Why Ireland’s battle over abortion is far from over
From sham websites to rogue crisis pregnancy centres, Irish anti-abortionists are using shocking tactics to block women’s rights to safe abortions
Thu 3 Oct 2019
It has been more than a year since the landslide vote for abortion rights in Ireland, yet last weekend hundreds of people were once more marching through the streets of Dublin, chanting: “Get your rosaries off our ovaries!” “It’s nonsense, what are they marching for?” a guard standing on the road outside the National maternity hospital asked a colleague on a motorbike – referring to the 2018 referendum in which the Irish public voted overwhelmingly to repeal the law prohibiting abortion. The answer is that, while the law may have changed, many people are still struggling to access abortions in Ireland due to a lack of provision, the time restrictions on terminations, the illegal activities of anti-abortion campaigners – and an enduring legacy of shame.
'What happened in relation to Holles Street was pretty disgusting' - Simon Harris says exclusion zones will be a priority
“We shouldn’t have to change the law to have a basic understanding of decency,” Harris said.
July 11, 2019
EXCLUSION ZONES OUTSIDE hospitals and GP surgeries will be a “major priority” in the new Dáil term, according to Minister for Health Simon Harris.
Exclusion zones are intended to prevent protesters demonstrating within a certain distance of facilities providing abortion care.
Harris accused of letting abortion protest exclusion zones 'fall off the agenda'
The group that staged a protest outside the National Maternity Hospital with three small white coffins plans to return this Saturday.
July 10, 2019
MINISTER FOR HEALTH Simon Harris has been accused of letting legislation to introduce protest exclusion zones around maternity hospitals fall off the government’s agenda.
Pro-life protesters staged a demonstration with three white child-size coffins outside the National Maternity Hospital last weekend. This group is planning to return this Saturday.
Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators attend Rally for Life
Campaigners march through Dublin with banners stating ‘abortion steals hope’
Sat, Jul 6, 2019
Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators turned out in Dublin on Saturday afternoon for the annual Rally for Life.
Campaigners marched from Parnell Square to the Custom House with banners stating “abortion steals hope” and “the future is pro life” and chanting “hey hey ho ho Simon Harris has to go”.
Some GPs 'intimidated' outside practices providing abortion services 'every single day'
By Joyce Fegan
Saturday, May 04, 2019
Some GPs providing abortions services are being "intimidated" outside their practice "every single day." Since the Eighth Amendment was repealed and legislation came into force, 317 GPs have been contracted to provide termination of pregnancy (ToP) services in Ireland, as of January 2.
"Some of our colleagues, of all opinions, have been under a lot of pressure and it's been difficult, but particularly colleagues who have decided to conscientiously support this service. Some of them have been under immense pressure locally," said Dr Mark Murphy, at the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP)'s annual conference this evening.
Ten out of 19 maternity units have abortion services in place
The HSE has said that “service demand remains within the predicted limits” in relation to abortion services.
Apr 20, 2019
THERE ARE 10 maternity units providing abortion services out of a total of 19 units across the country, over three months after Ireland’s abortion laws have been legalised.
The HSE has said that nine maternity units had provided abortion services from the start of this year, and that one additional maternity unit had since begun to offer the service.
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.
Irish ban on funding abortion services in developing world to be lifted
Restrictions on use of aid money to be set aside following abortion reform in Ireland
Mar 3, 2019
A ban on the use of Irish government aid money to fund abortion services in developing countries is likely to be set aside as a consequence of the changes to the legalisation on abortion in Ireland.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says it will launch a new initiative on “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the developing world as part of the work of Irish Aid, the development aid programme of the government.
Explainer: What could Ireland's abortion exclusion zones look like?
The government aims to have draft legislation in place by the summer.
Feb 23, 2019
FOLLOWING A SERIES of anti-abortion protests since Ireland’s termination of pregnancy legislation came into effect on 1 January, the issue of exclusion zones around clinics and GP practices has become a pressing issue.
On 3 January, two days after abortion services became legal in the state, a group of pro-life protesters picketed a GP practice in Galway.
Harris told of fear over abortion 'barriers' in rural areas
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
A “sparse” rural abortion service is forcing pregnant women to travel long distances for a termination, pro-choice groups claim. They also describe the mandatory three-day waiting period for an abortion as “a significant barrier” for rural pregnant women.
The 35 pro-choice groups have written to Health Minister Simon Harris to express their “fear and disappointment” that some women are still unable to access timely abortion care.