Meet the activist who’s helped thousands of Irish women access safe abortions

Meet the activist who’s helped thousands of Irish women access safe abortions

Posted by Moya Crockett
Published Sep 10, 2018

Woman of the Week is Stylist’s weekly celebration of women who are making a difference to society. This week, we meet Mara Clarke, the founder of the Abortion Support Network, to discuss how things have changed since Ireland’s abortion referendum.

Mara Clarke was in Dublin when the results of the Irish abortion referendum were announced. The founder of the Abortion Support Network (ASN) – a grassroots organisation that provides women with advice and financial aid so that they can access safe terminations – desperately hoped abortion would be decriminalised in Ireland. But she didn’t really think it would happen.

“When the exit polls came out, I didn’t believe it,” she says today. “Even when the results were officially announced, I still didn’t believe it. But then everything went crazy.”

Continued: https://www.stylist.co.uk/visible-women/mara-clarke-abortion-support-network-interview-2018-8th-amendment-repeal/226406

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Ireland – HSE awards €800,000 contract to set up post-abortion phone helpline

HSE awards €800,000 contract to set up post-abortion phone helpline
Registered charity One Family has won the contract to set up the helpline.

Sep 1, 2018

The HSE has awarded a contract to a counselling service to establish a phone helpline for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy or who have had an abortion. The contract for the service, worth €820,000, was first put out to tender in June of this year.

One Family, the company that has won the contract, is a registered charity specialising in counselling services. It’s not yet known what name the service will be promoted under.

Continued: http://www.thejournal.ie/tender-hse-abortion-helpline-4210592-Sep2018/

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The New Way People In Northern Ireland Are Campaigning For Abortion Reform

The New Way People In Northern Ireland Are Campaigning For Abortion Reform

Nick Levine
1 September 2018

The dire need for abortion reform in Northern Ireland has become even more pressing since Ireland's historic vote to overturn its abortion ban in May. Pro-choice campaigners say women in Ulster are now treated as "second-class citizens" next to women in Ireland as well as women in the rest of the UK.

It's not difficult to grasp their point. While women in England will soon be able to take an abortion pill at home, and women in Scotland and Wales already can, women in Northern Ireland still face a life sentence for having an abortion.

Continued; https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2018/09/208853/pennypost-alliance-for-choice

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Women from North will have access to abortion, pledges Simon Harris

Women from North will have access to abortion, pledges Simon Harris

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
August 8 2018

Simon Harris has warned the main parties in Northern Ireland that access to abortion won’t stop at the border.

The health minister told the Féile an Phobail event in Belfast last night that he was planning to “ensure” that women in Northern Ireland, where abortion is still banned in almost all circumstances, will be able to access terminations through the Irish health service.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/women-from-north-will-have-access-to-abortion-pledges-simon-harris-nfhw0jsmn

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Northern Irish Women’s Abortion Access Will Change In A Huge Way Thanks To The Republic Of Ireland

Northern Irish Women's Abortion Access Will Change In A Huge Way Thanks To The Republic Of Ireland

By Sarah Friedmann
Aug 7, 2018

Back in May of this year, Ireland voted to repeal its highly restrictive abortion ban, allowing many more women the ability to exercise their reproductive rights. However, while abortion did become legal in the Republic of Ireland following the referendum, the procedure remains illegal in Northern Ireland, which is a separate country. Nonetheless, Northern Irish Women's abortion access is still going to improve following the Republic's referendum, as the country has promised to allow women from the North to similarly obtain the procedure.

Continued: https://www.bustle.com/p/northern-irish-womens-abortion-access-will-change-in-a-huge-way-thanks-to-the-republic-of-ireland-10033626

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UK politicians call for Northern Ireland abortion reforms

UK politicians call for Northern Ireland abortion reforms
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where abortion is illegal unless pregnancy poses a serious health risk.

22 Jul 2018

More than 170 politicians from the UK and Ireland have signed a letter calling on the UK government to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.

The cross-party letter, published in UK newspaper The Sunday Times, said the "current situation for women [in Northern Ireland] cannot be ignored or allowed to continue".

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/07/uk-politicians-call-northern-ireland-abortion-reforms-180722081907466.html

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Rise in women travelling from Northern Ireland to England for abortions

Rise in women travelling from Northern Ireland to England for abortions
Campaigners say having different abortion laws on either side of Irish border breaches Good Friday agreement

James Tapper
Sat 21 Jul 2018

The number of women travelling from Northern Ireland to have an abortion in England has jumped dramatically since the government set up a special hotline in March.

A total of 342 women and girls – including at least one 12-year-old – went to England for a termination through the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) in the three months since March: a significant increase on the 190 women who travelled to use the same service in the previous nine months.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/21/women-travelling-from-northern-ireland-to-england-for-abortions

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Decrease in number of Irish women having UK abortions

Decrease in number of Irish women having UK abortions
Latest figures from the UK Department of Health show rate down from 3.5 to 3.1 per 1,000

June 7, 2018
Colin Gleeson

There has been a further decrease in the number of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in England and Wales, according to figures issued by the UK Department of Health.

The latest statistics show the number of women has fallen from 3,265 in 2016 to 3,091 in 2017. This equates to a decrease in the rate of women travelling to the UK for an abortion from 3.5 per 1,000 women in 2016 to 3.1 per 1,000 in 2017.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/decrease-in-number-of-irish-women-having-uk-abortions-1.3522768

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Rise in NI women going to England for abortions

Rise in NI women going to England for abortions

June 7, 2018

More than 900 women from Northern Ireland travelled to England for an abortion last year, according to UK Department of Health figures. The number was an increase of over 25% on the year before and the highest level since 2011.

The law is much stricter in Northern Ireland than in the rest of the UK. It is only permitted if a woman's life is at risk, or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-44382514

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Ireland – Abortion and Love

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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