In medieval Ireland, saints performed abortions. It was a lesser sin than oral sex

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In medieval Ireland, saints performed abortions. It was a lesser sin than oral sex
Those who support legal and safe abortion might better reflect a ‘medieval’ Irish Catholic attitude than those who oppose it

April 19, 2018
Maeve Callan

People on all sides of the abortion debate tend to share an assumption, regardless of their personal views on the issue: Catholicism allows only one attitude toward abortion, that it is among the worst sins, an unconscionable evil. Proponents of women’s rights over their own bodies often criticise anti-abortion legislation as “medieval”, with the Irish Constitution’s Eighth Amendment regularly characterised as such. And yet medieval biographies of multiple Irish Catholic saints, including beloved Brigid of Kildare, reverently record abortions among their miracles, and medieval Irish Catholic penitentialists, priestly authorities who prescribed penances for sins and were often celebrated as saints themselves, treated abortion as a relatively minor offence.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/in-medieval-ireland-saints-performed-abortions-it-was-a-lesser-sin-than-oral-sex-1.3466881

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Amnesty chief calls Latin America’s abortion laws violence against women

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Amnesty chief calls Latin America's abortion laws violence against women
Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general, urges Argentina and others to reform draconian legislation and says human rights have deteriorated across region

Uki Goñi in Buenos Aires
Sun 15 Apr 2018

Latin America’s draconian abortion policies have resulted in the needless deaths of thousands of women, said Amnesty International’s secretary general, Salil Shetty, as he called for a decisive push for legalization of the procedure across the region.

“The criminalization of abortion is an extreme form of violence against women. It doesn’t reduce abortions – it just makes them unsafe,” Shetty told the Guardian in Buenos Aires after a meeting with Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/15/latin-america-abortion-laws-violence-against-women-amnesty-international-salil-shetty

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Ireland – Much of church teaching on sexuality and reproduction ‘irrelevant’

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Much of church teaching on sexuality and reproduction ‘irrelevant’
Event tackles concerns over World Meeting of Families in Ireland, which pope is to attend

Sat, Apr 14, 2018
Mark Hilliard

Church teaching on sexuality and reproduction is “irrelevant and barely rouses” the curiosity of young people today, a conference ahead of the World Meeting of Families has heard.

Denis O’Brien, vice-president of the National Youth Council of Ireland, said Church leaders should learn how to communicate with younger generations which it risks pushing away by imposing views and rules they do not follow.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/much-of-church-teaching-on-sexuality-and-reproduction-irrelevant-1.3462283

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Lenny Abrahamson says Eighth Amendment is ‘national disgrace’

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Lenny Abrahamson says Eighth Amendment is ‘national disgrace’
Oscar-nominated film maker says amendment is a symptom of the ‘old darkness’

Sat, Apr 14, 2018
Mark Hilliard

Oscar-nominated film maker Lenny Abrahamson has described the Eighth Amendment as a “national disgrace”, allowing for policy by an “impulse to control” rather than compassion.

Mr Abrahamson, who was speaking at a rally in support of the Repeal campaign in Dublin on Saturday, said the legal framework was indicative of the attempt of “old Ireland” to cling on and to deny a movement of change.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/lenny-abrahamson-says-eighth-amendment-is-national-disgrace-1.3462272

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FFeminist bots vs rightwing trolls: Brazil’s gender justice movements cross new frontiers

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Feminist bots vs rightwing trolls: Brazil’s gender justice movements cross new frontiers

10 April 2018
By Ani Hao

Abortion has long been criminalized in Brazil, and barely figures into the mainstream leftist political agenda. It is an issue that many have all but given up on - but not the feminist movements.

The battle over the criminalization of abortion is revealing of the overall political scenario in Brazil. Criminalizing and controlling gender and sexuality is the moral foundation of the growing right-wing ideology that is driving the country’s political development. With a political system weakened by corruption and collusion, the battle for abortion is now playing out on the internet through individuals, movements, and even web robots (also known as ‘bots’).

