Ireland – ’Travelling for an abortion is always hard, but now it is just unbelievably difficult’

Women with unwanted pregnancies are finding Covid-19 a major obstacle to keeping their lives on track, writes Ali Bracken

Ali Bracken
February 07 2021

An unwanted pregnancy was not something Aoife had anticipated having to deal with during lockdown. But somehow, at the end of November, she found herself sitting alone in her Dublin apartment, looking incredulously at the pregnancy test results. She initially didn't believe it. So she took another test, and then a third. Finally she was forced to accept the reality.

"I was pregnant in the middle of a pandemic. And I did not want to be," she recalls. "For me, this was the worst news. It also came at the most emotionally challenging time of my life.


Welcoming positive change in US foreign policy

The incoming Biden administration is set to adopt policies that promote equality and human rights around the world, says Katherine Zappone

Katherine Zappone
TUE, 15 DEC, 2020

One of many reasons to welcome Donald Trump’s departure from the White House is that a deeply damaging and harmful piece of foreign policy is expected to exit with him.

The so-called ‘Global Gag Rule’, a policy which prohibits US aid to foreign nongovernmental organisations who refer to or advocate abortion services, has cost the lives of tens of thousands of women and girls in the poorer regions of the world during the past four years.


Ireland – ‘This institution for ‘unmarried mothers’ is not part of some distant past – it closed in 2006’

Writer Caelainn Hogan has accessed files that give an insight into life at a Donegal mother-and-baby home known as The Castle.

Aug 23, 2020
Caelainn Hogan

IN A SMALL town in Donegal close to the border with Derry there is an abandoned building that was once a mother-and-baby home called the Castle.

The boarded-up house is visible from the road, set back from high gates in an overgrown field.

This institution where ‘unmarried mothers’ were sent is not part of some distant past. It only closed in 2006.


Abortion: the US shows what could be in store for Ireland

A close look at what is going on in the US could show what is in store for Ireland

Fri, Jul 24, 2020
Mary Ziegler

The fight over Ireland’s Eighth Amendment touched a nerve in the United States. After all, more than four decades ago, Americans lived through a sweeping change to the nation’s abortion laws after the US Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision invalidated most laws on the books and created a new right to choose abortion.

In May 2018, Ireland experienced a change that was just as explosive. Voters decisively chose to reject the Eighth and approve a law that guaranteed unrestricted access to abortion until the 12th week of pregnancy.


Ireland – My baby heartbreak changed history

When Amy learned the child she was carrying wouldn't survive, she faced an agonising choice, that ended in a battle to change Irish abortion laws. Now, she describes the case that saw her branded a murderer at 17

By Jenny Johnston for the Daily Mail
15 July 2020

The worst thing for Amy Dunne is that she never saw her daughter’s face. ‘I couldn’t at the time. I had the choice and I just couldn’t do it. I stood by the cot and touched her fingers and her toes, but she was never in my arms, and the blanket was covering her face.

‘I remember watching the priest hold her to give her a blessing, and being bitter and jealous that he was holding my baby. I think maybe even at the time I knew that I would be angry for the rest of my life because I never got to see my child.’


Ireland’s first report on abortion shows huge progress, but some women still forced to travel

Amnesty International
30th June 2020

In response to the publication today of the 2019 Annual report on abortion statistics by the outgoing Minister for Health, Amnesty welcomes the progress made for the 6,666 pregnant people who were able to access free, safe and legal abortion care in this country.

“Last year, 6,666 women and girls were able to receive abortion care within our own health system. To go from a country that exiled women seeking abortions two years ago, to one that is caring for them at home is such an important step forward. There are some wide variations in the numbers across counties, though. The new government must ensure abortion services are available and accessible to all pregnant people in the state,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.


Ireland – Abortion data shows progress made in abortion care but way to go to universal access

Press release, Abortion Rights Campaign
June 30, 2020

“The release of Ireland’s first abortion figures demonstrates a reality we have long known to be true: Irish people get abortions. They always have, they always will. Now, for the first time in the country’s history, free, safe, legal abortion is possible; the repeal of the 8th has brought an end to forced travel overseas or importing pills illegally for many in Ireland,” said Cathie Shiels, Co-convener of the Abortion Rights Campaign.

These figures, which showed that 6,666 people had an abortion in Ireland in 2019, are not comparable to statistics used in the past. Previously, we have relied on UK data which we always knew to be an undercount that failed to capture Irish residents who gave UK addresses, travelled to other destinations overseas or imported pills illegally.


Ireland – Anti-abortion doctors work with controversial US activists to promote unproven ‘reversals’

Anti-abortion doctors work with controversial US activists to promote unproven 'reversals'
Reporter was offered drug over phone by Irish GP

Ellen Coyne
May 26 2020

Irish doctors are working with a US anti-abortion group linked to the Trump White House to promote an unproven "abortion reversal" treatment.

The HSE has warned that "abortion reversal" does not exist, and is not a reliable medical practice.


Malta looks to Ireland in campaign for legal abortion

Malta looks to Ireland in campaign for legal abortion

Monday, 25 May 2020
By Ailbhe Conneely, Social Affairs & Religion Correspondent

The second anniversary of the referendum on the 8th amendment has arrived, and has barely made a dent in the news coverage due to Covid-19.

Arguably, the appetite for the story is no longer there, but it is a topic that will never be far from the headlines.

Legislation underpinning the current service will be reviewed next year, for example.


IFPA YouTube series to support people who need abortion care during COVID-19

IFPA YouTube series to support people who need abortion care during COVID-19
Videos were created to help those accessing abortion services during the pandemic

Irish Family Planning Association
Published May 7th, 2020

To support people who are experiencing an unintended pregnancy or a pregnancy that has become a crisis during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the Irish Family Planning Association has launched a series of videos to assist those who need abortion care.

IFPA COVID-19 abortion care videos
Getting healthcare over the phone is new to most people. The Irish Family Planning Association want those accessing abortion services to be at ease when they speak to the doctor and to be well-prepared and comfortable about managing an abortion at home. To help to do this, they have created additional supports and new information materials.