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(en) Ireland: Workers Solidarity #81 - Abortion Rights Still Denied

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 31 May 2004 12:21:20 +0200 (CEST)

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In 1861, abortion was made a criminal offence in Ireland. One
hundred and forty three years later the Irish government
continues to deny women their right to choice. Between January
1980 and December 2002, over 105,000 Irish women terminated
a pregnancy in the UK. These figures exclude Irish women that
did not leave Irish ad-dresses and those that are now travelling to
mainland Europe because of the Euro and cheap flights from here
to cities such as Brussels.

The Irish government denies the option of abortion to victims of
rape, to women who have suffered incest or sexual abuse, and to
women whose life or health is at risk from continuing with the
pregnancy. In fact, the Republic of Ireland has one of the most
draconian abortion laws in Europe. At present abortion may only
be performed where continuation of the pregnancy poses a 'real
and substantial' risk to a pregnant woman's life. In reality a
woman must be dying be-fore a life saving abortion can be
performed. Information about abortion services in the UK is
restricted in Ireland. Under the 1995 Information Act,
information about abortion clinics is only legally available through
face-to-face counselling sessions. Ireland is completely out of
sync with the rest of the EU. Only Portugal, and with the
expansion of the EU on May 1st, Poland and Malta have similar
restrictive abortion laws.

Alliance For Choice is a diverse group of pro-choice activists that
are campaigning for free, safe and legal abortion services in
Ireland. The choice to have an abortion is a difficult and
emotional decision for any woman to make. We believe that Irish
women should be free to make this decision without the intrusion
of the Irish State and Catholic Church. Since the formation of
Alliance of Choice we have engaged in a wide range of pro-choice
activities. This year to mark In-ternational Women's Day we
publicly broke the 1995 Information Act in Dublin and in Cork.
This Act makes it illegal for a doctor to 'refer' a patient to abortion
services abroad, or make an appointment with an abortion clinic
on behalf of a pregnant woman, even if her health is at risk. The
Act has serious implications for the protection of women's
welfare when they are faced with a crisis pregnancy. In
conjunction with the Cork Women's Right to Choose Group we
will be organising a series of pro-choice actions at the EU Health
Ministers Meeting in Cork City in early May. If you would like to
get involved you can contact Alliance For Choice at
allianceforchoice@eircom.net or visit our website at
http://www.struggle.ws/ireland/allianceforchoice. For
in-formation about the Cork Women's Right to Choose Group
e-mail cwrcg@yahoo.ie

If you are in a crisis pregnancy situation and would like
information about all the op-tions available to you - parenting,
fostering, adoption and abortion contact the IFPA on 1850 49 50
51 or visit the website: http://www.ifpa.ie

If you would like information about clinics in the UK and Europe
a website has been set up by Irish pro-choice activists at

by Niav Keating

Useful links

* Anarchism and the fight for Abortion rights
* Anarchism & Womens Liberation
This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity'.

We also provide PDF files of all our publications for you to print
out and distribute locally http://struggle.ws/pdf.html

Print out the PDF file of this issue

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