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Choice Ireland welcome Human Rights Watch report on abortion in Ireland.

category national | gender and sexuality | press release author Friday January 29, 2010 13:25author by Dorothy Gale - Choice Irelandauthor email choiceireland at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

The report launched today is the result of an investigation into the reality of abortion in Ireland, which was carried out in 2009. The report examines the real effects of Ireland's restrictive and often unclear abortion laws on women in crisis pregnancy and highlights the increased burdens placed on women forced to leave the state to access medical care.

Commenting, Spokesperson Sinead Ahern said
“In the 27 years since the 8th amendment we have criminalised and stigmatised women in crisis. We have not stopped abortion happening; we have simply driven it abroad or underground. It is time that we discuss the issue of abortion in Ireland in terms of the reality and not geography. Although the women visit foreign clinics we still have a duty of care to them”.

Ahern continues, "the current situation allows women who can afford to travel to access abortion services while women who cannot are left behind. The current situation disproportionately affects the most vulnerable women, such as young women, migrants and those on low incomes".

Choice Ireland also welcomes the recommendations calling for the regulation of crisis pregnancy counselling agencies. Commenting, spokesperson Maura Lane said “The lack of regulation in this area has allowed so-called rogue agencies lie to, manipulate and intimidate women in crisis in order to dissuade them from terminating unwanted pregnancies”. Ms Lane added that “despite repeated calls by Choice Ireland, Mary Harney has refused to introduce such legislation."

Choice Ireland is a pro choice activist group which has been operating in Ireland since 2007. For Further information visit www.choiceireland.org

According to the UK Department of Health 4,600 women giving Irish addresses terminated pregnancies in the UK in 2008

331 women from the Republic of Ireland travelled to the Netherlands for safe and legal abortion services in 2008 and 451 women in 2007

The WHO estimate that 13% of maternal mortalities rates are due to unsafe abortion.

Human Rights Watch report 'A State of Isolation: Access to Abortion for Women in Ireland'
can be downloaded from here http://www.hrw.org/node/87910

Related Link: http://www.choiceireland.org
author by Pro-Abortionpublication date Sat Jan 30, 2010 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The ordinary Irish citizen is still conservative on the issue of abortion - most people do not regularly attend Catholic services and few people agree with celibacy, discrimination of homosexuals, the moral prohibition of contraceptives, that sex before marriage is immoral etc and other tenets of tradition Catholic morality.

However most Irish people still believe that abortion is the killing of an unborn human being and is murder and they do not concede that a woman has a right to choose.

Ignoring this deeply held belief is an uphill struggle.

Irish people traditionally are resistent to change foisted upon them or the perception of change foisted upon them by "aliens" who do not share their values - this was true during British rule and this is true when it comes to the last two European referendums which were passed on a second vote after people changed their minds.

Unless at grassroots level Irish people are persuaded of the right to choose and that liberalisation of abortion would be a progressive movement, then any hope of liberalisation the legal status of abortion in this country will always fail.

Most pro-abortion campaigners I have come across are hostile to Catholicism, hostile to conservative rural attitudes and have a condescending attitude toward mainstream Ireland generally.

To persuade people to your point of view you have to the skills to engage with people with another world view.

Many people I know who are opposed to abortion and are not exactly devout Catholic fundamentalists by any means are hostile to pro-choice campaigners because of a perception of elitism.

This has to change.

author by Tallulah Does the Hula from Hawaiipublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For a start, I’d like to know who is the “ordinary Irish citizen” who is conservative on this issue? Polling data would suggest otherwise i.e. that abortion is not “murder”. It might be a deeply held belief among the Catholic fundamentalists who believe that social and health policy in this state should be dictated by the likes of people who spend their lives ringing Joe Duffy and writing anti-choice letters to the Examiner, but it certainly wouldn't appear to be the opinion of the general public.

To argue that “Irish people are resistant to change foisted upon them by aliens” is at best laughable. The Lisbon Treaty was passed if you recall.

