Ireland’s government approves abortion referendum bill

Ireland's government approves abortion referendum bill
Ministers agree wording for vote on repeal of ‘eighth amendment’ which enshrines abortion ban

Henry McDonald in Dublin and Harriet Sherwood
Thu 8 Mar 2018

The Irish government has agreed the wording of a national referendum on abortion to be held by the end of May which could radically transform the lives of thousands of women and signal a further loosening of the grip of the Catholic church.

The cabinet, meeting on International Women’s Day, approved a bill on Thursday allowing the long-anticipated referendum to go ahead.


Ireland: Handmaid’s Tales at abortion committee

Handmaid’s Tales at abortion committee

Justine McCarthy
November 19 2017

Forget science fiction — the eighth amendment debates are truly dystopian

Tammy Wynette was right — sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Ever more so, these days, when 21 parliamentarians gather in Leinster House each Wednesday to discuss abortion. It’s a topic guaranteed to elicit deeply held grievances, frustration, feelings of victimhood, accusations of prejudice and spittle-licking outrage at perceived injustices, and it does — from men.

Women are in a majority of one on the joint committee on the eighth amendment to the constitution. When its work is done, all of them ought to be awarded a medal, regardless of their personal views on abortion, for their sheer endurance and dignity. For to sit in that room with a womb — or the memory of having had one — is to be subjected to a sort of medieval torture.

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