Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Legislation in Ireland to Legalise Abortion’ Category

Join Community Standout Against Racism — Monday January 30 6pm @Ashtown Station, Dublin 15

with one comment

A Homeless migrant camp in Ashtown was brutally attacked on January 28 2023 in Dublin. Ruth Coppinger, a former member of the Dáil (TD) for the Dublin West constituency circulated the report below. Directions at this link : https://www.irishrail.ie/en-ie/station/ashtown

Infamous Racist Attack at Ashtown Station, Dublin 15

Earlier today there was a brutal racist attack in Ashtown at a site where a group of migrant workers, made homeless by unaffordable rents, have been living in tents for months.

A gang of 5 or 6 men with dogs, armed with sticks and baseball bats descended on the camp and violently attacked and injured at least one person. They would have done more damage, only that witnesses disturbed them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Irish Left Archive Podcast Number 44: Vincent Doherty: Official Sinn Féin, International Marxist Group, Troops Out, People’s Democracy, H-Block Committee, Sinn Féin – reblogged from The Cedar Lounge Revolution

leave a comment »

I first met Vincent Doherty in the late 1970’s via People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. Since then we travelled on different political paths, while remaining on very good personal terms. In 2022 Vincent and me – along with a group of left-wing activists who come from different but complementary streams of the Irish Left – have been working actively together in the Irish Left With Ukraine organization.

The comrades who publish the Cedar Lounge Revolution Blog come from a stream of the Irish Left which is different from Vincent Doherty and me. But we converge politically in 2022 on a very decisive issue – the genocidal imperialist Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On the left nothing stands still. There is a strong mistaken current dominant of the Irish Marxist left which does “what if” interpretations of historical events. This interview avoids that approach. It is much better to accept the past, warts and all. We cannot change the past, but we can with 20-20 vision learn from our history. We can apply that knowledge to the present day and the immediate future – which we can influence.

Rayner Lysaght Tribute – Irish Labour History Society Event

Rayner Lysaght RIP (January 30 1941 – July 2 2021) was a close comrade of Vincent and me for many years in People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. The Irish Labour History Society staged a commemorative tribute in honour of Rayner on May 14 2021. I delivered the speech below, which also deals with some of the events described by Vincent Doherty.

John Meehan January 2 2023

Read the rest of this entry »

“Road to Repeal: 50 years of struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion” – An outstanding PhotoBook – Interview with Co-Author Therese Caherty

leave a comment »

We’ve come a long way!

The fight for reproductive freedom in Ireland

Irish publisher Lilliput Press recently launched the photobook, Road to Repeal: 50 years of struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion, in Dublin’s Mansion House. Social policy analyst Pauline Conroy, photographer Derek Speirs and journalist. Therese Caherty have documented in pictures and words Ireland’s choice movement over half a century.

John Meehan interviews Therese about the project, where it came from and the future for reproductive rights in Ireland.

John Meehan – What gave you idea for the book?

Therese Caherty – Our project began in 2013 at Against the Tide, a retrospective of 1980s activism by photographer Rose Comiskey. At a closing discussion on Irish feminism, a young woman asked some of us oldies – Why did you let the 8th Amendment happen? It wasn’t a view we were familiar with. But you could see where she was coming from. She had arrived into the world of the Eighth and seen, maybe experienced, its effects. And she was angry.

In 2014 we answered her question with Women to Blame, a multimedia exhibition on the struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion. Today, thanks to Lilliput Press, we have what we always wanted – a permanent home for that exhibition. Road to Repeal commemorates in pictures and words a people– powered movement that believed in a more equal Ireland for women and pregnant people, and their unfettered right to independent decision– making about parenthood.