Even if it were true that Irish pro-choicers were hostile to Catholicism, I wouldn’t blame them. The Catholic Church actively campaign against women having any rights beyond the right to be perpetually pregnant, barefoot and chained to the kitchen sink.
PS. Where is this perception of elitism thing from? Enlighten us, please.

author by Alison - Choice Irelandpublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 13:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The author of "a top down approach cannot work" makes some interesting -- and some
contradictory -- comments. I'd agree there's hostility to Catholicism among many pro-choice
advocates, but considering the Catholic church (which has rather a "top down approach" itself, and which one could also consider to be an "alien" force, assuming it's still led from Rome?) has been and remains a powerful force against women's rights, reproductive and otherwise, is that so surprising? As for the charge of elitism -- well, lots of political movements are accused of that, but it's hardly engaging with issue at hand, it's just name-calling. There is a moral aspect and a legal aspect. Pro-choice advocates support the right of those who consider abortion (or taking the morning-after pill, e.g.) the same as murder to hold that belief, but we oppose its enshrinement in law -- we believe women as fully autonomous moral beings are capable of making their own choice. And before any readers start in with the argument that we don't allow the right to choose when it comes to murdering adults or children, no, that's because actual "murder" is simply not in dispute as a moral question. Indeed, the Irish state right now doesn't REALLY treat abortion as if it were murder. Would it allow 6000 of its citizens to travel to the UK each year for the purpose of actual "murder" and do nothing about it (an estimated 6,000 women travel from Ireland each year for abortions in the UK)? Would the Irish people have supported women's right to travel to carry out actual "murders"? Abortion is not the same as murder and it is not treated the same as murder even in Ireland by the very people the author of "top down" argues are so conservative on the issue (isn't that comment a bit elitist, by the way?). The effort to secure the right to choose for women in Ireland IS an uphill struggle, but we won't give up.

author by Steeple Chaserpublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 17:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Following news that 60% of young adults favour legalised abortion, Paddy Power have opened a book on when an abortion referendum might take place.

The bookie’s odds suggest no referendum is imminent with 2015 or later the odds on 2/5 favourite and 2014 the next most likely at 4/1.

Whenever a referendum does take place, Paddy Power consider it more likely that it will be passed at 4/6 than fail at 11/10.

However, with many other topical issues requiring a referendum for action, it is an unlikely 16/1 that abortion is the next referendum put to the people. The most popular idea which has already been put forward by a Dail Committee is a referendum on children’s rights and is 10/11 favourite to be the next.

Paddy Power said

The results of this survey have thrown a cat among the pigeons but it’s likely that abortion won’t be the next referendum we’ll vote on

When will a Referendum on Abortion take place?

33/1 2010
18/1 2011
10/1 2012
7/1 2013
4/1 2014
2/5 2015 or Later

Next Referendum on Abortion

4/6 Passed
11/10 Fail

Next Irish Referendum

10/11 Children’s Rights
6/4 Judges Pay
8/1 Electoral Reform
12/1 Abolition of the Senate
16/1 Abortion
20/1 Gay Marriage
33/1 Scrapping the Euro
50/1 Death Penalty
50/1 United Ireland

author by Steeple Chaserpublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 18:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Heres the opinion poll which is mentioned by Paddy Power:

Survey: 60% in favour of legal abortion

By Catherine Shanahan and Orla Barry

Thursday, January 21, 2010

THREE-in-five 18-35 year olds believe abortion should be legalised,
according to a sex survey which found one-in-four women has
experienced an unplanned pregnancy.

The national poll also found almost 10% of 18-34 year olds has been
involved in a relationship where an abortion took place.

The survey carried out by Red C on behalf of the Irish Examiner found
three-in-four women believe the morning-after pill should be available
over-the-counter (OTC). Curiously, less than one in seven men said
they had been in a relationship that resulted in an unplanned
pregnancy. But Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, research and policy manager with
the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme, said not all men may know their
partner is pregnant.

According to the Irish Family Planning Agency (IFPA), the cost of
accessing the morning-after pill has been an increasing cause of
complaint, particularly in the last 12 months.

CEO Niall Behan said they had also seen a fall in the numbers seeking
long-term contraceptive methods because of prohibitive costs. The
morning-after pill is inexpensive but a GP prescription is required.

Related Link: http://irishexaminer.ie/ireland/survey-60-in-favour-of-legal-abortion-110224.html
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