Abortion rights

Now win abortion rights in Northern Ireland
Savita Mural
SJWWed, 30/05/2018 - 12:06

On Friday 25 May the people of the Republic of Ireland voted to repeal the “eighth amendment” to the constitution, righting a wrong which for almost 35 years had put women′s lives in danger by banning access to abortion even more tightly than it was before under 19th century law.

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The Third Irish Revolution?
Magdalen Asylum
SJWWed, 30/05/2018 - 11:39

Have you heard the ultimate “Irish” joke? In a referendum on a united Ireland the Protestant Unionists of north-east Ulster campaign for “no” on the grounds that the South is too liberal. The people no longer fear God, maybe scarcely believe in God, and refuse to listen to their spiritual advisers.

The two-to-one vote on 25 May to rip up the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution — entrenched there by a referendum in 1983 — was a great empowering and liberating event for the women of Ireland, Mná na hÉireann. Legislation to allow abortion will soon follow.

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“11 women a day travel from Ireland for an abortion”
Repeal the 8th
SJWTue, 01/05/2018 - 21:46

Polly Barklem from the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign (personal capacity) spoke to Solidarity about the referendum in Ireland on 25 May, on repealing the 8th Amendment to the Irish constitution. That amendment effectively gives a foetus equal status in law with a woman, and often results in medical professionals refusing to carry out abortions even in situations where they are legal, i.e. when the woman’s life is in danger.

You can find out more about the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign online at londonirisharc.com

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The lessons of Repeal the 8th
Repeal 8th artwork
SJWTue, 01/05/2018 - 21:39

Elizabeth Butterworth reviews Repeal the 8th, edited by Una Mullally (2018, Unbound press)

Viewing the Repeal movement from my little shared one bed in north London, it’s easy to romanticise the struggle of my Irish sisters.

Many aspects of the Repeal movement deserve to be extolled and are genuinely moving. Whether Irish Repeal activists win or lose the referendum on 25 May – and it looks from the outside like they may win – the Repeal movement can provide useful lessons for activists around the world.

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Protest Trump on 14 JulySJWWed, 25/04/2018 - 11:15

In January 2018, US President Donald Trump cancelled a planned trip to the UK.

His stated reason was that the famously unsuccessful realtor didn’t fancy the “off-location” US Embassy. But the real reason was almost certainly that Trump wanted to duck the huge wave of protest that anyone could see would meet any visit. The racist, authoritarian and climate-change-denying policies of the Trump administration stoked a storm of indignation and a series of huge rallies at the very suggestion of his visit.

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Support the Polish socialistsSJWTue, 10/04/2018 - 19:33

On 23 March — the day that has been dubbed “Black Friday”— tens of thousands of predominantly young activists descended on the centres of Poland’s major cities demanding the far-right Law and Justice government drop its plans for abortion reform.

Abortion law in Poland is already one of the most restrictive in the western world. The only exceptions under which a woman can obtain an abortion are in the case of a threat to the mother’s life, severe foetal abnormality or where conception is as a result of a crime (incest and rape).

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Poland: women’s rights, not church law!MatthewWed, 28/02/2018 - 10:04

The ruling right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party is backing a law to further restrict abortion in Poland. Polish feminist Magdalena Zielinska spoke to Solidarity.


Currently abortion is only legal in three cases: when it is the result of rape or incest; where it threatens a women’s life; or when the foetus is sick or damaged.

This set-up is described as a “compromise”. But it is not a compromise with women: it is a compromise between the church and the state. We have church law!

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Abortion rights: learning from the mobilisations of the pastMatthewWed, 25/10/2017 - 15:30

Thirty years ago, twenty years after the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act, there was a serious attempt to restrict the terms of that law. Liberal MP David Alton wanted to lower the upper limit for abortions from 28 weeks to 18.

That attempt failed but in 1990 the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act was used as a means to lower the legal limit to 24 weeks. This article from 1987 describes the campaign to stop Alton.

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Left debates at Young LabourMatthewWed, 18/10/2017 - 13:08

Around 200 delegates attended the 2017 Young Labour Policy Conference at Warwick University over the weekend of 15-15 October. In a marked change from previous years the mood of the conference was left-wing. The conference voted for free education, shrugging off the attempts of the much-reduced Blairite faction to garner support for their graduate tax policy. Likewise, the conference voted to leave NATO — a clear break from the foreign policy of recent years.

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Northern Irish abortion rights vote at Young Labour policy conferenceAWLMon, 16/10/2017 - 23:00

At Young Labour policy conference on 14-15 October a motion was brought which called for the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. (See document here p31.)

Some supporters of Workers′ Liberty, as well as others we were working with, voted against this motion - not because they oppose abortion rights in Northern Ireland, obviously, but for other reasons. However, they were wrong to do so.

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