Gender

Belfast High Court refuses to say when abortion is legal

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We are often told that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but what are we to do when nobody will say what the law means. The High Court in Belfast has said NO to a request that it spell out what is legal and what is not. The Family Planning Association had asked it to order the Department of Health to publish guidelines about when abortion is legal in the six counties.

Sex, Class and Women's Oppression - Anarchist PDF pamphlet

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A 14-page pamhlet, made up of compilation of articles from Workers Solidarity. Compiled and edited in 2001.

The United Bigots of the Northern Ireland Assembly'

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When the 'Northern Ireland Assembly' discussed the issue of abortion in June, the prospect of denying rights to women united politicians right across the so-called 'religious divide'. The Democratic Unionist Party proposed a motion to prevent the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to the 6 Counties. The SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour Party!!) imposed a party whip in favour of the motion.

Set backs for the pro-choice movement in 1999

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OVER THE SUMMER there were developments in the long struggle over women's rights to control their own bodies. Most of them have not been good. In the North a group known as Precious Life succeeded, following a campaign of intimidation, in closing down the Ulster Pregnancy Advisory Association. The association had been in existence for 20 years. They took the decision to close their doors following picketing of the homes of their councillors, who were all volunteers. Their head office was broken into and a fire was started.

Irish Medical Council seeks to silence pro-choice doctors

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THE 'PRO-LIFE' MOVEMENT argues that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a mother. They justify this by inventing a distinction between direct abortion, where the intention is to terminate pregnancy and 'indirect' abortion where the intention is to avoid some life threatening condition. In both cases the medical procedure followed is the same, in both cases the pregnancy is terminated. It is crucial to the 'pro-life' movement that they convince the public that abortion is never medically necessary. Therefore they continue to create this totally semantic distinction between 'direct' and 'indirect' abortion. Some doctors fear that under these terms, medical decisions could be brought through the courts. They would have to consider the threat of disbarment if their 'intention' is interpreted incorrectly. It would be difficult to practice as a doctor under such conditions.

Abortion Rights - We had the referendum, so where is the law?

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In November 1992, a full six years ago, there was a referendum on abortion. Then the population voted to allow abortion to take place in Ireland, when there was a threat to the life of the mother. The government said legislation would soon follow. Since then nothing.

Mujeres Libres

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Mujeres Libres (Free Women) were a group of women anarchists who organised and fought both for women's liberation and an anarchist revolution during the Spanish Civil War. The work they did is truly inspirational. Their example shows how the struggle against women's oppression and against capitalism can be combined in one fight for freedom.

As anarchists they rejected any relegation of women to a secondary position within the libertarian movement. In the 1930's feminism had a narrower meaning than it does now, and they rejected it as a theory which fought for 'equality of women within an existing system of privileges'. They argued "We are not, and were not then feminists. We were not fighting against men. We did not want to substitute a feminist hierarchy for a masculine one. It's necessary to work, to struggle, together because if we don't we'll never have a social revolution. But we needed our own organisation to struggle for ourselves".

Lies, damned lies and statistics: SPUC try to change the past

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The 1993 abortion Referenda was a Victory for Women

Sex, Gasmasks & Pantyhose

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THE 'BACK TO BASICS' propaganda campaign has been undermined because the Tories failed to meet their own moral standards. In condemning the Tory party we must be careful not to take on their morality. There's nothing wrong with shagging. No one should expect human sexual behaviour to be expressed in only one way. It's strange that while we accept diversity in tastes in food, music, book, films when it comes to sex we talk of rights, wrongs and norms.

Parents, Poverty & Family values in 1994 Year of the Family

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1994 HAS BEEN declared the UN Year of the Family. The Irish Committee for the International Year includes state bodies like the Combat Poverty Agency & the Council for the Status of Women and the Catholic ones like the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Family Solidarity were also members but walked out in protest at token places being given to two groups working with single parents. This committee has received £400,000 from Leinster House.

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