User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

offsite link Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link Officials and Provisionals Sat Apr 01, 2017 22:54 | James O'Brien

offsite link Interview with Cathal Goulding Mon Dec 26, 2016 17:11 | Cathal Goulding

offsite link Trump, Russia and the CIA Sat Dec 10, 2016 18:23 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Daniel McConnell: Happy to wear establishment blinkers

offsite link State failing in its duty to enforce law Anthony

offsite link Elaine Byrne/Fergus Finlay: Afraid to condemn their own? Anthony

offsite link Jobstown trial exposes mainstream bias Anthony

offsite link RTE: Blatant censorship and manipulation of news Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Cooperative Authors ? The Killing of William Browder: Deconstructing Bill Browder?s Dangerous Decept... Sat Aug 19, 2017 00:23 | amarynth
The Saker: Today I want to introduce you to a book whose importance simply cannot be overstated: The Killing of William Browder: Deconstructing Bill Browder’s Dangerous Deception by Alex Krainer. 

offsite link The Neocons are pushing the USA and the rest of the world towards a dangerous crisis Fri Aug 18, 2017 04:37 | The Saker
This analysis was written for the Unz Review. First, my writing on the wall In October of last year a wrote an analysis I entitled The USA are about to

offsite link Stonewalling Washington: Trump pushes leftist view of US racism further than Obama or Clinton Fri Aug 18, 2017 04:37 | The Saker
by Ramin Mazaheri I feel sorry for Americans ? they have such lousy leaders they feel compelled to defend. I don?t mean Trump or Obama or Clinton or even JFK

offsite link Syrian War Report ? August 17, 2017: Iran Builds Long-Range Missile Factory In Syria Fri Aug 18, 2017 01:16 | Scott
https://southfront.org/syrian-war-rep... If you?re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn?t be possible without your help: PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfront Voiceover by Harold

offsite link A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand (Charlottesville 3) Thu Aug 17, 2017 21:58 | The Saker
by Paul Craig Roberts The liberal/progressive/left are enjoying their drunkfest of denunciation. I can?t say I have ever witnessed anything like it.  These are the people who sat on their

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
www.humanrights.ie

offsite link Ireland?s violation of International Abortion rights: A perpetual Déjŕ vu. Sat Jul 29, 2017 18:49 | admin

offsite link Call for Papers: Irish Yearbook of International Law Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:54 | Fiona de Londras

offsite link Understanding the Increases in Direct Provision Allowance for Asylum Seekers Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:31 | Liam Thornton

offsite link Ireland?s Failing Abortion Law: Statutory Interpretation, Human Rights and the Detention of Pregnant... Tue Jun 13, 2017 17:08 | admin

offsite link RIA Conference on Human Rights and the Social Sciences, June 22nd. Thu Jun 01, 2017 16:59 | admin

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Trust people, not the Dáil, to deliver abortion rights

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Sunday July 30, 2017 22:30author by Ruth Coppinger - Socalist Party Report this post to the editors

The Citizens’ Assembly on abortion rights was set up under pressure from the Repeal movement. It surprised the conservative Dáil when it recommended that women and pregnant people be trusted – that abortion should be legalised upon request up to 12 weeks; for socio-economic reasons up to 22 weeks; for health; and for fatal foetal abnormality.

But how will these ever get implemented given that the Dáil parties have an extremely limited position on abortion that is way behind the public? Only Solidarity-People Before Profit and a few independents are pro-choice in line with the Citizens’ Assembly.

Circumvent the conservative Dail – put Citizens’ Assembly proposals to the people

As a member of the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment, I will be saying that neither it nor the Dáil has the right to bury the recommendations or to cherry pick only a few, that to prevent this happening, they must be put to the people. One way of doing this is, on the same day we have a Repeal referendum, to have a plebiscite on the options put forward by the Citizens’ Assembly.

If we just leave it to the politicians, we will never get pro-choice legislation in reality. A plebiscite on the proposals would be an unstoppable force on the Dáil to enact progressive legislation.

