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NI Women sold out by Labour on equal access to abortion

category ireland / britain | gender | news report author Tuesday December 02, 2008 21:22author by Eve Campbell - WSM - Workers Solidarity 106author email wsm_ireland at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

The hopes of women living in Northen Ireland for the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act were dashed when an amendment to extend the act brought before Westminster on 22nd October was not debated because of a procedural motion put by Harriet Harman, leader of the House of Commons and the Minister for Women and supported by many New Labour ‘feminist’ MPs

NI Women sold out by Labour on equal access to abortion

The hopes of women living in Northen Ireland for the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act were dashed when an amendment to extend the act brought before Westminster on 22nd October was not debated because of a procedural motion put by Harriet Harman, leader of the House of Commons and the Minister for Women and supported by many New Labour ‘feminist’ MPs.

Harman claimed that, were the vote to go ahead, the House of Lords might reduce the current time limit for abortions despite that fact that voting records show that the Lords has never reversed a House of Commons decision on the issue. Moreover in recent years, the Lords have voted for progressive positions eight times on embryo and abortion issues. The government was happy to allow debates which could have cut the time limit on abortion as low as 12 weeks, but amendments which could have finally got rid of the requirement for two doctors’ permission to get an abortion, and extend abortion rights to the North of Ireland were apparently too risky to consider.

Alliance for Choice NI, a group campaigning for the extension of the abortion act, giving women in NI parity of access to abortion with women in the rest of the UK has voiced its determination to maintain the struggle for equal abortion rights for women living in NI.

“We have not gone away, you know! In a matter of a few weeks we built a vibrant campaign. We have been delighted by the level of support that we have received from the many women (and men) who have: attended our meetings, participated in street events, lobbied MPs, contacted us with supportive messages through the website and all those who have become involved in many other ways.

The opinion polls (such as the one from the Fpa showing that only 20% of people in NI supported the current legal prohibition on abortion), the many discussions in which we have all participated and the coverage in the media have all moved on markedly from previous occasions when the subject of abortion rights has been raised here.

The main Stormont parties should take note that whatever bluster they may come up with in Westminster about their unanimity on the subject of abortion – their policies do not represent the interests of the women of Northern Ireland.”

For more information on Alliance for Choice see http://allianceforchoiceni.org/


From Workers Solidarity 106, Nov 2008

Northern Issue Southern Issue

Click on one of the thumbnails above for an PDF version of the northern or southern edition of Workers Solidarity 106 which can be printed out on eight A4 pages.

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/public_newswire/gender
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Sat 25 Oct, 07:10

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sorrymigrantx.jpg imageIreland - Migrant X refused an abortion and forced to have a C-section 22:31 Thu 21 Aug by Andrew 0 comments

This is as complete a story about what happened to 'Migrant X' that we are aware of.  Migrant X is a young migrant women who it emerged was refused an abortion by the Irish state despite apparently meeting the grounds of the X-case legislation and instead forced to carry the pregnancy and agree to a C-section.  The pregnanacy itself was the result of rape, Migrant X attempted suicide after being refused the abortion and later went on a hunger and thirst strike.  Once what had happened to her became known there were sizeable pro-choice solidarity demonstrations called across Ireland and at Irish embassies overseas.   We have been given information that the migrant woman at the centre of the current forced pregnancy was 'committed' to a psychiatric hospital following her initial request for termination. It’s already known that the initial request was made when she was 8 weeks pregnant.  It was this crucial period in which she was being held incommunicado which led directly to the Caesarian option being possible to impose as an ‘alternative’ to allowing her to access the abortion she had asked for.

ivoteprolife.jpg imagePoor turnout in Ireland for Vigil for 'Life' despite massive spending 03:18 Wed 23 Jan by andrew 0 comments

Saturday in Dublin saw another desperate attempt by the anti-choice coalition to prevent legislation coming to the Dail (Irish parliament) to allow abortion where a women's life is under threat. Despite months of preparation, a spend that must have ran close to a million euro, and the parish priest at every mass in the country telling catholics they should attend, less that 15,000 turned up. Compared to the 150,000 women who have had to travel to obtain abortions in the last ecades this amounts to almost nothing, a handful of bigots bussed in from all over the country. [Italiano]

choice12womenday.jpg image20 years on X case to finally be legislated 17:40 Wed 19 Dec by Andrew Flood 0 comments

This afternoon the government had finally confirmed that it is to legislate for abortion access under the conditions of the X-case. While we can welcome the failure of the anti-choice movement to stop this announcement, despite frantically spending a quarter of a million dollars euro in ten days, this is so little so late that it is almost meaningless.

dailgateblockade.jpg imageIrish parliament blockaded by 100s after 3rd refusal in 6 months to legislate for X-case 22:59 Fri 30 Nov by andrew 0 comments

