Irish abortion referendum: Every vote counts in emotive poll

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Irish abortion referendum: Every vote counts in emotive poll

By Shane Harrison, BBC NI Dublin correspondent
22 February 2018

It is a cold morning despite the sunshine, and snow lines the grotto behind the Catholic church at Granard, County Longford, in the Irish midlands.

It was here beneath the gaze of a statue of the Virgin Mary on a similar January day that Ann Lovett, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, died giving birth to a baby son.

She and her child died in 1984.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43156726

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Ireland – Draft abortion referendum law agreed by Irish cabinet

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Draft abortion referendum law agreed by Irish cabinet

20 February 2018

The Irish cabinet has agreed draft legislation on a referendum to repeal the constitution's eighth amendment on abortion. The amendment, introduced in 1983, gives an equal right to life to a pregnant woman and an unborn child.

Ireland is to hold a referendum this year on whether to change the country's abortion laws, which are among Europe's strictest. The draft legislation sets the process in motion.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43129019

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Not only in Ireland is there a fight to be won on abortion

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Not only in Ireland is there a fight to be won on abortion
Sarah Ditum
Dublin might be preparing for change, but in Poland and elsewhere women’s rights are under threat

Sun 4 Feb 2018

Before the end of May, Ireland will hold a referendum that could finally give Irish women legal access to abortion in their own country. It feels like the time is right for change. The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who made the announcement last week, called himself “pro-life” as recently as 2015; now he says he’ll be campaigning against the repressive eighth amendment that values a foetus’s right to life equally with a pregnant woman’s (or, in the language of the constitution, the “unborn” and the “mother”). It’s a stunning and very welcome reversal.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/04/not-only-ireland-we-need-new-view-on-abortion

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From Linda Kavanagh to Tracy Harkin: A guide to who’s who in Ireland’s divisive abortion debate

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From Linda Kavanagh to Tracy Harkin: A guide to who's who in Ireland's divisive abortion debate
With Ireland's landmark referendum on the Eighth Amendment looming, voices on both sides of the abortion debate are getting ­ louder. But who exactly is lining out?

John Meagher
February 4 2018

It has been a momentous week for campaigners on both sides of the great abortion debate as it was finally confirmed that a referendum would be held this summer. Friday, May 25, is thought to be the most likely day for the referendum, one that pro-choice supporters hope will forever lift the ban on abortion.

But despite a series of opinion polls that indicate that the majority of the country wants change, the pro-life side believes a large cohort of people opposed to abortion have not had their voices heard.

Continued: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/abortion-referendum/from-linda-kavanagh-to-tracy-harkin-a-guide-to-whos-who-in-irelands-divisive-abortion-debate-36558195.html

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Ireland’s referendum on its abortion ban

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Ireland’s referendum on its abortion ban
Repealing the country’s constitutional ban on abortion may be the easy part

The Economist explains
Feb 2nd 2018
by E.O'L. | DUBLIN

THIS week’s announcement that Ireland will hold a referendum in May on whether to repeal its constitutional ban on abortion is a sign of a huge shift in Irish society. In 1983 67% of its voters had endorsed a constitutional amendment that, in effect, banned abortion entirely, even in cases of rape, incest and fetal abnormality so severe that the baby could not live—and even when a termination was essential to save the woman’s life. Abortion in Ireland had already been illegal for more than a century, but anti-abortion activists had wanted a constitutional ban for fear that the law might in future be relaxed. Thirty-five years later not only is Leo Varadkar, the prime minister and leader of the centre-right Fine Gael party, recommending a repeal, he is also campaigning for abortion to be legal up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2018/02/economist-explains-0

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Ireland’s abortion referendum: why it’s morally right to repeal the 8th amendment

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Ireland’s abortion referendum: why it’s morally right to repeal the 8th amendment
February 1, 2018
PA/Tom Honan

Ireland is to hold a landmark referendum that could finally see its abortion laws clarified and relaxed.

The referendum will ask Irish citizens if the wish to repeal the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution. Given how much suffering has been caused by the restrictive law, it’s ethically right to vote to repeal the 8th amendment, even if you’re morally opposed to abortion.

While abortion was already illegal, the 8th amendment created constitutional protection for a foetal right to life:

Continued: https://theconversation.com/irelands-abortion-referendum-why-its-morally-right-to-repeal-the-8th-amendment-91108

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It’s been a long road to Ireland’s abortion referendum – so what will happen now?

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It's been a long road to Ireland's abortion referendum - so what will happen now?

Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of Bpas
30 January 2018

I became a pro-choice advocate 30 years ago, when I met a girl of my age who had been sent to a young mothers’ home in England before her pregnancy was visible. She had been told to stay there until she ‘looked normal again’ so no one would know her family’s shame.

So, when I heard that the Irish Prime Minister has confirmed a referendum that could change the country's laws that all but ban abortion and enable women's access to terminations, I thought - at last.

Continued: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/long-road-irelands-abortion-referendum-will-happen-now/

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Ireland’s abortion referendum signals progress for women – but north of the border under the DUP, things look grim

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Ireland's abortion referendum signals progress for women – but north of the border under the DUP, things look grim
Many thought that the referendum on equal marriage in the Republic of Ireland in 2015 would encourage politicians to campaign for a similar change in the law in Northern Ireland. But the last couple of years has shown us that progress can suddenly stall

Caitlin De Jode
Tuesday 30 January 2018

“Essentially what we’re asking people to do is to allow us to change the constitution so that we can make changes to our laws – liberalise them, relax them, make them more compassionate… We’re asking people, now, to trust women.”

For thousands of Irish people watching a blurry YouTube live stream, or desperately refreshing Twitter last night, hearing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar say those words proved to be a surprisingly emotional moment.

Continued: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/ireland-abortion-referendum-women-feminism-protest-dup-nothern-ireland-border-grim-a8185886.html

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Ireland is holding a referendum on abortion – now let’s talk about Australia

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Ireland is holding a referendum on abortion - now let's talk about Australia
The Emerald Isle legalised same-sex marriage before us and looks like they could pip us to the post with reproductive rights too.

Jan 30, 2018
By Kate Wagner

We woke up to the progressive news Ireland will be holding a referendum on abortion. Their constitution as it stands now effectively bans terminations, deeming them illegal except in specific cases when there is a threat to the life of the mother.

Given the country's deeply religious roots, the fact criminalising abortion is enshrined in their constitution may not be shocking, but it is deeply troubling.

Continued: https://www.cosmopolitan.com.au/news/ireland-decriminalise-abortions-what-about-australia-25766

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Ireland: Martin: Evidence to abortion committee prompted change of mind

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Martin: Evidence to abortion committee prompted change of mind
Fianna Fáil leader says matter is deeply personal and not a party political issue

Jan 19, 2018
Pat Leahy, Vivienne Clarke, Fiach Kelly

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says he changed his stance on abortion having evaluated the evidence from the Oireachtas Committee on the Eight Amendment.

Fianna Fáil TDs were stunned on Thursday evening by the unexpected declaration by Mr Martin that he would vote for the proposal to legalise abortion on request in the early months of pregnancy.

The announcement earned him plaudits from repeal campaigners but shocked some members of his party.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/martin-evidence-to-abortion-committee-prompted-change-of-mind-1.3361247

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