In Portugal in 2007, the government held a plebiscite for abortion on request up to 10 weeks. They wouldn’t have enacted abortion legislation had they not had this endorsement. Does anyone seriously believe the Irish establishment — with its relationship to the church — will bring in the ground-breaking Citizens Assembly proposals without the public forcing them to?

Let’s not repeat past mistakes

Five years ago following the death of Savita, a debate took place in the abortion rights movement about tactics. At a meeting of several hundred in the Gresham Hotel, the official pro-Choice movement opted to call only for ‘X Case’ legislation. Even notable left activists argued that this minimal abortion, once made legal, would open the way for more abortion rights.

Socialist Party activists argued this was the time for full Repeal of the 8th Amendment, that the movement should highlight how X Case legislation wouldn’t even cater for the circumstances of Savita’s death and that a referendum was now necessary to repeal the 8th. Given the backwardness of the Irish establishment, X Case legislation didn’t lead to any liberalising – in fact the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act has proven impossible for suicidal women such as Miss Y, to access abortion. We were proven correct and a real opportunity and five years has been lost to advance abortion rights in Ireland.

Golden Opportunity

The same conservatism is becoming evident once again in the pro-choice movement. A golden opportunity has opened up with the far-reaching recommendations of the Citizens Assembly. For the the first time in Ireland, a forum where members of the public were given control has recommended abortion on request in the first trimester when 85% of abortions occur and even for socio-economic reasons ! This speaks volumes about how fundamentally societal attitudes have progressed.

Instead of seizing this golden chance to make the pro-choice argument, a conservative focus is being placed on Repeal alone. A reference is made to ‘no watering down of the Citizens Assembly recommendations’ but no serious case is being put forward as to how these can be actually implemented when the conservative politicians have power over them. A demand for people to have their say on the Citizens Assembly proposals is vital. The only conceivable way this could be done is by a plebiscite which doesn’t insert anything into the Constitution but is a popular vote on a law.

Spurious arguments are being made about how ‘complicated’ this could be and how Ireland doesn’t have plebiscites. In the Water Charges legislation in 2015, the FG / Labour government put forward a plebiscite on public ownership of Irish Water, so clearly it can be done.

How would a plebiscite work?

Neither should we insult people’s abilities. People are capable of voting on a number of issues when they are explained well in advance. The best way to ensure we get the maximum abortion rights is to put the Citizens’ Assembly proposals as options for people to support, rather than an ‘all or nothing’ vote. The Citizens’ Assembly recommendations can be broken down essentially into four options: FFA, health, socio economic and without any reason up to 12 weeks.

Is it possible to win all four options in a popular vote ? Of course nothing is guaranteed – but it is certainly possible. If 99 random Citizens came to that position after a process of education and debate, why not? But also, the recommendations are in line with previous polls, for example, in an Amnesty poll in February 2016, 67% answered Yes to the statement ‘we should trust women when they say they need an abortion’ and 80 % supported abortion for health reasons.

The prospect of winning such a historic social change would actually likely mobilise much higher numbers of young people into activity to campaign for all four proposals.

In arguing for minimal Repeal groups, some mistakenly point to the marriage equality referendum as an example where, when people and parties united around a minimal demand, a referendum was won. This is completely the wrong lesson to draw from that campaign. What won the referendum was the mobilising of the youth and women’s vote in particular. But of course the stunning votes in working class communities proved decisive. These weren’t motivated to turn out by a great faith in the institution of marriage. Rather it was a solidarity with LBGTQ people, a wish to give rights which were being denied and a desire to break with the past and have social progress.

We are entering a crucial time in the fight for abortion rights in Ireland. A referendum is being indicated for before summer 2018. The correct tactics are critical to the type of referendum that will be. A democratic discussion and debate should be encouraged throughout the pro-choice movement so that we win this historic opportunity for abortion rights in Ireland.

Related Link: http://socialistparty.ie/2017/07/trust-people-not-dail-...ghts/
© 2001-2017 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy