Ireland – Abortion: the need to engage and explain

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Abortion: the need to engage and explain
Recent developments have underlined the scale of the task facing the repeal side

Feb 20, 2018

Three weeks have passed since Taoiseach Leo Varadkar fired the starting gun for the abortion referendum campaign after a late-night Government meeting to formally sign off on the plan. That important step, coming as it did 10 days after a surprise announcement by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that he would vote to remove the constitutional ban on abortion, energised pro-choice supporters and injected momentum into their campaign.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/abortion-the-need-to-engage-and-explain-1.3397802

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Ireland – Abortion referendum will hang on the undecided middle ground

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Abortion referendum will hang on the undecided middle ground
Analysis: People ‘want to hear from women and doctors’, say focus groups

Feb 20, 2018
Pat Leahy Political Editor

Opinion polls published last weekend suggest a tightening of the abortion referendum campaign, as it becomes clear that a large undecided middle ground will be the key to the outcome.

The Cabinet will today consider a draft referendum Bill, but that process will not be completed until after the Supreme Court has ruled in an appeal that begins on Thursday.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum-will-hang-on-the-undecided-middle-ground-1.3397981

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Ireland – Harsh penalties by church and State on those who have abortions do not work

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Harsh penalties by church and State on those who have abortions do not work
As Catholics we must now decide on what type of civic society we wish to create

Feb 20, 2018
Brendan Butler

The forthcoming referendum will present me and other committed Catholics with a dilemma. Do I vote to retain the present constitutional ban on abortion – which results in the criminalisation of women who have had abortions – or to recognise a changing reality where the present Irish population, especially the younger generation, are concerned, and who see opposition by the Catholic Church to repeal of the Eighth Amendment as a threat to their moral freedom to act according to their consciences?

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/harsh-penalties-by-church-and-state-on-those-who-have-abortions-do-not-work-1.3397839

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The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World

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The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World — EXCLUSIVE

By Nancy Northup & Anu Kumar
Feb 19, 2018

Jan. 23 marks one year since President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which bans overseas organizations that receive U.S. funding from using their own money to provide abortion information, referrals, or to advocate for law reform. The policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, not only harms women and girls around the world, it disproportionately impacts countries home to mainly people of color. It embodies the “America First” ideological imperialism and reliance on strong-arm coercion that have shaped and defined this administration’s first year.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has implemented the gag rule, using foreign policy to bully countries on abortion for decades. Since 1973, global health organizations have been working under the Helms Amendment, an egregious policy that bans any U.S. foreign aid funds from being used for abortion services. This policy remains in effect, and the gag rule bolsters it. Despite the Helms Amendment, in recent years the global community has made progress in expanding access to reproductive health care, particularly safe abortion.

Continued: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/the-global-gag-rule-is-harming-women-around-the-world-exclusive-8245633

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Ireland – No anti-abortion medical experts willing to argue for Eighth – Noone

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No anti-abortion medical experts willing to argue for Eighth – Noone
No Irish-based consultants or GPs ‘made available to Committee on Eighth Amendment’

Feb 19, 2018
Ronan McGreevy

The chair of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment has revealed the committee could not find a single medical expert in Ireland to argue the case for the status quo.

Senator Catherine Noone said the committee secretariat and the membership had been asked to put forward experts who would put the medical case for retaining the Eighth Amendment.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/no-anti-abortion-medical-experts-willing-to-argue-for-eighth-noone-1.3397941

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Ireland – Abortion vote moves step closer as cabinet prepares policy paper

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Abortion vote moves step closer as cabinet prepares policy paper

Jennifer Bray, Ireland Deputy Political Editor
February 19 2018

Plans for a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment will be set in motion by the Irish government at a cabinet meeting tomorrow.

Simon Harris, the health minister, will bring a memo forward containing the heads of a new bill to provide the legislative grounds for a vote in late May or early June.

It is expected that the full bill will be published early next month and that the government will publish a policy paper at the same time that will detail the laws it intends to bring in if the ban on abortion is repealed.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-vote-moves-step-closer-as-cabinet-prepares-policy-paper-zlbxzjmfx

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Ireland – FitzGerald ‘railroaded’ into 1983 abortion referendum, Barry Desmond claims

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FitzGerald ‘railroaded’ into 1983 abortion referendum, Barry Desmond claims
Gemma Hussey recalls threatening letters warning ‘we know where you live’

Feb 19, 2018
Michael O'Regan

The late Fine Gael taoiseach Dr Garret FitzGerald was “ politically railroaded’’ by Fianna Fáil’s Charles Haughey into agreeing to the controversial 1983 abortion referendum, former Labour minister Barry Desmond has claimed.

Mr Desmond, who was minister for health in the then Fine Gael-Labour coalition, refused to handle the referendum Bill in the Dáil because of his strong opposition to the wording, and responsibility for it was instead allocated by Dr FitzGerald to Michael Noonan, who was minister for justice.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/fitzgerald-railroaded-into-1983-abortion-referendum-barry-desmond-claims-1.3396713

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Ireland – Poll shows strong support in favour of abortion referendum – but ’12 week’ proposal splits public

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Poll shows strong support in favour of abortion referendum - but '12 week' proposal splits public

Philip Ryan
February 18 2018

There is strong support in favour of a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment, according to a poll.

The Kantar Millward Brown poll, in today's Sunday Independent, finds a strong support in favour of a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment, with 63pc in favour.

Continued: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/poll-shows-strong-support-in-favour-of-abortion-referendum-but-12-week-proposal-splits-public-36615455.html

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New Zealand – Labour moves to legalise abortion

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Labour moves to legalise abortion

FEBRUARY 16, 2018
Thomas Coughlan

Andrew Little today fired the starting gun on reforming New Zealand's decades-old abortion laws, confirming that he had sent a draft referral to the two other governing parties for their comment. Thomas Coughlan reports on what to expect from the law change.

Andrew Little surprised observers today when he revealed that a draft referral on reforming New Zealand's abortion law had been circulated to New Zealand First and the Greens. Little said today that he received a letter from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after the coalition was formed directing him to begin the process of reforming the law. Once the two parties give feedback, the referral will be sent to the Law Commission to make a recommendation.

Continued: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/02/15/89105/labour-moves-to-legalise-abortion

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The Irish Expats Flying Home to Vote Against Ireland’s Abortion Ban

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The Irish Expats Flying Home to Vote Against Ireland's Abortion Ban
“I am traveling home to vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment on behalf of all the women and girls in Ireland who do not have a choice about what happens to their bodies.”

Zing Tsjeng
Feb 16 2018

As the month of the Irish abortion referendum draws closer, a new campaign is encouraging people to make the journey home to Ireland to cast their ballot.

At the beginning of the year, the Irish government announced that it would hold a vote on repealing the Eighth Amendment by the end of May. The controversial legislation gives an unborn fetus the same right to life as a mother and effectively prohibits abortion unless the pregnancy is life-threatening to the woman. In 2016, the United Nations declared that the ban on abortion was illegal and inhumane.

Continued: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/neq3kw/ireland-abortion-vote-referendum-expats

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