Ireland – Women feel need for abortion ‘cover stories’ for work, survey author says


Women feel need for abortion ‘cover stories’ for work, survey author says
Four in five respondents say women’s health should be priority in reform of abortion law

March 23, 2018
Olivia Kelleher

Irish women undergoing abortions feel under pressure to create a “cover story” for the workplace which is adding to their burden and stigma, an author of a survey on abortion has said.

Fiona Bloomer of the University of Ulster said the research, carried out on behalf of the Alliance for Choice, found that women in Ireland feel they have to come up with an excuse for their absence from work when they are taking time off to have an abortion.


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Meet the American helping Irish women get abortions


Meet the American helping Irish women get abortions

By Haley Joelle
March 15, 2018

LONDON -- Karen, a law student from a small town in rural Ireland, traveled for hours to get to London to have a secret abortion. The procedure is illegal in her own country, so she lied to her family and friends -- everyone apart from her boyfriend and the American who arranged her trip to Britain, Mara Clarke.

The 8th amendment to the Irish constitution, passed in 1983, formally equates the "right to life of the unborn" fetus to the "right to life of the mother." While terminating a pregnancy on Irish soil is against the law, barring a couple of exceptions, Irish women are permitted to travel abroad to terminate their pregnancies, and recent data i


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


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.


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Ireland: The abortion activist touring Ireland to win over hearts and minds


The abortion activist touring Ireland to win over hearts and minds
Caoimhe Anglin hopes to persuade voters to support abolition of eighth amendment that grants a foetus Irish citizenship

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
Fri 29 Dec ‘17

A young computer engineer is embarking on a tour of Ireland in 2018 to convince voters to support changes to the abortion law, as the country prepares for a referendum on repealing its ban on the procedure in almost all circumstances.

Caoimhe Anglin’s journey through every Irish county pitches her into the heart of a battle between secularism and traditional Catholicism.

Continued at source:

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Ryanair cancellations will affect Irish women travelling for abortions


Ryanair cancellations will affect Irish women travelling for abortions
Ashitha Nagesh for
Tuesday 19 Sep 2017

Ryanair has cancelled 13 flights travelling from Dublin to UK airports, potentially affecting hundreds of women who need access safe abortions.

A reproductive rights group in the country is offering to help and support women who have found themselves suddenly without a crucial flight to the Britain.

Continued at source:

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Ireland: Holles Street master calls for availability of abortion


Holles Street master calls for availability of abortion
Rhona Mahony also tells Labour think-in of toxic working conditions in health service

Mon, Sep 11, 2017
Fiach Kelly

Working conditions in the Irish health service are “toxic” and are a disincentive to attracting and retaining medical professionals, the master of the National Maternity Hospital has said.

Rhona Mahony also called for the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which gives equal right to life to the mother and the unborn, to be repealed “for a variety of reasons relating to women’s health”.

Continued at source: Irish Times:

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Irish Abortion Rates Are Down And It Could Be Because More Women Are Buying Illegal Pills Online


Irish Abortion Rates Are Down And It Could Be Because More Women Are Buying Illegal Pills Online

Difficulty accessing abortion and an increased awareness of online abortion pills could account for the decline in official abortion rates.
Posted on June 13, 2017
Laura Silver
BuzzFeed News Reporter

The number of recorded women who have travelled to abortion clinics in England and Wales from Ireland, where the procedure is illegal, decreased last year.

However, there is concern among campaigners that the decline is due to the number of women who self-administer abortion pills at home to illegally end a pregnancy, as well as women from Ireland travelling to England for an abortion and not giving their home address when they are admitted to a clinic.

Continued at link: Buzzfeed:

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Will the Tuam Babies Scandal Ignite an Investigation into Church-State Relations in Ireland?


Will the Tuam Babies Scandal Ignite an Investigation into Church-State Relations in Ireland?
by Julia Canney • 17 March 2017

In 2012 amateur historian Catherine Corless began investigating the abandoned Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland. Disconcerted by the lack of media attention given to her finding that 796 babies had died there in the span of thirty-six years, Corless began the painstaking journey to discover the truth of what happened under the eyes of the Bon Secours nuns. Her work led to the creation of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, which has come under increased scrutiny in the past weeks with the discovery of what’s been reported as “significant quantities of human remains” buried in septic tanks on the grounds of the home for unwed mothers and their children operated by Catholic nuns from 1922 to 1961. Despite the fact that the Irish government has held the outrageously high death registers of the home since 2011, the excavation process was only begun by the Commission of Investigation in November of last year, leaving many stakeholders wondering: Why this inhumane delay in justice?

Continued at source: The Humanist:

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Ireland offers £25,000 to woman forced to have abortion in the UK


In June, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled Ireland’s abortion laws subjected Amanda Mellet to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment

by Alexandra Sims
Thursday 1 December 2016, The Independent

Ireland has for the first time compensated a woman who was forced to travel to Britain to have an abortion.

