Pro-choice

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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.

Reduced numbers at 2019 March for Choice after referendum win but a big fight is coming in 2021

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The 2019 annual March for Choice in Dublin was smaller than the previous two marches as many assumed the abortion referendum that Repealed the hated 8th amendment had settled the issue.  In fact the legislation brought in by the Fine Gael government in the months after the referendum left some groups behind, in particular migrants and forces everyone to go through a medically useless 3 day waiting period.  Despite being warned about this and other issues including the trans exclusive language Fine Gael went ahead with the flawed legislation so some still have to travel and not everyone has the papers or resources to be able to do so.  The legislation is up for review in 2021 and the anti-choice organisations are gearing up to try and roll back the legislation, the pro-choice movement needs to not only stop them doing so but needs to try and force whoever is in power to remove the flaws in the legislation. [Video]

 

Video - all of 2018 March for Choice as it passes down the Dublin quays

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This video shows all of the 2018 March for Choice pass down the quays in Dublin.  This year we had won the refrendum but much is left to fight for in terms of the details of the legislation and standing down the inevotable anti-choice attempts that will be made once the lefislation comes in to intimidate doctors,  as welll as women and pregnant who will finally be able to access free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland. [video]

Moral philosophy and abortion

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The debate around abortion is sometimes characterised as an opposition between the morals of the church and personal morals. But is this an accurate description? Moral philosophy can broadly be defined as the branch of philosophy that contemplates what is right and wrong. It explores the nature of morality and examines how people should live their lives in relation to others. But a closer look at what characterises moral philosophy leads to the conclusion that while the expression “relying on personal morals” may come across as a useful shortcut to describe what the pro-choice stance is about, it is also a misuse of moral terminology which has the effect of casting a positive light on moral philosophy, rather than helping us come to terms with the deeply problematic nature of this field. As I hope to make clear, arguments in favour of abortion rights are rooted in anti-authoritarianism whereas moral philosophy can only exist as a rhetorical tool of authoritarianism (even when it is used with good intentions).

Processions in Belfast sees large pro-choice bloc

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Sunday 10th June saw Processions2018 take place in Belfast and three other UK cities to commemorate some women winning the vote 100 years ago.

The Belfast event saw quite a large pro-choice bloc under the Alliance for Choice banner which comprised more than half of the entire event. Calls were made for reproductive justice and choice to be enacted in the north.

UK Supreme Court says north ban on abortion "incompatible" with Human Rights

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Somewhat good news in the struggle for abortion provision in the north, the courts may refuse to act but grassroots activists are taking to the streets on Sunday. Pressure continues to build following the successful Repeal campaign in the south to introduce abortion law reform north of the border. Join Alliance for Choice as part of the Processions march on June 10th, Titanic Slipways at 12 noon.

All Polls shows Yes lead for Repeal but it could still be close if previous patterns hold

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Two new opinions polls were out Sunday morning on next Fridays referendum to remove the hated 8th amendment to the constitution that equates the life of a woman with that of a foetus.  Both this mornings polls are good news for the Yes to Repeal campaign with an increased Yes vote since the same companies' previous polls.

What Happened When Portugal Decriminalised Abortion?

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With the referendum to repeal the 8th amendment on May 25th drawing nearer, it’s with great interest that we look at the experience of other countries which have struggled against an abortion ban like ours, to learn from the lessons of the campaign, and to ‘look into the future’, as it were, and see the result of decriminalising abortion. As such, here are some brief notes on Portugal.

On 11th February 2007, in a national referendum, the Portuguese voted in favor of the decriminalization of the "voluntary interruption of the pregnancy" (VGI). It was the end of more than 30 years of struggles, advances and retreats, with many public debates dividing several quarters of Portuguese society.

Fascist Party Openly Campaigns as 'Abortion Never' to Keep 8th Amendment

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Seen any of these posters around recently? You may be interested to know they are a product of the 'Abortion Never' campaign, an initiative of the anti-immigrant, far-right National Party. The party is led by one Justin Barrett who is arguably best known for leading Youth Defence from the early nineties until 2004.

In the past he has attended several events hosted by the German NPD, a Neo-Nazi group, whose then deputy leader confirmed that the NPD was 'friendly' with Youth Defence. Italian fascist group 'Forza Nuovo' reported that Mr Barrett has also attended several of their events in the early 2000's.
Even after Mr Barrett's departure, Youth Defence still managed to grab the headlines though. In 2013, a Youth Defence billboard truck parked outside the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre carrying a billboard that read: "The abortion bill won't make women safer, it will just kill babies". The company who owned the truck refused to carry any more Youth Defence material after the wave of outrage that followed.

Belfast rallies in solidarity with demand to Repeal the 8th

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Belfast stood in solidarity with our sisters and comrades in the south as they took to the streets in Dublin and elsewhere to protest for a Repeal of the hated 8th Amendment.  A tiny contingent of protesters from Precious Life turned up to counter the demo and continued with the recent tradition of being massively outnumbered in Belfast.

While the battle to repeal the 8th has been ongoing for years, it is now truly beginning to heat up with a referendum due to be held this summer. The anti-choicers are beginning to panic as they become more anxious that they will lose control over our bodies.

Finally a Referendum to Repeal the 8th - Organising Made this Happen

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The announcement that there will be a referendum to Repeal the hated 8th amendment is the product of decades of active campaigning.  Pro-choice campaigners built for repeal ever since the referendum was passed in 1983. If at first this seemed like a distant demand now repeal looks by far the most likely outcome in May.  The story of how this happened illustrates how change comes in general.  That is not through elections but through people getting organised to demand that change, regardless of which politicians happen to be running the show in any particular year. 

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