Pro-Abortion-Rights Activists Won in Ireland, But Not Argentina

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Pro-Abortion-Rights Activists Won in Ireland, But Not Argentina
Efforts to loosen restrictive laws in the two Catholic-majority countries resulted in two very different outcomes.

Yasmeen Serhan
Aug 10, 2018

When Ireland voted in its historic referendum in May to overturn its decades-old ban on abortion, it looked as if more change could follow. If Ireland voted to liberalize abortion access, maybe Northern Ireland would be next. And after that, who knows? The Irish referendum proved that even a Catholic-majority country was ready to have the debate. Perhaps it wouldn’t be long before others would do the same.

Another vote on abortion did come three months later, this time to Argentina. But this Catholic-majority country decided differently. On Thursday, Argentina’s Senate voted down a bill to decriminalize abortion access in the country, where terminations are legal only in cases of rape or if the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of the woman. The proposed legislation, which would have allowed women to seek an abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, was supported by 31 lawmakers but rejected by 38. Two abstained.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/08/abortion-vote-argentina-ireland/567200/

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Removing shackles of abortion restrictions in Ireland

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Removing shackles of abortion restrictions in Ireland

July 18, 2018

The landslide victory of the Yes campaign in the May 2018 referendum paves the way for an end to decades of harms caused by the abortion ban (the 8th amendment) of the Irish Constitution.

Inserted in 1983, this provision prevented legal abortion in all cases except risk to a pregnant woman’s life. It has forced thousands of women and girls to leave Ireland to access care, to undergo illegal abortions or to continue pregnancy against their will.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/removing-shackles-abortion-restrictions-ireland

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Etching Irish abortion referendum into history

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Etching Irish abortion referendum into history

By Christina McSorley
BBC News NI
16 July 2018

The Republic of Ireland's referendum to liberalise abortion laws in May was one of the most visual campaigns in the country's history.

It was another sign of massive societal change coming just three years after the country's same-sex marriage referendum.

Now artists, archivists and historians in Ireland have come together to capture the visual history of the pivotal campaign.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44821433

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Why the fight for legal abortion is only half the battle

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Why the fight for legal abortion is only half the battle

July 13, 2018
By Shannon Kowalski and Susan Wood

For years, Irish women have been forced to travel abroad or seek underground abortion services. But, a historic vote in May delivered a landslide rebuke that rescinded the country’s constitutional provision recognizing the equal rights to life of both a woman and a fetus, opening the door to expanded reproductive autonomy. The euphoria over this victory has barely settled, and already steps are being taken to curb Irish women’s hard-won right. The new front of resistance to women’s rights emerges from those who seek to allow medical professionals to deny women abortion services based on their own religious or moral beliefs. It would be a mistake for Ireland’s legislators to allow such refusals, which ultimately endanger and discriminate against women.

Since 2000, 28 countries have liberalized their abortion laws. In response to this progress, anti-choice advocates and policy makers have mounted a deliberate campaign to undermine women’s access to legal abortion services. A primary tactic has been establishing laws and policies that allow doctors to opt out of fulfilling their professional obligation to provide health care services on the basis of their personal beliefs. The use of these so-called “conscience” claims is on the rise worldwide.

Continued: http://www.euronews.com/2018/07/13/why-the-fight-for-legal-abortion-is-only-half-the-battle-view

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India – Why simply legalising abortion is not enough

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Why simply legalising abortion is not enough
Governments need to pay equal attention to the safety of abortions, sex education and counselling, and varied problems faced by new borns of single mothers and the mothers

Jagriti Gangopadhyay
Saturday 30 June 2018

Recently, Ireland voted to legalise abortion after decades of debate and struggle. The law received international attention in the wake of the demise of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist practising in Ireland, who was denied abortion while experiencing a septic miscarriage. Ireland’s victory is being celebrated all across the world, however, the question remains: is it enough to legalise abortion?