Last night saw hundreds of pro-choice activists blockade the gates of the Dáil after TD's once more refused to pass X-case legislation. Twenty years after the X-case and one month after the death of Savita Halappanavar women in Ireland were told once more that the politicians had not had enough time. The political parties, in particular the Labour Party, were once more engaged in a cynical game of playing politics - a game that leaves pregnant women at continued risk in Irish hospitals.

textCountering the Irish "Pro-Life" Rally - Pro-Choice Counter Demonstration 20:50 Thu 07 Jul by Cian Lynch 0 comments

WSM and other pro-choice activists took place in a counter demonstration to the “Rally for Life” which took place in Dublin on Sunday 3 July 2011. The anti-abortion rally was organised by Youth Defence (including “The Life Institute”(previously Mother & Campaign – an outgrowth of Youth Defense) and Belfast Based "Precious Life". Approximately 2,000 people seem to have attended. The pro-choice counter demonstration, organised at short notice was still attended by around 300 people. Many attending the anti-abortion rally came from all over Ireland and even included a small group of migrants from the Philippines. There were some tense exchanges between pro-choice campaigners and anti-abortion marchers.

The Rogue Agency Displays its True Colours (after the demo they take their anti-choice banners down) imageShut Down Rogue Pregnancy Counselling Agency 00:48 Mon 23 Apr by pro-choice activist 0 comments

Advertised as a pregnancy counselling agency, it subjects women in crisis
pregnancies to psychological manipulation, misleading and deliberately lying
about pregnancy and abortion services to prevent women from travelling for
abortion services. The lies they tell clients are designed to force women to
feel guilt and shame for even considering abortion as an option.

Answering difficult questions early on a Saturday morning imageTalking about Sexual Violence 20:00 Thu 14 Sep by Sovietpop and others 0 comments

Report from a WSM member on a women's only day-school on sexual violence recently held in Ireland.

textInternational Women's Day 20:16 Fri 27 May by Tobie 0 comments

This action was inspired by national women's days in the States during the women's suffrage and trade union movement that had been organised by socialist women including the Irish American Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. The types of actions and demands on IWD have varied over the years, including a massive strike action that fuelled the Russian revolution in February 1917.

imageAnti-choice extremists defeated in Ireland but new abortion legislation is worthless Jul 15 by Andrew Flood 0 comments

Despite spending in the region of a million euro and getting the backing of the catholic church its now clear that the anti-choice extremists of Youth Defence & the Pro Life Campaign were resoundingly defeated when the Dail finally voted though legislation implementing the X-Case judgment of 21 years ago. This time last year they were confident that they already had enough Fine Gael TD's on board to block the required legislation but they reckoned against the wave of public anger that followed the death of Savita Halappanavar after she was denied a potentially life saving abortion in a Galway hospital.

imageIreland: Total ban on gay men's blood donation is no longer justifiable Jun 29 by Glykosymoritis 2 comments

Photo from last years Dublin Pride

imageA significant but minor step for the pro-choice movement Dec 21 by Andrew 0 comments

Last Thursday the European Court of Human Rights found that the Irish government had violated the rights of a woman living in Ireland who was forced to travel to Britain for an abortion. Abortion continues to be unavailable in Ireland and the court ruling was based on the failure of Irish governments to legislate for abortion under the 'X case' an infamous case from 1992 when a 14 year old rape victim X was prevented leaving the country to get an abortion in England. The WSM was centrally involved in the mobilizations that forced the courts to back down and allow X to travel and has continued to be involved in the pro-choice movement since that time. Below is the coverage we provided on Thursday on WSM.IE as the ABC result was revealed.

imageHow free can you be if you can’t even control your own body? Sep 23 by Aileen 0 comments

Last year, in Ireland, a pregnant woman carrying a foetus which could not survive was brought before the Irish courts. The state insisted that she carry it to term. That is what Ireland’s anti-abortion law meant for Miss “D”, a 17 year old in the care of the Health Services Executive. She was four months pregnant when her foetus was diagnosed with anencephaly. The outlook for individuals with this is extremely poor; stillbirth or death a few hours after birth. As the Choice Ireland group said at the time “No woman should have to endure the trauma of carrying to full term a child who will not live more than a few hours. By preventing “Miss D” from travelling to Britain for an abortion the Irish government are defining women as uterine incubators rather than individuals entitled to basic human rights”. This article examines how such of tragic state of affairs came to pass. It documents the struggle in Ireland for abortion rights, highlighting the role anarchists played in fighting for a womens right to choose.

textAbortion rights in Ireland Apr 25 by Workers Solidarity 0 comments

There will be no change in the law on abortion. A Government spokesman said it had "no plans on the general issue of abortion" despite Bertie Ahern's promise before the last general election that the matter would be addressed.

more >>

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