FEATURE: What's been happening in Ireland & International Women’s Day in Norway
International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
18 March 2019
In the midst of the continuing shower of news from all over the world that I share with you, I’ve been collecting stories for a feature on Ireland. This is not a definitive piece, that will come from those who have been on the frontlines, but is based primarily on written information from a few key people and what has been in the media. This history describes an almost unique series of events, and one worth learning from. It’s a story of optimism winning over pessimism, of passionate positive action breaking down out-of-date barriers, and particularly of women’s personal stories, doorstep advocacy, highly visible supportive doctors and policymakers, all working with government to change the mindset of a nation and win a critical mass of support. They successfully created a sea-change in law, policy and service delivery in the blink of an eye. Edited by Marge Berer
The story in a nutshell
It took only seven months from the referendum that repealed the 8th Amendment to the Constitution in May 2018 for the law to be changed, providers trained, methods approved and ordered, and abortion services to become available officially in Ireland on 2 January 2019, free for everyone who is covered by existing schemes, such as the Maternity and Infant Care Scheme.
Abortion in Ireland: Four weeks in, how’s it working?
Abortion has been legal in Ireland for almost a month, yet uncertainties and problems persist
Jan 26, 2019
Next week will mark one month since the introduction of general abortion services for the first time in the history of the Irish State. In the final weeks of 2018, there were dire warnings from senior medics and family doctors that the January 1st deadline was being “rushed” and was “dangerously unrealistic”.
Only nine maternity hospitals were ready to provide full access to abortion care, with the remaining 10 expected to come on board shortly. Some 240 general practitioners have now signed up to the service. Despite the less than comprehensive level of access, abortions are now happening across the country in hospitals and in general practices.
Review urged over abortion law’s ‘chilling’ threat to medical staff
January 21 2019
A leading obstetrician has said that the government should consider “revisiting” the legislation giving effect to abortion because it has had a “chilling effect” on health professionals.
Professor Louise Kenny was one of the most high-profile voices from the medical profession during Eighth Amendment referendum campaign.
Irish woman 'denied' abortion at Dublin hospital despite new legislation
Jan 18, 2019
A Dublin hospital refused an abortion to a woman despite two doctors diagnosing her baby with a fatal foetal abnormality, Irish MPs have heard.
The case comes less than a month after the introduction of widespread termination services in Ireland.
Woman denied abortion in Dublin despite new legislation
Hospital’s decision has raised questions over introduction of abortion services in Ireland
Rory Carroll, Ireland correspondent
Fri 18 Jan 2019
A hospital in Dublin has refused an abortion to a woman with a fatal foetal abnormality, raising questions over Ireland’s recent introduction of abortion services.
The Coombe hospital, a leading maternity facility that has signed up to the service, reportedly declined to terminate the pregnancy because it did not “fall neatly” into a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis.
Woman ‘refused’ abortion will travel to United Kingdom
‘This is not what the people of Ireland voted for. This is not what I voted for’
Jan 17, 2019
Kitty Holland, Social Affairs Correspondent
The pregnant woman who the Dáil heard was denied an abortion despite two consultants’ approval has said she will travel to England next week for a termination.
She said she had not wanted to speak to the media initially but spoke to The Irish Times after the Coombe Hospital issued a statement.
Call for immediate exclusion zones after anti-abortion picket
HSE warns websites are claiming to offer services using variation of official MyOptions site
Jan 4, 2019
Vivienne Clarke, Paul Cullen
Veteran abortion services campaigner Ailbhe Smyth has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to introduce legislation immediately for exclusion zones around medical practices offering terminations.
Ms Smyth’s call, on Newstalk’s Breakfast programme, comes after an anti-abortion group protested outside a Galway GP practice on Thursday, just three days after termination services became legal in the State.
Not all ‘confirmed’ hospitals ready to provide abortion service
HSE warns hospitals not to restrict services to women from their catchment area
Jan 3, 2019
The number of hospitals providing abortions is lower than the nine officially announced in the run-up to the introduction of the service.
Of the maternity units in the State, nine were “confirmed” as being ready to provide the service, Government sources told journalists before Christmas. Another 10 were not ready.
Amendment to bill on grounds sought for abortion defeated in Dáil
Thursday, 29 Nov 2018
By Ailbhe Conneely, RTÉ News Political reporter
An amendment proposing that abortions are not sought on grounds of race, sex or disability under the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill has been defeated in the Dáil.
Following a lengthy and often tense Report Stage debate which began last night, TDs voted against the amendment by 71 votes to 21.
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.