Gender

Abortion in Ireland - a Historical Perspective to the 1990's

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Abortion was totally illegal in Ireland under all circumstances until the Supreme Court judgement in the "X" case earlier this year, which seems to permit abortion in the extremely limited case of threatened suicide by the mother. The 1861 Offences against the Persons Act states that any person "performing, attempting and or assisting in an abortion is liable to penal servitude for life". Laws such as this on the statute books of other European countries have been relaxed, liberalised or abolished in the face of the general realisation and acknowledgment that women always and everywhere will exert their right to end an unwanted pregnancy. In Ireland powerful reactionary forces have succeeded in not only preventing the liberalisation of laws here on abortion but have gone much further with a constitutional amendment, the 8th Amendment, and a series of court actions which have outlawed the distribution of information on abortion. Ireland is now the only country in the world that actually bans information on abortion. The offensive by the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC) against womens' rights in Ireland is part of a world wide offensive against abortion rights. The upholding of Ireland's information ban by the E.C. Court of Justice places the campaign for abortion rights in Ireland in an international context.

Abortion Information is Illegal in Ireland - Review from 1992

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The mainly black cover of this pamphlet showing a drawing of a gagged woman with the words "censored" over her mouth give a graphic first sight into the contents of this pamphlet. A well written and informative document, we are brought through the recent history of Women's Rights in Ireland, in particular a woman's right to control her own fertility. (Review of "Ireland's Abortion Reality - Including a Guide to Abortion Services for Irish Women" by the Cork Abortion Information Campaign (£1.00) )

Abortion: It's every Woman's Right to Choose

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Anarchists believe that every woman has the right to choose an abortion when faced with a crisis pregnancy irrespective of the reasons for the abortion. At least 4,000 Irish women have abortions in England every year at present. Women worldwide have always sought to control their fertility through abortion no matter how difficult it is for them to get access to abortion and they probably always will. This is because it is essential for women to be able to control their own fertility and not to be reduced to the level of their biological function as child-bearers only if they are to achieve true equality and liberation.

Abortion rights in Ireland - the story so far (to 1992)

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IN 1983 anti-choice campaigners pushed the government into holding a referendum on abortion. The Eight Amendment was then passed by 33% of the electorate (the turn out was 54.6%). Abortion was already prohibited under the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act. The Eight Amendment copperfastened this ban preventing any reforming legislation.

Equality for some women?

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LAST SEPTEMBER the Bank of Ireland was, according to the 'Irish Times', 'basking in an unadulterated glow of approval' from the Employment Equality Agency, the Council of Status for Women and the Joint Oireachteas Committee on Womens Rights among others. What the Bank of Ireland had so progressively managed to do was to provide one creche which will cater for up to 45 children.

The Bank of Ireland employs 11,600 people. However, at £55 a week the centre is obviously aimed at helping only a very small section of the workforce. As Bertie Ahern said, it did not make sense having highly and expensively qualified women leaving the workforce because of lack of childcare facilities. However, it does make sense, to industry, to employ over 50% of the entire workforce having either low pay or no security of employment (or both).

Why are Women Not Yet Liberated?

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There are a whole rake of questions thrown up by the issue of womens' liberation, among the mainstream press the big issue is has womens' liberation been achieved, are we in a 'post feminist world'? Beyond these basics there are other questions, why are women oppressed? What are the mechanisms that cause our oppression, what are factors that continue it, how can womens' liberation be achieved. Do all men gain from womens' oppression? Are Women liberated at the moment?

The Defend the Clinics Campaign - pro choice struggles in Ireland in 1988

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THE "DEFEND THE CLINICS Campaign" is running out of steam. The recent Information Picket on Dublin's O'Connell Bridge attracted only 20 people. It is unable to mobilise large numbers. Even those political parties with a pro-abortion policy are running scared of even raising the issue. It is not too surprising. It is only five years since the "pro-life" amendment to the constitution was voted through 2:1, and it is debatable how many of those who voted against were actually voting in favour of abortion rights. Since then there has been a further shift to the right in Ireland. Even the promotion of condoms as a means of preventing the spread of AIDS was a matter of great controversy.

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