Though abortion has been legal in India for the last 47 years, about 10 women die every day due to unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause for maternal deaths in India. The law that governs abortion in the country is the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

Continued: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/why-simply-legalising-abortion-is-not-enough-60866

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Need to pay attention to India’s illegal abortions

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Need to pay attention to India’s illegal abortions

Over 75 per cent abortions estimated to occur in India annually are done bereft of health facilities and around 5-7 per cent abortions that are done outside licensed facilities use other methods that are possibly dangerous. The figure may be higher as non-institutionalised abortions cannot be recorded. The situation is even worse for single and divorced women and those living in rural regions, reports Subhangi Singh

By Tehelka
June 18, 2018

A dozen women are sitting around a lavish living room in Chandigarh, full of bubbling chatter and cocktail flutes. A gripping game called ‘Never Have I Ever’ is in full swing. Nina (name changed) raises her glass and declares, “Never have I ever had an abortion!” The room suddenly falls silent and everybody, except Nina, takes a sip from their respective glasses. It is a kitty party. Most of the women are married. The conversation invariably veers towards recurrent abortions in married and divorced women. Nina whispers that Shehnaz (name changed) tops the list as “she keeps having these abortions now and then.”

Continued: http://www.tehelka.com/need-to-pay-attention-to-indias-illegal-abortions/

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Ireland – Abortion and Love

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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.

Continued: https://www.thenation.com/article/abortion-and-love/

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UK- An abortion at the age of 23 gave me freedom

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An abortion at the age of 23 gave me freedom
During the Irish referendum, there was a lot of talk about abortion in extreme cases, but some – like mine – are banal but necessary

Hadley Freeman
Sat 2 Jun 2018

When I was 23, my life forked. Until then, it had felt like one of those LA freeways with half a dozen lanes: I had options in terms of which path I took, but they were all going in the same general direction.

I was barely making a living in a job I enjoyed, and living in a dump with friends I adored. Life was wide open. Then one day I took a pregnancy test and suddenly there were two directions for me: have the baby or don’t. I cried on the bathroom floor with my best friend, but the tears were out of embarrassment that I had been so careless. They weren’t out of fear. It was years before I appreciated what a privilege that was.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/02/an-abortion-at-the-age-of-23-gave-me-freedom

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‘North is next’: fresh fight for grassroots power that beat Ireland abortion ban

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'North is next’: fresh fight for grassroots power that beat Ireland abortion ban
Women who rallied across borders to win referendum have their sights set on Northern Ireland and northern Australia

Melissa Davey
Fri 1 Jun 2018

Just a few years ago, the Abortion Rights Campaign in Ireland was predominantly active in the capital of Dublin. By the time a landslide 66.4% of the country voted on 25 May to repeal the eighth amendment and give women easier access to abortion, the Abortion Rights Campaign had 36 offshoot groups outside the capital, including in counties where Catholicism and conservatism are deeply entrenched.

The Dublin-based organiser for the Abortion Rights Campaign, Cathie Shiels, knows how hard it is to stand in the middle of a remote Irish-Catholic town holding up a placard advocating for abortion reform. She comes from Donegal, close to the Northern Ireland border and the only county that voted “No” in the referendum.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/02/north-is-next-fresh-fight-for-grassroots-power-that-beat-ireland-abortion-ban

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‘Savita!’: why the Irish abortion vote touched women the world over

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'Savita!': why the Irish abortion vote touched women the world over

Finally, a woman’s death at the hands of an old madness did not mean nothing

Van Badham
Wed 30 May 2018

The photograph from the Irish referendum that brought me undone was of white-haired men in the street holding a yellow banner. It read “Grandfathers for Yes”. It came across my phone as I traversed Melbourne in the 86 tram only a couple of days before the vote, like a lobbed bomb of hope and love, relief and change. I sobbed aloud.

It struck with specific weight because there’d been another photo circulating a week earlier of Irish men the same age in a sadly more familiar scenario. “Vote NO” read their own pink signs, “Support women, protect babies, save lives.” That one had left me not in hot tears but a cold rage.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/30/savita-why-the-irish-abortion-vote-touched-women-the-world-over

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