Abortion—The Real Irish Lessons

Road to Repeal: 50 Years of Struggle in Ireland for Contraception and Abortion (new book)

by Tomás Mac Sheoin
Feb 01, 2023

In August 2022, Fintan O’Toole, a journalist with the Irish Times, published an article in the New York Review of Books giving his interpretation of the lessons to be learned from the Irish experience with abortion. O’Toole first outlined the history: in 1981, right-wing groups, buttressed by American support—including financial support—formed the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign, which persuaded the Irish government to propose a referendum to include a ban on abortion in the Irish Constitution. The ban was passed in 1983, becoming the constitution’s eighth amendment.

O’Toole outlines three problems with legal bans on abortion. First, they simply do not stop abortions: in 1985, 3,888 women traveled from Ireland to England to terminate their pregnancies; in 2001, that number was 6,673.

Continued: https://monthlyreview.org/2023/02/01/abortion-the-real-irish-lessons/

Ireland – Rotunda master says 95% of parents in Down syndrome cases choose abortion

Hospital ‘does not advocate for termination, that is just the lived experience’, says Prof Fergal Malone

Paul Cullen
Mon Dec 26 2022

About 95 per cent of parents whose babies are diagnosed with Down syndrome at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin choose to have an abortion, according to the master of the hospital.

Prof Fergal Malone says the Rotunda strives to be non-directive in its counselling to affected parents. “The 95 per cent who choose to travel do reach that decision themselves. We very much do not advocate for termination,” he said. “The reality is that the vast majority choose to terminate. I don’t have a view on whether that is the right thing. We don’t advocate for it, that is just the lived experience.”

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/health/2022/12/26/rotunda-master-says-95-of-parents-of-babies-diagnosed-with-down-syndrome-choose-abortion/

Ireland – The Changemakers: The woman who took on the State – and won access to contraception for all

When Customs officials seized the spermicidal jelly mother-of-four May McGee had ordered from the UK on the advice of a doctor, she was livid and took action that led to lasting change, writes Clodagh Finn

SUN, 13 NOV, 2022

It’s striking to hear May McGee describe how she coped with having four babies in just 23 months, between December 1968 and November 1970. “I used to feed them one, two, three, four,” she says recalling how the little bundles were lined up in the family mobile home at Loughshinny in north county Dublin.

“Four bottles, four nappies,” she says, and then makes four gestures, showing how she turned over each baby to wind it.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/people/arid-41000651.html

‘Extremely reckless’: Anti-abortion campaign calls for remote consultations to stop

During Covid pandemic, women seeking abortions did not need to visit GP in person

Sarah Burns
Sat Nov 12 2022

An anti-abortion campaign has described plans to continue remote consultations for women seeking access to abortion care in the State as “extremely reckless”.

Women seeking an abortion during the coronavirus pandemic did not need to visit a GP in person, but this measure was due to lapse following the end of Covid 19 travel restrictions.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/health/2022/11/12/extremely-reckless-anti-abortion-campaign-calls-for-remote-consultations-to-stop/

Ireland – Protesters call for removal of barriers to abortion

Saturday, 29 Oct 2022
By Colman O'Sullivan

Around a thousand people have marched in Dublin to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Savita Halappanavar and to call for changes to abortion laws.

Speaking at the Garden of Remembrance before the march set off, Orla O'Connor of the National Women's Council called for an end to the three-day waiting period before a woman can get an abortion and the abolition of the 12-week limit.

Continued: https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2022/1029/1332157-abortion/

Ireland changed when Savita Halappanavar died – it must continue to change

On the ten year anniversary of the death of Savita Halappanavar, Lynn Enright reflects on how she galvanized a nation and how there is more to be done.

by Lynn Enright
27th Oct 2022

Whenever and wherever abortion is illegal, there are horror stories. Stories so grim and so gruesome they make you weep. A tale of a suicidal child forced to carry the foetus of the man who raped her; news reports of a young woman rooting through blood-soaked rubbish before reporting her housemate, who took illegal abortion pills alone, to police. In 2012, came a story so bleak that it changed a nation.

Savita Halappanavar was 31 in October 2012 and she was 17 weeks’ pregnant; it was to be the first baby for her and her husband, Praveen. If you’re carrying a longed-for baby, the 17-week mark is a nice stage of pregnancy. The morning sickness is usually gone and it is around then that you’ll feel the first flutters of movement, a tiny kick here and there.

Continued: https://www.image.ie/agenda/ireland-changed-when-savita-halappanavar-died-it-must-continue-to-change-606207

Five maternity hospitals will not provide abortions until next year

Ellen Coyne
October 24 2022

Five of the country’s maternity hospitals will not be providing abortion services until next year at the earliest, amid conscientious objection from individual obstetricians and a lack of resources.

Another two maternity hospitals are still in talks with the HSE to try to roll out termination of pregnancy services next year, three years after free access to abortion was first legalised in Ireland.

Continued: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/five-maternity-hospitals-will-not-provide-abortions-until-next-year-42089657.html

Ireland: Abortion and science

Science is far from silent on the adverse consequences for women of restrictive abortion laws

Sat Oct 22 2022
Dr. Peter Boylan

Sir, – William Reville argues that science is silent on the ethics of abortion and that leading scientific journals cannot present “science’s position on abortion – science has no position” (“Why science remains silent on the morality of abortion”, Science, October 21st). He suggests that, following the overturning of Roe v Wade by the US supreme court earlier this year, it is a function of democracy that, “For almost 50 years American conservatives lived with universal access to abortion. Now American liberals must live with restricted access to abortion.”

It is American women and girls, both conservative and liberal, who must now live with the dangers of restricted access to safe and legal abortion. Moreover, science, in the form of evidence-based research and data, is far from silent on the adverse consequences for women of restrictive abortion laws. The science is clear that such laws do not result in fewer abortions, but instead put the lives and health of women at greater risk by compelling them to depend on unsafe and illegal abortion.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/2022/10/22/abortion-and-science/

For Churches, Abortion Politics Is a Double-Edged Sword

Ireland and Poland went in entirely opposite directions on abortion. Why?

By Amanda Taub
Sept. 21, 2022

For the past several years, as I have struggled to put the escalating tumult of global abortion politics into some sort of order inside my own mind, I have returned over and over to two events.

They happened in different countries, in different years. They produced opposite outcomes. And yet I could not shake the feeling that looking at them together might help me understand something important about the way the world works.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/21/world/europe/abortion-ireland-poland.html

Ireland’s Struggle for Abortion Rights Should Be an Inspiration for the US

Ireland’s Struggle for Abortion Rights Should Be an Inspiration for the US

Aug 22, 2022

Irish pro-choice activists had to overcome a rigid constitutional ban on abortion that was in place for more than 30 years. They succeeded by putting mass mobilization and a confident assertion of the right to choose at the heart of their campaign.

In May 2018, the Irish electorate voted by a two-to-one majority to remove or “repeal” the prohibition on abortion, known as the Eighth Amendment, from the country’s constitution. While opinion polls had suggested that pro-choice campaigners would win, most predicted a nerve-rackingly close result; certainly no one anticipated the sheer scale of the victory and the support for abortion access found across every section of society, from young to old, urban to rural.

Continued: https://jacobin.com/2022/08/ireland-abortion-rights-repeal-campaign-us-roe