Pro-choice

Pro-choice struggles in particular in Ireland. WSM members have been centrally involved in and have written about the struggles around abortion rights and contraception access since the WSM was founded in 1984.

Beyond the 5 'errors' of the crusade against abortion

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Fintan O'Toole has an article in the Irish Times answering what he describes as the 5 errors of the 'Crusade against Abortion.' I want to go one further and look at what these errors tell us about the methods of those who want to control women's bodies. And more importantly how it is an error for pro-choice activists to allow the debate to be framed through responses to those errors. 

Let us begin by recognising Fintan is not bringing any new facts to the table, simple assembling the refutations to these claim that everyone who has been following the discussions around abortion in any detail is aware of. This is important because the core point I want to make is that when the various aspects of the so called pro-life movement throw out these claims in interview after interview they already know them to be false. They also know they are relatively easy to contradict, as Fintan has done. So why do they consider asserting them over and over to be effective?

Growing support for women’s right to choose in latest Abortion Poll

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More than one in four people in Northern Ireland support a woman’s right to choose on abortion, an Belfast Telegraph poll has revealed.  The findings come from a major survey commissioned by the Belfast Telegraph and carried out by LucidTalk, members of the British Polling Council (BPC). A weighted sample of 1,130 adults was surveyed between November 6 and 23; 90% were questioned by telephone and the rest interviewed face to face.

Dail blockaded by 100's after 3rd refusal in 6 months to legislate for X-case

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Last night saw hundreds of pro-choice activists blockade the gates of the Dail 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.

Galway Pro Choice Were Approached by Savita’s Friends - 'pro life' lie exposed

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Anti-choice groups have been engaged in a protracted campaign of spreading FUD (Fear - Uncertainty - Doubt ) ever since the tragic fact of the death of Savita Halappanavar after she was refused an abortion in Galway hospital emerged.  Because they know that it is too soon for them to be seen to attack her husband Praveen for his courageous public stance they have focused on attacking those supporting the families demand for a change in the law.  

One tactic has been to suggest that pro-choice groups found out about the death in an underhand manner.  A smear that last weekend's Sunday Independent disgracefully republished - despite being informed of its false.  This morning Galway Pro-Choice issued the press release that follows which demonstrates not only that it was Savita's friends and family who initatied contact and that GPC then went though a full range of possibilites with them including not releasing the story of what had happened at all.

Huge pro-choice Never Again march for Savita in Dublin

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On Saturday saw an estimate of fifteen thousand to seventeen thousand people marching in Dublin from the Garden of Remembrance to the Daíl in solidarity with Savita Halappanavar's family and for abortion rights. Savita Halappanavar was a woman in Galway who had died after being refused an abortion.

The march opened with a speech from Ruth Coppinger from the United Left Alliance, who spoke about motion that was tabled in April to legislate for X, but said that legislating for X is not enough, as no woman should have to be put through pain and agony in order to receive a life saving abortion. She also noted that the cases of rape and incest should also be grounds for abortion, when considering the X case. 

Never Again - Abortion Rights Now!

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Today we are marching in protest at the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant woman who died after being refused a termination, despite requesting one several times.

For years many people have been aware that the failure of successive governments to legislate could result in a tragedy. Whether through cowardice or callousness, since the X case ruling and three referendums allowed for abortion under restricted circumstances 20 years ago, no laws have been drafted to allow doctors to carry out those abortions.

Savita’s death should not have happened. Just as her husband Praveen has pledged to fight for a change in the law to ensure that no other woman dies in the way that Savita did, so every one of us here should pledge to fight for that law change.

Abortion Legislation - "We owe it to Savita and the bravery of her husband in making this story public"

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One of our members who has been active in pro-choice struggles since the 1980's and who was one of the organisers of the X-case march gave this interview to Ideas & Action.  "I think the expert group is a joke. I know that an abortion law was drawn up over 15 years ago. A law was proposed in the Dail in April and rejected by all the leading parties. It is absurd to say that the politicians need more expert advice. In fact all the various political parties have done in the last twenty years has been to commission a report. .. the group has little to do with expertise and a lot to do with political avoidance and cowardice."

Video of Savita demonstration at the Dail

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An 8 minute video from the demonstration last night at the Dail which 3000 people attended.

March on Saturday at 4pm from Parnell Square, bring a candle to light at the Dail at 5, the same time candles are being lit in Galway and elsewhere.

Support the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast

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The opening of the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast is a positive step forward for women’s rights and continuing battle for abortion services in Ireland.  While the 1967 Abortion Act has still not been extended to Northern Ireland due to an alliance of reactionary conservative forces from our local sectarian parties to the Churches.  This means that abortions can be carried out only to preserve the life of the mother, or if continuing the pregnancy would have other serious, permanent physical or mental health effects. There is strict assessment regarding any impact on mental well-being and the woman must consult with two clinicians.

March for Choice - Thousands take to the Streets

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This year has seen a re-energised campaign for abortion rights  in Ireland, starting with the Action on X campaign at the beginning of the year but Youth Defense's awful billboard campaign over the summer invigorated pro-choice activists to take full scale action. On Saturday 29th September the March for Choice was organised to mark International Day for Decriminalisation of Abortion. This has also been organised a month ahead of a publication of a report on abortion from a government appointed expert group, which will examine how the Governement will handle the abortion issue.

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