We see our book as part of that movement of activists and participants and a contribution to it. It’s not for profit and all royalties go to the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Read the rest of this entry »

Defending the reproductive rights of Ukrainian women in Ukraine, Poland, across and beyond the European Union: a global feminist struggle – An international petition

leave a comment »

This petition is an appeal for action. The initiative is supported by the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine – you can add your support by activating this web link below and adding your signature :

Web link https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/to-read/defending-the-reproductive-rights-of-ukrainian-women-in-ukraine-poland-across-and-beyond-the-european-union-a-global-feminist-struggle

Since February 24th, Ukrainian women are facing increasing levels of gender based violence as a consequence of the Russian invasion: (1) Russian troops are massively using rape against women and children as a war weapon. (2) Domestic violence against women and children has significantly increased. (3) Women displaced inside Ukraine and abroad, looking for safe shelter face an acute risk of gender-based and sexual violence. Rape and consequent forced pregnancies are present in all these forms of gender-based violence.

Irish supporters include Bríd Smith TD (People Before Profit, Dublin South Central); Brendan Ogle (UNITE Trade Union); Nóirín Greene (Trade Unionist).

Read the rest of this entry »

Abortion is Health Care – Mobilizations Against the USA decision to overturn the 1973 Roe V Wade Judgment – American Women Are Being Pushed Back in Time

leave a comment »

United States Supreme Court Justices have decided, in the words of Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi that “Women today will have less rights than their mothers or their grandmothers.”

Reporting from New York, Irish-American pro-choice activist Joan McKiernan describes this step backwards in time. Joan notes that USA pro-choice activists often mention the Irish pro-choice referendum victory of 2018 for inspiration. A demonstration has been organised outside the USA Ballsbridge Embassy on Sunday June 26 (see below).

Dublin Protest

National Women’s Council of Ireland

American Women Are Being Pushed Back in Time – by Joan McKiernan

Massive protests took place in cities and towns across the United States immediately after the long expected announcement of the Supreme Court decision revoking the fifty year constitutional right to abortion. Women, activists, and politicians expressed anger and disappointment, much more so than when the decision was originally leaked. For many, it seemed to take them by surprise, though they had enough warning from the leaked decision. It was as if people did not believe it could really happen. Surely, the Supreme Court would not do this, but they really did.

Read the rest of this entry »

“The rape of women as a weapon of war is the most heinous of crimes….” “Women present themselves in Poland” but cannot access abortion – Gino Kenny TD speaking in Dáil Éireann

with one comment

Gino Kenny TD (People Before Profit, Dublin Mid-West) sets an example for all Irish public representatives. Step up campaigns against Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Support Polish legislators proposing abortion law reform.

Gino Kenny

Gino Kenny

Gino Kenny

Question:

100. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will provide an update to the Houses of the Oireachtas on any engagement he has had with the European Union or the Polish Government on the ban on abortion in Poland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33165/22]View answer.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Legal Abortion in Poland Now” – Dublin Demonstration Report, June 23 2022

leave a comment »

The political party Razem is proposing legislation in the Warsaw parliament to make abortion legal in Poland. Solidarity events events were held in various locations. In Dublin pro-choice activists protested outside the Polish Embassy at 4-8 Eden Quay. Supporters included two PBP TD’s (members of the Dáil, Irish parliament) Bríd Smith and Paul Murphy.

Link to Razem : https://partiarazem.pl/aktualnosci/2022/02/27/enough-with-the-struggle-of-superpowers-voices-from-central-and-eastern-europe

Statement issued by the Ukrainian left-wing organization Sotsialnyi Rukh :

Today our comrades from “Razem” party in Poland will be at a hearing during the parliamentary sessions concerning abortion legalization in Poland.

What is the background?

One challenge of immediate concern in Poland is the access to safe and legal abortion. Since January 2021, Poland’s new law on abortion bans all pregnancy terminations except in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is at risk. Under this law, abortion is permissible only in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s health and life.
As a consequence of social and political pressures, doctors often refuse to perform the procedure. This directly causes the suffering and deaths of many women.

“Razem” together with national feminist movements drafted the bill “Legal Abortion. Without compromises”. This is a citizen’s bill for which Razem gathered thousands of signatures, forcing Parliament to bring it to a vote.
So here we are and today “Razem” will fight for women right to to decide on their own bodies and life.

Important : many Ukrainian women and children fleeing the war seek refuge in neighbouring Poland where abortion is criminalised and access to contraception is ranked the worst in Europe. Taking into account that in Ukraine we have no problems with this. So it’s a shock for them not to have and access to abortion and be forced to choose between carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term in precarious circumstances or facing significant risks associated with clandestine abortions.

