Tag Archives: feminism

Timeline: Ireland’s Reproductive Choice History


What’s Ireland’s abortion history in a nutshell?

1861: The Offences Against the Person Act means that all abortions in Ireland are illegal. This is a British law as Ireland is under occupation at this time.

1921: This law is maintained when Ireland gains independence, even though the UK at this stage reviewed and repealed their law on the matter.

1983: This is a turning point. Women and human rights activists felt things would change, contraception is being legalised, divorce law is on the horizon and, surely, abortion laws would catch up with the rest of the world? No. In 1983 we voted in a referendum to change the Irish Constitution to include the 8th Amendment/include Article 40.3.3 to stipulate the ‘right to life of the unborn’ to be equal to that of the ‘mother’.

1988: High court ruling finds that the supply of information is also illegal, but this ban is appealed.

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The Pro Choice Movement Today: Why Do We Still Need to Protest?


Protest! This Saturday, May 18th at 4pm (Dame St, Dublin)

This is a historical few weeks for reproductive justice in Ireland. It’s an important time for human rights in this country. For the first time we are actually getting some kind of abortion legislation drafted. This is a good thing for human rights, yes?

Well, symbolically it is good. But practically it is a total disaster.

But we are creating abortion legislation (The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013), this is good…right?

Basically, this legislation is moot. Ineffective.

The 8th Amendment to the Constitution (fundamentally equating the right to life of the unborn to the right to life – not health – of the woman, thus allowing abortion in such restrictive and ambiguous circumstances that it doesn’t happen) makes it very hard to legislate in any meaningful, practical, accessible way. Urgh.

Repealing and/or reviewing the 8th Amendment to the Constitution is the REAL battle here. We must push for that or proper, accessible, clear and effective legislation will NEVER be a reality. That’s the real battle and we must keep our focus on that over the coming months. But for now, this is what we have and I guess at least it’s the first, tiny step in some kind of meaningless, dysfunctional direction, or something. Urgh.


What DOES this legislation say?

  • It says that in a medical emergency where the woman’s life is in danger, there must be one medical practitioner to approve an abortion to save her life. Why do they have to approve my life being saved? Such a weird thing to ask a doctor to do! Doctors are there to save lives. Also, part of the problem with the 8th Amendment is trying to determine when someone’s life is ‘at risk’ (ruled a violation of rights by the ECHR in 2010), and this all sounds like a similar rhetoric which will be difficult to practically act on.

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Doctors for Choice are cool….

Brilliant piece by Dr Peadar O’Grady (Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist) from Doctors for Choice in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post…Read it here!

He also made a great speech at the Action on X rally this evening.

Action on X Protest Tonight

328af_action-on-x-small-borderThe Government are still debating on what the x legislation will actually mean. If they don’t get to it soon, we may miss the window to get it through before the summer.


Protest tonight, City Plaza, Dame St. 6pm. See you down the front!

Keep track of what’s happening…

Action on X Facebook

Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) website

ARC Twitter (@freesafelegal)


Reproductive productivity!

Roe-v-Wade-at-40-for-Black-WomenAction on X Rally – this Monday 6pm, City Hall, Dame St, Dublin:


Great piece in the Times today:


Abortion Rights Campaign asks you to write to your local TD:




Ban Prostitution and it will Go Away. Easy!

This week a Scottish Labour politician, Rhonda Grant, has been trying to push through an outright ban on prostitution in Scotland.

It is difficult to believe that someone who has the power to influence legislative decisions about the issue may try to fast track a law without a real, solid, lengthy, inclusive public debate.

At the moment buying or selling sex is not illegal in the UK, but things like street soliciting, loitering and kerb crawling are.

Grant wants the purchase of sex to become illegal but MSPs have knocked back her request to fast track the bill, saying they will consider it through the proper channels over the coming months.

On Tuesday Grant said “My proposal will make the purchase of sex illegal in Scotland, with the aim of reducing the demand for prostitution”.

Will this decrease prostitution, sex trafficking? Is there evidence to suggest this? If so is Grant going to let us in on the facts that she has based her proposal on?

Most sex workers’ support groups have reacted by saying an outright ban will only serve to divide and marginalize sex workers, force the issue even further underground and increase the vulnerability of those involved.

A ban is not necessarily the answer. Certainly not without also putting support systems in place such as increased education, public awareness campaigns, free health checks, support for substance abusers, dealing with social exclusion and money earning bias relating to gender, help with poverty and social mobility etc.

All vice increases during hard times, and women often suffer

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Women cause Earthquakes! Oh wait, no they don’t..

Brilliant! Women are being blamed for earthquakes. Misogyny never ceases to amaze me. If this weren’t real it would be pretty funny – it’s like an episode of Brass Eye or piece in The Onion
Click here to read: The Guardian – Iranian cleric blames women for earthquakes.

Femmo Walking Tour 2010 – A Big Success

FWT2010, photo by Siobhan with thanks

To celebrate International Women’s Day last week (March 8th) myself (with my Lash Back crew) and some other collectives (including Choice Ireland and RAG) organised the third annual Feminist Walking Tour of Dublin city.

It was such a fantastic day. A friend has put some images up on her brilliant Dublin Bird Watching blog, so I thought I’d link in case any of you would like a look. And here’s a report on Indy Media Ireland about it, with some audio clips.

I also want to personally thank everyone who came along, and helped to make it happen.

Hope to see you all at the FWT 2011!