A ‘Frozen War’ in Europe Threatens Sex, Abortion and LGBTQ Rights

Armenian authorities are officially pro-choice but also desperately want to increase the country's birth rate to create more soldiers to fight in Nagorno-Karabakh.

By Sophia Smith Galer
August 14, 2023

YEREVAN, Armenia – There haven’t been any attacks at the Women’s Resource Center’s new address – at least, not yet. Anush Poghosyan, who leads the sexual and reproductive health project for the NGO, told VICE News that physical attacks were frequent before they moved to another location in the capital.

Human rights groups fighting for better sexual and reproductive health rights, including the Women’s Resource Center, have told VICE News they are experiencing increased levels of targeted harassment for the work that they do. Poghosyan said she has been asked “Why are you destroying our families?” at women’s marches, and at one event, after her organisation had translated a book for parents to speak to children about sex education, around 20 people unhappy with the book’s content arrived to throw eggs.

Continued:  https://www.vice.com/en/article/g5ydq3/armenia-nagorno-karabakh-abortion-lgbtq-rights

Spain passes pioneering sexual, reproductive health law

December 15, 2022

MADRID - Spain's parliament on Thursday passed a sexual and reproductive health law that allows girls aged 16 and 17 to undergo abortions without parental consent and, in a first for a European country, offers state-funded paid leave for women who suffer from painful periods.

"These advancements allow us to exercise freedom over our bodies, with the state recognising the full citizenship of more than half the population," Equality Minister Irene Montero told lawmakers before the vote, which was adopted with a 190-154 majority and five abstentions.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/spain-passes-pioneering-sexual-reproductive-health-law-2022-12-15/

‘Extremely reckless’: Anti-abortion campaign calls for remote consultations to stop

During Covid pandemic, women seeking abortions did not need to visit GP in person

Sarah Burns
Sat Nov 12 2022

An anti-abortion campaign has described plans to continue remote consultations for women seeking access to abortion care in the State as “extremely reckless”.

Women seeking an abortion during the coronavirus pandemic did not need to visit a GP in person, but this measure was due to lapse following the end of Covid 19 travel restrictions.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/health/2022/11/12/extremely-reckless-anti-abortion-campaign-calls-for-remote-consultations-to-stop/

Ireland – ‘Threat of criminal sanctions’ hangs over medical practitioners who provide abortion services

1 May 2022
Carlow Live

The threat of criminal sanctions hangs over medical practitioners who provide abortion services in Ireland, politicians have been told.

Alison Spillane, a senior policy and research officer at the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), described to the Oireachtas Health Committee how the fear of prosecution “sits in the consultation room” between patient and doctor.

Continued:  https://www.carlowlive.ie/news/local-news/802205/threat-of-criminal-sanctions-hangs-over-medical-practitioners-who-provide-abortion-services.html

Ireland – Politicians set to hear calls for less restrictive abortion regime

Women’s council plans to address 12-week limit and poor national coverage

Tue, Apr 26, 2022
Cormac McQuinn

Politicians will hear calls for a less restrictive abortion regime, including extending the current 12-week limit to allow terminations on request “up to viability”.

The National Women’s Council (NWC) and the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) will suggest reforms to the rules on abortion when representatives appear before the Oireachtas Health Committee on Wednesday.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/politicians-set-to-hear-calls-for-less-restrictive-abortion-regime-1.4862475

Ireland’s abortion laws ‘still failing women who struggle to access services’

The Irish Family Planning Association has called for a full decriminalisation of services

Cate McCurry
Jan 3, 2022

Ireland’s abortion laws are still failing women who struggle to access services, a family planning group has said, because of a lack of provision and time restrictions on terminations.

Niall Behan, chief executive of the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), called for a full decriminalisation of abortion services in the country.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/ireland-dublin-brexit-department-of-health-b1985818.html?r=71510

Ireland – Less than 15% of GPs sign up to provide abortion services

Less than 15% of GPs sign up to provide abortion services
Doctors providing new service have overwhemingly positive view

Dec 30, 2019
Paul Cullen, Jennifer Bray

One year after its introduction, the number of women using Ireland’s new abortion service remains a closely-guarded secret.

Official figures will not be published until well into next year, but the estimates from those involved in providing the service have been reduced from an initial 10,000 a year to about 5,000. The vast majority are being performed by GPs prescribing pills in the community.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/less-than-15-of-gps-sign-up-to-provide-abortion-services-1.4127530

Why Ireland’s battle over abortion is far from over

Why Ireland’s battle over abortion is far from over
From sham websites to rogue crisis pregnancy centres, Irish anti-abortionists are using shocking tactics to block women’s rights to safe abortions

Caelainn Hogan
Thu 3 Oct 2019

It has been more than a year since the landslide vote for abortion rights in Ireland, yet last weekend hundreds of people were once more marching through the streets of Dublin, chanting: “Get your rosaries off our ovaries!” “It’s nonsense, what are they marching for?” a guard standing on the road outside the National maternity hospital asked a colleague on a motorbike – referring to the 2018 referendum in which the Irish public voted overwhelmingly to repeal the law prohibiting abortion. The answer is that, while the law may have changed, many people are still struggling to access abortions in Ireland due to a lack of provision, the time restrictions on terminations, the illegal activities of anti-abortion campaigners – and an enduring legacy of shame.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/oct/03/why-irelands-battle-over-abortion-is-far-from-over-anti-abortionists

Ireland – Harris told of fear over abortion ‘barriers’ in rural areas

Harris told of fear over abortion 'barriers' in rural areas

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A “sparse” rural abortion service is forcing pregnant women to travel long distances for a termination, pro-choice groups claim. They also describe the mandatory three-day waiting period for an abortion as “a significant barrier” for rural pregnant women.

The 35 pro-choice groups have written to Health Minister Simon Harris to express their “fear and disappointment” that some women are still unable to access timely abortion care.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/harris-told-of-fear-over-abortion-barriers-in-rural-areas-905375.html

Abortion is legal in Ireland—but the fight isn’t over

Abortion is legal in Ireland—but the fight isn’t over
Groups like ours helped fight for inclusive, accessible healthcare. Together, we achieved a culture change. But there's a phenomenal amount still to do

by Anna Carnegie
January 10, 2019

Last year, on May 25th 2018, the Irish public voted emphatically to repeal the country’s constitutional ban on abortion and enable the passage of legislation to provide abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in limited circumstances thereafter.

The months since the referendum were a whirlwind of court challenges, parliamentary debates, marches, and media coverage. Finally, on the 13th December, the Irish senate passed the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, paving the way for a new law and signifying a much welcome, and long overdue, step forward. On the 20th, President Michael D Higgins signed the bill into law.

Continued: https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/other/abortion-is-legal-in-ireland-but-the-fight-isnt-over