireachtas committee.

The Oireachtas committee on the amendment has concluded that a number of significant changes should to be made to abortion laws in Ireland.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/pressure-increases-on-government-after-committee-votes-on-abortion-1.3326633

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Ireland: Experts challenged at Eighth Amendment committee over Dutch abortion laws

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Experts challenged at Eighth Amendment committee over Dutch abortion laws
Updated / Thursday, 23 Nov 2017

The number of babies born with Down Syndrome in the Netherlands has not decreased with the introduction of prenatal screening, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

That is according to Eva Pajkrt, a Professor of Obstetrics at the University of Amsterdam, who is before the Oireachtas Eighth Amendment Committee.

She was addressing concerns expressed by Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick that screening would result in fewer babies with Down Syndrome being born.

Continued at source: https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2017/1123/922355-abortion-committee/

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Ireland: Claims of bias at abortion committee ‘utter nonsense’

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Claims of bias at abortion committee ‘utter nonsense’
Senator Rónán Mullan says chair Catherine Noone had ‘failed to procure objectivity’

Nov 22, 2017
Colm Keena

Members of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment have criticised colleagues who alleged its work displays bias or who have attacked the committee chair.

Earlier, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said a lot of the contributions to the committee had been factual rather than biased, and the claim that the committee was operating in a biased manner was “utter nonsense”.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/claims-of-bias-at-abortion-committee-utter-nonsense-1.3301054

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Ireland: Handmaid’s Tales at abortion committee

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Handmaid’s Tales at abortion committee

Justine McCarthy
November 19 2017

Forget science fiction — the eighth amendment debates are truly dystopian

Tammy Wynette was right — sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Ever more so, these days, when 21 parliamentarians gather in Leinster House each Wednesday to discuss abortion. It’s a topic guaranteed to elicit deeply held grievances, frustration, feelings of victimhood, accusations of prejudice and spittle-licking outrage at perceived injustices, and it does — from men.

Women are in a majority of one on the joint committee on the eighth amendment to the constitution. When its work is done, all of them ought to be awarded a medal, regardless of their personal views on abortion, for their sheer endurance and dignity. For to sit in that room with a womb — or the memory of having had one — is to be subjected to a sort of medieval torture.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/handmaids-tales-at-abortion-committee-f5fsw3rgq

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Ireland: Tensions over witnesses’ letters at Eighth Amendment committee

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Tensions over witnesses' letters at Eighth Amendment committee
Updated / Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017

Chair of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment has told members that she will not be reading letters of witnesses into the record of the committee, if they choose not to attend.

Senator Catherine Noone was returning to an earlier request by Deputy Mattie McGrath of the Rural Independent Group, who requested that letters be those who did not attend today be read by the chair.

Continued at source: https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/1108/918537-oireachtas-eighth-amendment-committee/

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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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