Ireland – Lack of action on State’s abortion law shows ‘political cowardice’

MON, 15 JAN, 2024

Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns said it will be “cruel” and “political cowardice” if the Government decides against removing a three-day waiting period to access abortion services.

Ms Cairns has called on Government to deal with the recommendations from the final review into the State’s abortion law, authored by barrister Marie O’Shea, which recommends significant changes.


Free contraception provision expanded in Ireland

Mon, January 1, 2024

A scheme offering free contraception in the Republic of Ireland has been expanded. Since its launch in 2022, the programme has offered free contraception to women, girls and people who identify as transgender or non-binary.

Initially open to those aged 17 to 25, the scheme's age limit was increased last year to 30. From Monday, it is also open to women aged 31.


Ireland allowed mental health abortion exception 30 years ago

Ireland has protected the right to seek an abortion because of the risk of suicide since 1992

By Sandhya Raman

Posted December 7, 2023

While 18 U.S. states have essentially banned abortion for pregnant people facing a mental health crisis, Ireland, which had one of the strictest abortion laws in the European Union until 2018, has taken a different approach.

Ireland has protected the right to seek an abortion because of the risk of suicide since 1992. While more than two-thirds of U.S. states have enacted laws that include mental health among the medical reasons a woman can have an abortion, Ireland protected exceptions for risk of suicide long before the country voted in 2018 to repeal its amendment banning abortion.


Abortion Pills Go Global

Regardless of the law, women can now access their own safe and effective abortion procedures in the form of these pills.

November 10, 2023

After Ohio’s recent vote to enshrine the right to have an abortion into the state’s constitution, host Robert Scheer dives deeper into one of the underappreciated and underreported aspects of the fight for abortion rights on this episode of the Scheer Intelligence podcast.

Sydney Calkin, a senior lecturer in the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London, discusses her newest book, “Abortion Pills Go Global: Reproductive Freedom Across Borders,” and breaks down the myths and misconceptions about one of the biggest tools for bringing women’s reproductive rights to the forefront.


Ireland – Calls to urgently implement Safe Access Zones for abortion services after protests

Sun 1 Oct 2023

Michael Bolton

Healthcare workers, abortion campaign groups and members of the public have contacted the Department of Health calling for it to implement safe access zones for abortion services.

The Department received 19 requests for Safe Access Zones since January 2022, according to documents seen by under the Freedom of Information Act.

Protests held outside medical centres and hospitals, and targeting people accessing abortion services were of concern, according to emails sent to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.


Ireland – Calls for Government to make contraception more accessible

It follows the recent expansion of the free contraception scheme for young women between 17 and 30.

SUN, 03 SEP, 2023

THE Irish Pharmacy Union is calling on the Government to make contraception more accessible by offering more over the counter solutions for those seeking birth control. It follows the recent expansion of the free contraception scheme for young women between 17 and 30.

While the organisation welcomed the move, representatives are still urging the government to make it easier and faster for young women to avail of the scheme.


Ireland – Safe Access Zones are vital

Annie Hoey
27 June 2023

Labour Senator and Oireachtas Health Committee Member Annie Hoey has welcomed the belated decision of Government to implement legislation to safeguard women attending abortion services. Senator Hoey said:

“Almost five years have passed since the public voted for compassion in a crisis, and for the last five years, many women attending abortion services have had to put up with abhorrent abuse outside GPs, clinics and hospitals. It’s welcome that Government have finally moved to protect women at their most vulnerable, but it is shameful that it has taken this long to put in place a safeguarding framework.”


The Pain and Promise of Europe’s Abortion Laws

The continent’s abortion laws are a patchwork of progress and setbacks. And for many, accessing the right care at the right time is still a lottery.

JUN 22, 2023

ON MAY 26, 2018, Irish women spilled onto the streets to celebrate a historic win for reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. The staunchly Catholic country had overwhelmingly voted to scrap the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, under which abortion was essentially illegal—one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.

Five years on, the mood has sobered. Under the new laws, those seeking an abortion have to undergo a mandatory waiting period, adhere to strict time limits, and contend with a lack of providers. From 2019 to 2021, 775 people made use of their right to travel freely between the United Kingdom and Ireland to head to Britain to access abortion services. In 2020, despite the pandemic, nearly 200 people still traveled across the Irish Sea to get abortion care in the UK. The Abortion Support Network (ASN), a charity that helps people in Europe access abortion through telemedicine or by supporting travel, says every three days they hear from someone in Ireland looking for help.


Ireland – Independent review of abortion laws should not be treated as ‘gospel’, says Varadkar  

The review recommended several changes to Irish abortion laws, including scrapping the three-day ‘cooling off’ period.

June 2, 2023

AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW of Ireland’s abortion laws should not be treated as “gospel” that should be implemented without question, the Taoiseach has insisted.

Leo Varadkar also expressed concern that the debate around potential changes to the legal framework was too focused on politics and personalities, rather than about what was best for women and children.


Ireland- Dáil votes to fully decriminalise abortion

Legislation providing for the complete decriminalisation of abortion and the abolition of the mandatory three-day waiting period before an abortion can be carried out has been approved by TDs.

1 JUN 2023
Bríd Smith

The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) (Amendment) Bill 2023, introduced by People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith, was approved by 67–64 with eight abstentions after government TDs were given a free vote.

A proposal by health minister Stephen Donnelly to delay the progress of the bill for a year to allow the Oireachtas health committee to fully consider the recommendations of a recent review led by Marie O’Shea BL was defeated by a greater margin of 74–61 with three abstentions.