UK: Abortion is still illegal in this country

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Abortion is still illegal in this country
Fifty years after the Abortion Act, women are still dying from being denied basic services, write activists from Feminist Fightback

November 15, 2017

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act, activists from Feminist Fightback found ourselves dressed as flight attendants, transforming the London Overground into the cabin of an Abortion Airlines Boeing 67. We distributed our own version of inflight safety cards and presented a special inflight safety announcement, advising passengers that ‘the exits…lead to an unsafe backstreet abortion and possible death…please assume the brace position for the duration of this Abortion Airlines flight”. We were met with whoops and cheers from passengers who, like us, are appalled by the fact that the Act still does not extend to the North of Ireland and that at least two people per day have to board a flight to travel to England to terminate a pregnancy. Fifty years on from the Abortion Act there are still people living in the UK denied this basic human right. This includes many migrants who, as NHS charges are introduced and health workers legally obligated to check immigration status, are deterred from accessing both abortion and maternity services.

Continued at source: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/abortion-is-still-illegal-in-this-country/

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Friends of Savita condemn ‘rude, ridiculous’ Rónán Mullen claim

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Friends of Savita condemn ‘rude, ridiculous’ Rónán Mullen claim
‘If there was abortion on demand... she wouldn’t have been pregnant,’ said Senator
Oct 20, 2017
Kitty Holland

Friends in Galway of Savita Halappanavar have described comments by Senator Ronan Mullen on the circumstances in which she died as “very sad”, “rude” and “ridiculous”.

Sreeni Rao, whose wife Mrdula was Ms Halappanavar’s closest friend in Ireland and who visited her in Galway University Hospital during her last week, said he could not understand the comments.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/friends-of-savita-condemn-rude-ridiculous-r%C3%B3n%C3%A1n-mullen-claim-1.3262357

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Eighth Amendment ‘played major role in Savita’s death’

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Eighth Amendment ‘played major role in Savita’s death’
Professor who chaired HSE inquiry tells Oireachtas committee about legal concerns

Thu, Oct 19, 2017
Kitty Holland

The Eighth Amendment “played a major role” in the death of Savita Halappanavar during pregnancy, a leading international expert in obstetrics has said.

Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, who chaired the HSE inquiry into Ms Halappanavar’s death in 2012, said it was “very clear” to him Dr Katherine Asbury, the consultant treating her, had been “concerned about the legal issues” throughout her considerations as to whether to terminate the pregnancy.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/eighth-amendment-played-major-role-in-savita-s-death-1.3261037

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Ireland: Oireachtas committee votes for abortion law change

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Oireachtas committee votes for abortion law change
Kate O’Connell says this is not end of the debate, but is a step in right direction

Oct 19, 2017
Sarah Bardon

The Oireachtas committee examining Ireland’s abortion law has agreed that Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution should not be retained in full.

The decision ensures the committee will recommend a referendum, which the Government has scheduled to take place next year. The proposal was made by Sinn Féin and supported by Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher. Fifteen committee members voted in favour, three voted against including Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick, and two Fianna Fáil members abstained.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas-committee-votes-for-abortion-law-change-1.3261128

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Thousands Marched for Abortion Rights In Ireland, Urging the Government to Repeal the Eighth Amendment

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Thousands Marched for Abortion Rights In Ireland, Urging the Government to Repeal the Eighth Amendment

by Marykate Jasper
October 1st, 2017

In the Republic of Ireland, thanks to the Eighth Amendment to the constitution, abortion is almost entirely illegal. There are a few exceptions, only signed into law in 2013, which provide for a legal abortion in cases where the pregnant person’s life is at risk, but otherwise anyone who undergoes an abortion in-country can face up to 14 years in jail. (Remember how terrifying it was when Trump suggested there should be “some form” of punishment for women who get an abortion? Irish people are living that nightmare right now.)

Continued at source: https://www.themarysue.com/ireland-marchforchoice-abortion-rights/

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Ireland: It’s time to talk about the pseudoscience corrupting the abortion debate

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It’s time to talk about the pseudoscience corrupting the abortion debate

On the eve of the final March for Choice ahead of Ireland’s referendum on abortion rights next year, a scientist explains why we urgently need to challenge the dogma

Naomi Elster

Friday 29 September 2017

On Saturday 30 September 2017, the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) – a pro-choice alliance of which I am a member – is hosting its sixth annual March for Choice in Dublin city centre. It is a particularly significant event, as it will be our last march before next year’s referendum over whether to repeal the eighth amendment, the law that gives a foetus the same right to life as the mother.

In the summer of 2012, a few small pro-choice groups met up in Dublin to discuss collaborating. The result, the formation of the Irish Choice Network, gained momentum so quickly that the founders realised an even larger, all-island movement was needed. And so the ARC was formed.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2017/sep/29/its-time-to-talk-about-the-pseudoscience-corrupting-the-abortion-debate

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

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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: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/27/ireland-abortion-referendum-not-done-deal-repeal-the-8th-political-hostility

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Ireland to Hold Abortion Referendum Next Year

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Ireland to Hold Abortion Referendum Next Year
By ED O’LOUGHLIN
SEPT. 26, 2017

Ireland will vote in a referendum next year on whether to lift or ease the country’s constitutional ban on abortion, one of the most restrictive such laws in the Western world.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, announced on Tuesday that the vote would be held in May or June on the prohibition, which has been bitterly contested. Polls suggest that a majority of voters approve relaxation of the law, but they also show little support for allowing abortion on request.

Continued at source: New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/world/europe/ireland-abortion-ban-referendum.html

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Ireland to hold referendum on abortion laws next year

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Ireland to hold referendum on abortion laws next year

Women convicted of having an illegal termination in Ireland currently face up to 14 years in prison.

Tuesday 26 September 2017
By Bethan Staton, News Reporter

Ireland is to hold a referendum on whether to scrap its ban on abortion, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has announced.

The vote will take place in May or June next year, shortly before a visit from Pope Francis.

Abortion is currently illegal in the Republic of Ireland, except in cases where the mother's life is in danger.

Continued at source: Sky News: http://news.sky.com/story/ireland-to-hold-referendum-on-abortion-laws-next-year-11054540

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Bring on the Irish abortion referendum

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Bring on the Irish abortion referendum

Ella Whelan
assistant editor

This is our chance to make the positive case for women’s rights.

16 June 2017

In his first day in office as the new Fine Gael Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar announced that the Republic of Ireland will have a referendum on the Eighth Amendment next year.

The Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which was added following a referendum on abortion rights in 1983, ensures the right to life of the unborn. This means that a woman’s life and rights are equated with that of an embryo. Irish women cannot access abortion services, even in the event of rape or fatal fetal abnormality. They are forced to buy medicine illegally online, or travel to the UK at their own expense to access abortion services there.

Continued at source: Spiked: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/bring-on-the-irish-abortion-referendum/19967

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