Continued: https://www.awid.org/news-and-analysis/feminist-bots-vs-rightwing-trolls-brazils

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Huge anti-abortion poster removed from wall near Vatican after public outcry

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Huge anti-abortion poster removed from wall near Vatican after public outcry
'You are here because your mother has not aborted you'

Xavier Greenwood
April 6, 2018

Authorities in Rome have removed a large anti-abortion poster showing an 11-week-old foetus in the womb from a wall near the Vatican after a public outcry.

Beside the foetus was the message: “You are here because your mother has not aborted you.”

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/vatican-anti-abortion-poster-baby-rome-foetus-womb-italy-police-provita-onlus-a8292836.html

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Poland’s conservatives are pushing one of Europe’s toughest abortion laws

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Poland’s conservatives are pushing one of Europe’s toughest abortion laws
The bill would force women to give birth even in cases of severe birth defects

Apr 5th 2018
WARSAW

AT 13 weeks of pregnancy, Marta, a young woman in Warsaw, learned that her baby had Down’s syndrome and life-threatening defects. After a procedural obstacle course (including a visit to a psychiatrist), she was allowed to undergo a legal abortion, one of just 1,000 or so in Poland every year. Poland has some of Europe’s tightest restrictions on abortion, allowing it only when the mother’s life is at risk, or in cases of rape or severe prenatal defects. Many women turn to illegal abortions or go abroad, often to Germany.

Now the restrictions could get even tighter. Legislation proposed by a pro-life organisation, backed by the Catholic church, would ban abortion even for severe prenatal defects. The Polish parliament’s committee for human rights gave the bill the go-ahead last month, although the Council of Europe and UN experts have urged lawmakers to reject it.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21739996-bill-would-force-women-give-birth-even-cases-severe-birth-defects-polands

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Poland’s abortion ban is a test case for the Catholic Church

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Poland’s abortion ban is a test case for the Catholic Church
Religious conservatives across Europe will be watching the outcome closely

Agnieszka Graff
April 2, 2018

The crowd was an estimated 55,000 strong — most of the protesters were dressed in black, most of them were young women. They marched through central Warsaw on March 23 to protest against the parliament’s decision to proceed with an almost total ban on abortion.

It had all happened before, in October 2016 — one of this protest’s hashtags was #dejavue. But this time it felt different: angrier, darker, more politically radical, and openly aimed at the Catholic Church. The protests testify not just to the power of the Polish women’s movement, but to a profound change in attitudes. This time it is not just abortion rights that are at issue. Polish women have seen the broader picture.

Continued: https://www.ft.com/content/d3d92b9e-3348-11e8-b5bf-23cb17fd1498

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Ireland- Senator defends ‘ageist’ abortion comment

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Senator defends 'ageist' abortion comment

Ryan Nugent
April 2 2018

SENATOR Catherine Noone has insisted she is not ageist after criticism of a tweet on the abortion debate which described a Mayo priest as an “octogenarian”.

Ms Noone, who is pro-repeal, was unhappy that abortion was brought up during Easter Mass and said there was a time and place for such discussion.

Continued: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/abortion-referendum/senator-defends-ageist-abortion-comment-36766144.html

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Ireland- Anti-abortion movement trusts politicians only when it suits them

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Anti-abortion movement trusts politicians only when it suits them
Eighth Amendment was result of efforts in 1983 to politicise abortion

Mar 31, 2018
Diarmaid Ferriter

Over the decades, champions of the Eighth Amendment have been conveniently selective in their assessments of the usefulness of politicians. During the Seanad debate on the abortion Bill on Wednesday, Senator Ronán Mullen was adamant that “politicians simply can’t be trusted on this issue”; indeed the Eighth Amendment, he insisted, was originally designed to “take this issue away from politicians”.

But it was the politicians who the orchestrators of the Eighth Amendment found extremely useful in 1983. Emily O’Reilly’s 1992 book, Masterminds of the Right underlines a secret world of a very small group who plotted the 1983 amendment and got the politicians to do their bidding.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/anti-abortion-movement-trusts-politicians-only-when-it-suits-them-1.3445715

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