Ireland to hold May referendum on abortion law reform

February 3rd, 2018 - politics

National plebiscite on abolishing eighth amendment and allowing terminations up to 12 weeks
The Guardian, Jan 29, 2018 by Henry McDonald (Ireland correspondent)

Ireland will hold a referendum in May on reforming the country’s strict anti-abortion laws, according to the country’s health minister. Simon Harris confirmed on Monday that the national plebiscite will also allow for the Irish parliament to later devise legislation that would permit abortion in Ireland’s hospitals for women who are up to 12 weeks pregnant. The Fine Gael-led administration met to discuss the terms of the referendum to abolish the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution.

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Committee Recommendations on 8th Amendment

January 23rd, 2018 - politics, January 18, 2018

Ireland should repeal abortion ban, special committee says

December 22nd, 2017 - politics

Committee says current regime for the termination of pregnancy in Ireland is ‘unfit for purpose.’, Dec 20, 2017, by Shirley S. Wang

An Irish legislative committee on Wednesday recommended amending the Irish constitution to repeal the clause banning abortion, in its final report.
“The current regime for the termination of pregnancy in Ireland is unfit for purpose and that constitutional reform is necessary,” the report says.
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Fine Gael TD calls on abortion committee to push recommendation

December 22nd, 2017 - politics

Fianna Fáil TD says he will respect rights of party members to advocate different positions, Dec 20, 2017 by Sarah Bardon
Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell has urged members of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment to bring their political parties with them in allowing abortions up to 12 weeks.
Speaking at the launch of the Oireachtas committee’s report, Ms O’Connell has urged members of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment to bring their political parties with them is allowing abortion up to 12 weeks.
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Oireachtas committee on Eighth Amendment publishes 40-page report

December 22nd, 2017 - politics

here is the full Committee report released today, which recommends repeal of the 8th Amendment and abortion on request up to 12 weeks:

Members say they cannot compel the Government to accept their recommendations, Dec 20, 2017 by Sarah Bardon
Members of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment have insisted they cannot compel the Government to accept their recommendations.
The committee published its 40 page report on Wednesday outlining the decisions taken by members and the rationale for them.
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What is the situation with abortion in Ireland?

December 18th, 2017 - politics

Orders for pills to end pregancy rise as number going to UK for terminations drops, Fri, Dec 15, 2017 by Ciarán D’Arcy
Current abortion regime in Ireland
Abortion is currently illegal in Ireland except in situations where a pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the mother, including suicidal ideation.
Of the 25 legal terminations performed in Ireland last year, only one was on the basis of suicidality. Just seven terminations were carried out between 2014 and 2016 under the grounds of suicidal ideation as included in the 2013 Act.
Ireland’s regime has led to a situation where most women seeking an abortion choose to avail of the procedure in another jurisdiction, usually the UK, or order abortion pills which are proscribed under Irish law.
The number of Irish women attending UK abortion clinics has fallen from almost 8,000 in 2002 to just under 4,000 last year in line with an increase in the number of abortifacients being ordered to the State.
The Women on Web service, which is one of a number of outlets offering to deliver abortion pills to Irish women, has experienced more than a tripling in orders from 548 in 2010 to 1,748 in 2016.
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Mail-order abortifacients can be intercepted by the Health Products Regulatory Authority. More than 2,500 were seized between 2014 and 2016, according to latest figures.
International comparisons
Most continental European countries allow for abortion up to a period of around 12 weeks’ gestation, although there are some outliers.
Portugal has the lowest gestational limit at 10 weeks, while the UK allows for abortion anywhere up to 24 weeks.
The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) estimates that up to 90 per cent of Irish women who travel to the UK for an abortion are less than 12 weeks pregnant.
The majority of abortions in the UK under 12 weeks are performed using medication, while many procedures after the 12-week mark are carried out surgically.
In the UK, abortion clinics women take a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol either orally or vaginally and usually over a period of between 24 and 48 hours, although the interval may be as short as six hours. The initial dosage is administered in the clinic with the follow-up pill taken by the patient themselves, and women typically do not avail of any aftercare treatment.
What a changed regime may look like
Members of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment have largely upheld the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on abortion by voting in favour of unrestricted access to terminations in the State up to 12 weeks’ gestation, with a sizeable majority of TDs and Senators also supporting the extension of abortion access to cases of rape and fatal foetal abnormalities.
According to IFPA chief executive Niall Behan, if those recommendations were to be made law, most abortions would probably be carried out medically rather than surgically, given the notional 12-week limit. Medical procedures would likely be performed by GPs as opposed to specialists such as gynaecologists or obstetricians, he added.

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Pressure increases on Government after committee votes on abortion

December 14th, 2017 - politics

Possible dates for referendum on Eighth Amendment are May 14th and June 8th
Dec 14, 2017 by Sarah Bardon
The Oireachtas committee on the amendment has concluded that a number of significant changes should to be made to abortion laws in Ireland.

Pressure has increased on the Government to hold a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment and provide abortions up to 12 weeks following the recommendations of an Oireachtas committee.
The Oireachtas committee on the amendment has concluded that a number of significant changes should to be made to abortion laws in Ireland.
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Vital’ that abortion not be a crime, says Zappone

December 8th, 2017 - politics

Minister’s vexed remarks come as committee reviewing amendment set to make proposals
Dec 7, 2017 by Kitty Holland, Sarah Bardon
Abortion should be legal, safe and freely available to anyone who needs it, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has said.
In her strongest comments to date, Ms Zappone said the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution must be removed and should not be replaced with other constitutional wording.
In a speech delivered at Dublin City University on Thursday evening, the Minister said decriminalisation of abortion was “vital”, while the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act needed to be replaced with a law “under which abortion is safe, legal and available to all who need it”.
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October 16th, 2017 - politics

Choicebox is a pro-choice organisation in Ireland that has created a series of video responses to the abortion rights movement in Ireland. The videos comprise people performing pieces of prose, poetry or drama that touch on the themes of choice and bodily autonomy. More videos will continue to be added to reflect the variety of ways in which the 8th amendment can affect the people of Ireland.

Here is the link to the website:
and Facebook:
And a direct link to the video most recently posted:


Abortion referendum set for May or June of next year

September 28th, 2017 - politics, Mon, Sep 25, 2017 by Mary Minihan

Varadkar will bring indicative dates of various polls coinciding with elections to Cabinet

A referendum on the eighth amendment governing Ireland’s abortion laws is provisionally scheduled for either May or June 2018, according to a memorandum Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is bringing to Cabinet this week.

Indicative dates for upcoming referendums and future polls will be discussed by Ministers on Tuesday, with a number of votes possibly taking place on the same day as a presidential election.

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