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

BY SINÉAD KENNEDY
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


The Irish Lesson

If the purpose of abortion bans is to actually reduce the rate at which women terminate pregnancies, the Irish experience shows how utterly ineffectual they are.

Fintan O’Toole
August 18, 2022 issue, NY Books (posted July 27)

In 1973, soon after the US Supreme Court established a right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, Charles E. Rice concluded that “the essential remedy to the abortion problem is a constitutional amendment.” Rice is an important figure in the intellectual history of the antiabortion movement that is now, with the recent overturning of Roe, enjoying its moment of triumph. He was a cofounder of the Conservative Party of New York State, formed by those who considered the Republican Party too liberal; one of his scholarly tracts is an attack on the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As a professor of constitutional law, he established Notre Dame University in Indiana as a redoubt of the conservative Catholic legal thinking whose influence most fully blossomed when Donald Trump appointed Rice’s colleague and associate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Continued: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2022/08/18/the-irish-lesson-fintan-otoole/


Ireland – This woman died because of an abortion ban. Americans fear they could be next.

I think maternal mortality will go up,” said the expert who wrote Ireland's official report on the death of Dr. Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion.

July 4, 2022
By Patrick Smith

After the Supreme Court’s historic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, some doctors are highlighting the 2012 death of a pregnant woman in Ireland and warning that the same thing could happen on a large scale in the United States.

Dr. Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian-born dentist, died in 2012 in Galway, on Ireland’s west coast, after she was denied an abortion by doctors who cited the country’s strict laws, despite there being no chance of her baby’s survival, according to Ireland’s official report on the case.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/woman-died-ireland-abortion-ban-warning-americans-roe-v-wade-rcna35431


Death and Suffering: The Story Behind Ireland’s Abortion Ban and its Reversal

The death of Savita Halappanavar in an Irish hospital in 2012 after she was denied an abortion during a miscarriage caused outrage across Ireland.

June 27, 2022
By Gretchen E. Ely

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the U.S., the nation may find itself on a path similar to that trodden by the Irish people from 1983 to 2018.

Abortion was first prohibited in Ireland through what was called the Offenses Against the Person Act of 1861. That law became part of Irish law when Ireland gained independence from the U.K. in 1922. In the early 1980s, some anti-abortion Catholic activists noticed the liberalization of abortion laws in other Western democracies and worried the same might happen in Ireland.

Continued: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2022-06-27/the-story-behind-irelands-abortion-ban-and-its-reversal


What Ireland’s Past Can Tell Us About A Post-Roe America

By Monica Potts
JUN. 8, 2022

Before 2018, most women in the Republic of Ireland were able to get abortions only if they traveled to a clinic in England or Wales or had a self-managed abortion at home, but figuring out how to do either of those options was difficult.

Information on abortion was censored in the first years of the ban, which took effect in 19831. Certain books were prohibited, and even the Irish edition of Cosmopolitan magazine had blank pages instead of adverts for British clinics. Meanwhile, those who sought abortions faced isolation, stigma and limited help from medical professionals. And for the few who were able to overcome those barriers and somehow reach one of the feminist networks that could help with information, logistics and fundraising, they still might pay hundreds of pounds or more for the procedure, transportation, meals and a hotel.

Continued: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-irelands-past-can-tell-us-about-a-post-roe-america/


Abortion: Ireland’s past is America’s future

BY CHRISTINE RYAN
05/17/22

This month, four years ago, media from across the globe descended on the courtyard of Dublin Castle. They traveled to capture the scene of thousands of Irish people celebrating the results of the Irish abortion referendum. A landslide majority had “repealed the 8th” and voted to change the country’s constitution to enable legal recognition of abortion rights for the first time in the state’s history. Generations of families cheered and cried together while politicians from warring parties embraced. Viewers abroad marveled at the displays of pride, rapture, and even love.  

To understand why the referendum result in Ireland prompted such
outpourings is to understand the full meaning of the right to abortion.

Continued: https://thehill.com/opinion/international/3491465-abortion-irelands-past-is-americas-future/


Abortion: the story of suffering and death behind Ireland’s ban and subsequent legalization

Published: May 16, 2022
Gretchen E. Ely

If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the U.S., the nation may find itself on a path similar to that trod by the Irish people from 1983 to 2018. A draft decision signed by the majority of conservative justices was leaked in May 2022, and indicates the court may do just that.

Abortion was first prohibited in Ireland through what was called the Offenses Against the Person Act of 1861. That law became part of Irish law when Ireland gained independence from the U.K. in 1922. In the early 1980s, some anti-abortion Catholic activists noticed the liberalization of abortion laws in other Western democracies and worried the same might happen in Ireland.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/abortion-the-story-of-suffering-and-death-behind-irelands-ban-and-subsequent-legalization-182812


Europe – The abortion travel agents: ‘Some women know what they need, others just say: help’

With reproductive rights being increasingly restricted in Europe, people are relying on a network of volunteers to help them

Introduction Margaret Atwood
Interviews Candice Pires
Sat 19 Feb 2022

When The Handmaid’s Tale first came out in 1985, the initial response was broadly that people thought such threats to women’s bodies and reproductive rights “couldn’t happen here”. By the time it aired as a TV series in 2017, just after Donald Trump was inaugurated in the US, people were no longer so sure. With every headline about gains in reproductive rights – Ireland repealing the eighth amendment in 2018, which had effectively banned abortions – there are others that underscore how fragile these rights are, wherever you live.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/19/the-abortion-travel-agents-some-women-know-what-they-need-others-just-say-help-europe-margaret-atwood


Ireland – ’Frightening’ language and no abortion information: Warning issued over rogue pregnancy services

Women who have inadvertently engaged with these groups have found the experience “extremely distressing”.

January 17, 2021

THE HSE HAS issued a warning about unregulated crisis pregnancy services which present themselves as unbiased but have an anti-abortion stance.

A number of these services have profiles on social media and also advertise with stickers and posters in Dublin and other locations.

Continued: https://www.thejournal.ie/unregulated-crisis-pregnancy-services-in-ireland-5650166-Jan2022/