The government agreed on Wednesday to offer Amanda Mellet €30,000 (£25,000 ) in compensation after she was forced to fly to England to terminate her pregnancy in 2011 when she was told at 21-weeks pregnant her baby carried a fatal foetal impairment and would not survive outside the womb.

[continued at link]
Source: The Independent

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‘My baby’s remains in a cardboard box’: Irish GP’s abortion story

Dr Lara Kelly says she is in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd


Politicians ‘should speak to the women who have gone through it’, says Dr Lara Kelly

Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 11:50

An Irish GP has spoken of the trauma of returning the foetal remains of her baby from England after she was forced her to travel to Liverpool to terminate her pregnancy.

Dr Lara Kelly is one of the first members of the Irish medical profession to speak publicly about travelling to the UK for an abortion. The 35-year-old said her decision to speak out was motivated by the blocking of a Bill in the Dáil earlier this month that would have allowed for abortions in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.

Dr Kelly and her husband, Mark, learned in March that their baby’s brain had not developed properly, that it only had half of a heart, and that it would die shortly after birth.

After receiving confirmation from their consultant around Easter, they travelled to a Liverpool clinic, where the termination took place a fortnight before their first wedding anniversary.

Dr Kelly wanted to take the foetal remains home to be cremated, a process she described as traumatic and unfair.

“The Tottenham Hotspur football team were staying at our hotel,” Dr Kelly said. “I remember carrying the remains past the entire Spurs squad. It was the weirdest thing, walking past them and some of their fans in the packed lobby.

“There was me with my little plastic bag and the baby’s remains in a cardboard box. It was just so bizarre passing by the players with the remains of our baby under my arm.”

At Liverpool airport, Dr Kelly and her husband decided to carry the remains on to the plane, rather than have them placed in the hold, in case the luggage went missing. Passing through security brought on further trauma, she said.

“We were queuing at security for ages and I wasn’t feeling physically great after the procedure the day before,” she said. “When we got to the top we said to the security guy that we had to declare foetal remains. The guy said, ‘What?’ He didn’t seem to understand and so we said it out loud again. He didn’t know what foetal remains meant so Mark said, ‘It’s a baby in the box’, and the man said out loud, ‘A baby in the box?’ Half the queue heard that, probably some of those who were getting on our flight to Dublin heard that.”


The whole experience was an ordeal, she said. “People – from the hotel clerk to the taxi man taking us to the clinic – kept asking us what we were doing over in Liverpool. Having to avoid those questions was the start of it all feeling so unfair.

“I didn’t even let the taxi drop us right outside the clinic and instead got out before the entrance further down the road. It was all about keeping it secret and to ourselves. I wasn’t questioning what I was going to do, I just didn’t want people to know. We had to lie to people about why we were really over in Liverpool, a series of lies and I couldn’t stop. You lied because you were supposed to lie.”

Dr Kelly and her husband said they had not taken the decision to have an abortion lightly. “We discussed the termination and we felt it was absolutely the best decision for us,” she said. “This was very much a wanted baby. It was an enormous decision that we took very seriously.”

According to statistics compiled by the UK’s department of health between 1980 and 2015, at least 165,438 Irish women and girls accessed UK abortion services. Last year, the figure was 3,451.

However, the Irish Family Planning Association pointed out that these figures underestimate the real numbers, as not all women will provide Irish addresses for reasons of confidentiality. Thousands of other Irish women access abortion through pills bought online, the IFPA said.

Two incidents from Dr Kelly’s experience bore out the high numbers. When Dr Kelly found the website for the clinic in Liverpool that dealt with fatal foetal causes, she noticed there was a specific section called Travelling from Ireland.

“Bizarrely, the terminations are cheaper for women coming from Ireland because they are mindful about the costs of going over to England,” Dr Kelly said. “It shows how many Irish women use their services.”

On her way back to Dublin, Dr Kelly approached a member of staff at Liverpool airport to ask for advice about travelling with foetal remains. “The girl was Irish as it happened and she said something astonishing to me. ‘It’s fine,’ she said. ‘You need to go over to the gentleman at customs and declare the remains at security. It’s fine, I did it a few weeks ago.’ That’s what she said to me. It was said with such normality because she had done it herself.”

After landing in Dublin the couple drove straight to a funeral home. Once home, Dr Kelly was upfront about her termination within her wider family, who she said supported her decision fully.

However, she said she would have preferred to have had the termination in her home city, adding: “I could have gone to my local hospital that morning, I could have been with my mum and dad recovering that night after it; in my own bed under supervision of my own doctor. I was made to get on a plane to go to a different country because I was not allowed to be here.”

Dr Kelly supports demands by pro-choice campaigners for a referendum aimed at abolishing the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.

Dr Kelly said her experience underlined the need to abolish the Amendment. “I would like the people of this country to have the right to vote on this. Give us our referendum. None of the people of my generation got to speak in 1983. I was 18 months old the last time this was voted on,” she said.

“As for politicians, I would say to them that I have a story and they should speak to the women who have gone through it instead of just exporting the problem.”

Source: Irish Times

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