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.


Ireland – Ivana Bacik: How abortion campaign went from ‘desperately lonely’ to ‘tremendously positive’

On a political level, there was very little to cling to as an abortion activist in the 80s and 90s, she says, and religion of course played a large part in that.

May 27, 2023

LABOUR LEADER IVANA Bacik spoke to The Journal about how the route to abortion rights went from being a “desperately lonely” movement on the periphery of society to becoming a mainstream political issue.

The subject of access to abortion stills holds the public’s attention today with a recent review finding that issues such as geographic location, the three-day waiting period and other obstacles still impede women’s access to abortion services.


Five years after Ireland’s historic abortion referendum, access to care is still ‘patchy’

By Niamh Kennedy and Emily Blumenthal, CNN
Thu May 25, 2023

In 2018, the Irish public voted overwhelmingly to repeal the country’s Eighth Amendment, overturning one of the strictest abortion bans in the European Union. There were scenes of jubilation as the referendum result was announced, with many in Ireland seeing it as a historic step that would give women control over their own bodies.

But five years on, although abortion is free and legally available in Ireland up to 12 weeks of pregnancy – after that allowed only in exceptional circumstances, if there is a risk to the mother’s life or the fetus is not expected to survive – the abortion system is still far from where campaigners and charities would like it to be.


Film revives memories of girl’s death as Ireland reviews abortion rules

Death of Ann Lovett while giving birth in 1984 helped sparked movement that led to 2018 vote to lift abortion ban

Rory Carroll
Tue 9 May 2023

On the morning of 31 January 1984 Ann Lovett put a pair of scissors in her school bag and left her home in Granard, a small town in County Longford, Ireland.

It was cold and wet. The 15-year-old was in her uniform but did not go to school. She went to the deserted grotto of St Mary’s church, lay down on gravel, removed her underwear and gave birth in the rain.


‘Clear’ difference in abortion access across Ireland – Malone

Saturday, 29 Apr 2023

It is "clear" there are differences in access to abortion services across Ireland, according to the former Master of the Rotunda Hospital.

Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Professor Fergal Malone said some parts of the country are well served, while in other parts, it is "challenging" as he described "conscientious objection" as one of the factors.


Ireland – Abortion system could collapse, says researcher involved in review of laws

Dr Deirdre Duffy identifies issues around conscientious objection and spread of services and is concerned her findings will not be shared

Jennifer Bray
Mon Apr 3 2023

Elements of Ireland’s abortion system are “not sustainable” in their current form and the service could collapse, according to a researcher involved in a review of the State’s laws on terminations of pregnancy.

Dr Deirdre Duffy, now at Lancaster University, and a team of researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University were appointed by the Government to carry out a study looking at the experience of abortion service providers such as hospital staff and GPs.

Their research has identified issues around guidance on conscientious objection as well shortcomings in the spread of services available around the country and the availability of staff and facilities in hospitals.