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

MON, 15 JAN, 2024
CIARA PHELAN, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT

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.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/politics/arid-41309473.html


USA – Women’s stories may change the abortion narrative

Testimony about the horrors of abortion bans is more powerful than abstract conversations about life and choice.

By Mary Ziegler
August 3, 2023

In a courtroom in Austin, Texas, last month, five women put the state’s harsh abortion laws on trial.

Officially, their lawsuit aims to clarify the exceptions in the state’s complex scheme of abortion bans and restrictions. Since 2011, Texas has had an abortion law that defines a “medical emergency” to include any “life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy that, as certified by a physician, places the woman in danger of death or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function.” Somewhat different definitions apply in other Texas laws, including SB8, the law allowing anyone to sue a doctor or someone aiding them for at least $10,000 per abortion. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the women who brought the lawsuit, argues that because Texas’s exceptions are unclear or even contradictory, physicians are unsure when they can provide care and thus are likely to turn away even patients who qualify for a legal abortion because they have a life-threatening condition.

Continued: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/08/03/opinion/center-for-reproductive-rights-lawsuit-texas-women-abortion/


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.

BY GRACE BROWNE
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.

Continued: https://www.wired.com/story/europe-abortion-laws/


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.

Continued: https://www.thejournal.ie/ivana-bacik-interview-abortion-rights-ireland-6077186-May2023/


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.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/25/europe/ireland-abortion-referendum-5-years-intl-cmd/index.html


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 – 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


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