How Abortion Pills Changed the Political Debate in Ireland

Analysis by Clara Ferreira Marques
May 17, 2022

If the US Supreme Court overturns the five-decade-old constitutional right to abortion, as expected, many women will find it far harder to end an unwanted pregnancy. But this won’t be a return to pre-1973, largely thanks to changes to medical technology. Abortion pills, often taken at home, are already making the reality of abortion easier and safer in the early stages of gestation. And even with inevitable new restrictions, they are set to change the political fight too.

Sydney Calkin is a senior lecturer in human geography at Queen Mary University of London and the author of a forthcoming book,  “Abortion Beyond Borders: Abortion Pills and the Future of Reproductive Freedoms.” Her work has focused on cross-border abortion access and activism, an area where politics, gender and reproduction overlap. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/how-abortion-pills-changed-the-political-debate-in-ireland/2022/05/17/f409c526-d5ed-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html


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 A landslide majority had “repealed the 8th” and voted to change the country’s constitution to enable legal recognition of abortion rights for the first time in the state’s history.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/


Spanish govt proposes wider abortion rights, menstrual leave

The Spanish government has approved a draft bill that widens abortion rights for teenagers and may make Spain the first country in Europe entitling workers to paid menstrual leave

By The Associated Press
17 May 2022

MADRID -- The Spanish government approved a draft bill Tuesday that widens abortion rights for teenagers and may make Spain the first country in Europe entitling workers to paid menstrual leave.

The measures are part of a package of proposals that will be sent to the Spanish parliament for debate. The package includes an extension of abortion rights, scrapping the requirement for 16- and 17-year-olds to obtain parental consent before terminating a pregnancy.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/spanish-govt-proposes-wider-abortion-rights-menstrual-leave-84774876


What U.S. women can learn from Poland’s recent abortion restrictions

"It may be difficult to get abortions in Poland, but we have our ways," Polish feminist Krystyna Kacpura says.

May 16, 2022
By Lauren Egan and Corky Siemaszko

WARSAW, Poland — Americans fearing the worst if the Supreme Court repeals Roe v. Wade could look to the Poles for tips about how to fight for abortion rights and find ways around harsh government-imposed restrictions.

Poland, along with Malta, has the strictest abortion restrictions in Europe. It is allowed only in cases of rape, which are difficult to document, or when the life of the woman is endangered. And anyone helping a woman get the procedure for any other reason, including by prescribing pregnancy-terminating medication, could be charged with a crime — similar to what’s already happening in Texas, said Venny Ala-Siurua of Women on Web, an international online abortion service that has been helping women around the world, including thousands in Poland.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/us-women-can-learn-polands-recent-abortion-restrictions-rcna28750


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


Support for abortion rights hits new high as midterm outlook is grim for Democrats

63% oppose overturning Roe v. Wade and Democratic enthusiasm ticks up in a new NBC News poll, but Biden's job approval rating falls to 39% amid economic worries.

May 15, 2022
By Mark Murray

WASHINGTON — Support for abortion rights has reached a record high, and nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, according to a new national NBC News poll conducted after the leak of a draft opinion that would strike down the constitutional right to abortion.

What’s more, the survey finds abortion climbing up the list of issues that Americans believe are the most important, and that Democratic interest in the upcoming midterms has increased since earlier this year.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2022-election/support-abortion-rights-hits-new-high-midterm-outlook-stays-mostly-unc-rcna28869


Why Roe v. Wade must be defended

The Lancet
May 14, 2022
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00870-4
EDITORIAL| VOLUME 399, ISSUE 10338, P1845

“Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.” So begins a draft opinion by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, leaked from the US Supreme Court on May 2, 2022. If confirmed, this judgement would overrule the Court's past decisions to establish the right to access abortion. In Alito's words, “the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives”. The Court's opinion rests on a strictly historical interpretation of the US Constitution: “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” His extraordinary text repeatedly equates abortion with murder.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)00870-4/fulltext


Nigerian Abortion Laws Haven’t Changed Since 1960. Here’s The Timeline

Lolade Alaka | Citizen
May 14, 2022

Abortion dates back to ancient Egypt, making it one of the oldest medical practices known to man. We know this because the Egyptian pharaohs preserved all their medical techniques in the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 B.C.

Ancient Egyptians have also been described as “the healthiest of all men”, so if they did it, why is the practice of abortion so taboo today? The answer is equally religious, cultural and political.

Continued: https://www.zikoko.com/citizen/nigerian-abortion-laws-heres-the-timeline/


Why a growing number of Latin American countries are legalizing abortion

May 14, 2022
By Ali Rogin
6-minute video with transcript

As Americans contemplate living in a country where Roe versus Wade is overturned, a very different story is playing out in many parts of Latin America. In recent years, countries throughout the region have relaxed abortion restrictions. Alicia Yamin, senior fellow for the Global Health and Rights Project at Harvard Law School, joins Ali Rogin to discuss what's changed and why.

Continued: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/why-a-growing-number-of-latin-american-countries-are-legalizing-abortion


USA – Abortion foes push to narrow ‘life of mother’ exceptions

Doctors warn women’s lives would be endangered and maternal deaths could increase.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
May 13, 2022

The pregnant woman was bleeding heavily by the time she arrived at the hospital. Maria Phillis, an obstetrician/gynecologist, and other doctors on duty at the Cleveland medical facility transfused her with bags of blood, but her condition deteriorated rapidly. It wasn’t long before the mother faced an awful choice: Her placenta, a part of the womb, had attached in the wrong place, wreaking havoc in her body. But the baby was far too young to survive on its own.

The pregnancy was terminated to save the woman’s life — an outcome painful for all involved. “This was a very desired pregnancy,” Phillis said.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/05/13/abortion-ban-exceptions-mothers-life/