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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Ireland – Personal stories are precious things and they made the difference

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Anne Enright: Personal stories are precious things and they made the difference
‘How did we turn ourselves from fallen women into women rising? By telling the truth. It was that simple’

May 27, 2018
Anne Enright

The Eighth Amendment was always a failure - medical, practically, geographically - the only thing it did was make people’s lives worse.

Seventy five per cent of voters knew their mind before the campaign began, according to exit polling on Friday. Some would vote for pragmatic reasons, some for sympathetic ones, more than three quarters said they were influenced by personal stories they had heard in the media or from people they knew.

Personal stories are precious things. To speak can be to suffer twice, especially if you do not know how your story will be heard. People do need to speak, however. They know that if they tell it true, if their story is accurate to the experience, emotionally honest, unafraid of its own contradictions, then something else happens. A story of hurt becomes one of healing.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/anne-enright-personal-stories-are-precious-things-and-they-made-the-difference-1.3510189

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Ireland is the last Western democracy that still bans abortion, but that could end with today’s referendum

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Ireland is the last Western democracy that still bans abortion, but that could end with today's referendum
Yes supporters say repealing the 8th amendment of the constitution in Friday's referendum acknowledges reality

Nahlah Ayed · CBC News
Posted: May 25, 2018

Twelve years ago, Tara Flynn became one of many Irish women who needed to "go to England."

Instead, she chose to go to the Netherlands — but the end result was the same: she had an abortion and flew back the very same day.

Continued: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/once-in-a-generation-this-time-irish-government-calls-for-ending-abortion-ban-1.4677052

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Ireland – The Women’s Podcast: Reflecting on the Repeal movement

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The Women’s Podcast: Reflecting on the Repeal movement
Writer Una Mullally and poet Elaine Feeney talk to Kathy Sheridan about Repeal the 8th book

Thu, Apr 5, 2018
Jennifer Ryan

“Social change is creative change and it’s important to remember the artistic expressions that have brought us to this place and have been a part of it too,” says journalist Una Mullally, about why she has put together an anthology of writing and art on the Repeal movement.

The Repeal the 8th book is a collection of stories, essays, poetry and photography around the movement for reproductive rights in Ireland in the lead up to a referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the constitution on May 25th.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/the-women-s-podcast-reflecting-on-the-repeal-movement-1.3450592

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Ireland – Understanding the selective compassion of abortion vote

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Understanding the selective compassion of abortion vote
Dealing with pro-life arguments will be the key to the controversial referendum being passed, writes Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch
March 11 2018

Already, with a couple of months still to go, the abortion referendum feels like our own Vietnam; a war that will never end.

The rote lines of both sides have beaten a country into submission. Maria Steen, Tara Flynn and Catherine Noone must be on the brink of nervous exhaustion, but they and others have, at least, moved us towards the bitter end.

Continued: https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/understanding-the-selective-compassion-of-abortion-vote-36691948.html

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In Ireland, A Vote Is Expected This Spring On Expanding Abortion Rights

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In Ireland, A Vote Is Expected This Spring On Expanding Abortion Rights

March 6, 2018
Lauren Frayer

At her home in Dublin, actress Tara Flynn recalls how, 12 years ago, she learned she was pregnant. It was not planned.

"I was 37. I was single. I wasn't working very much, and I didn't want to be a parent," Flynn says.

She didn't want to have a baby and give it up for adoption, either. But with abortion illegal in Ireland, her only option at the time was to leave the country to end her pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/03/06/590922520/in-ireland-a-vote-is-expected-this-spring-on-expanding-abortion-rights

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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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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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Thousands attend Dublin abortion rights protest

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Thousands attend Dublin abortion rights protest
March for Choice is first major march since timeframe of referendum unveiled
Sat, Sep 30, 2017
Ronan McGreevy, Ciarán D'Arcy

Thousands of people took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday calling for the liberalisation of Ireland’s abortion laws.

The demonstration began at the Garden of Remembrance at 2pm and progressed down O’Connell Street, before turning onto the quays and crossing over the Liffey. From there it proceeded up Pearse Street and towards the rally area in Merrion Square.

Continued at source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/thousands-attend-dublin-abortion-rights-protest-1.3239832

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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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