Regarding this Sotsialnyi Rukh underline that abortion legalization in Poland is our our common aim to reach.


We are in solidarity with Razem and women in Poland!

We stand for immediate legalization of abortion in Poland and rights for safe abortion!

legalnaaborcjabezkompromisów

Source : https://www.facebook.com/100064840535229/posts/pfbid0M3jBmZZgWUEQkHdiRL7jjjVje2394wJNS29aEMXFPPFkVjHXNujLYLu9VkmpCHyal/

Legal Abortion in Poland Now – Dublin Protest, Polish Embassy Office, 4-8 Eden Quay, Thursday June 23, 1.00pm

with one comment

The Polish political party proposing abortion law reform is Razem which works with the European network in solidarity with Ukraine and against war –

Read the rest of this entry »

Poland : Access to Safe and Legal Abortion – Polish parliament debate, June 22 and 23 2022

with one comment

In Ireland – especially during the dark days of the anti-abortion 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution ((1983-2018) – women had to travel abroad to get an abortion. In Ukraine today many women raped by invading Russian soldiers flee to Poland where they cannot get an abortion. The left wing party Razem is proposing legislation in the parliament to end the abortion ban in Poland. We must extend solidarity and support.

Razem reports :

A great challenge of immediate concern in Poland is the access to safe and legal abortion. Women’s rights to decide about their own bodies have been extremely limited in our country. Under current laws, abortion is permissible only in case of rape, incest or threat to the mother’s health and life. Additionally, as a consequence of social and political pressures, doctors often refuse to perform the procedure. This directly causes the suffering and deaths of many women.

Read the rest of this entry »

For an Ireland Where Trans and Non-binary People are Equal Safe and Valued

leave a comment »

Both states in Ireland – formally independent in the South, controlled by Britain in the North – have a vile creepy history : child abuse, suppression of women’s rights, reactionary religious control of health and education. This “Carnival of Reaction” has deep strong foundations, built following the reactionary partition of Ireland in 1922. In recent decades, especially in the formally independent part of Ireland, popular rebellion has attacked the reactionary carnival – most notably when a constitutional abortion was repealed in a May 2018 referendum.

In days gone by a “Belt of the Crozier” firmly struck by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid was enough to kill Noël Browne’s 1950 Mother and Child Scheme. These days, after a tsunami of child abuse scandals and clerical criminal convictions, far-right causes such as transphobia are, at the popular level, rightly seen as a thin edge of the wedge. They remind us of dark periods we Irish experienced in the recent past.

A media outlet, the Joe Duffy RTÉ Liveline Show, have a mass audience. It is not directly associated with the religious far-right in Ireland. However, it has started to offer an often uncontested platform to government anti-feminist propaganda, targeting the publicly funded National Women’s Council of Ireland.

The broadcaster is not backing down : “I found it deeply disturbing after my 25 years of presenting here to be told that a debate on Liveline was ‘incredibly irresponsible’ in the context of increasing transphobic and homophobic attacks,” the presenter says, referring to a statement from the Irish Council of Civil Liberties, before adding that the censuring was “insulting” to his programme staff and, indeed, his listeners.” (Source Irish Times, June 17 2022).

A coalition Trans Equality Together led by TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland), BeLonG To and LGBT Ireland was launched last week with the aim of creating an Ireland where trans people are equal, safe and valued. Pictured: (L-R) Tiernan Arnup from AMACH! LGBT Galway, Jayson Pope, an LGBTQ+ youth activist and Matt Kennedy, of BelongTo. Picture: Julien Behal (Source Irish Examiner)

A number of human rights organizations have come together opposing the reactionary anti-trans offensive. In very measured language they state :

On 9th, 10th and 13th June, RTÉ Radio 1′s Liveline show discussed matters of gender identity. Trans Equality Together, and our members, share a common concern about these episodes, and we support Dublin Pride’s decision to terminate its media partnership with RTÉ and its consultation with Trans Equality Together about this decision.

Read the rest of this entry »