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Abortion Discussion, Part the Fourth

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,106 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf


    The legislation wasn't passed until very late in 2018 and came into effect on 1 January 2019 so I would have expected the review to start at the end of this year or January next year. It said three years and as of now, three years ago the 8th amendment was still in place!

    My understanding is December 31 this year was the deadline for the review but there is nothing to stop it happening before then. I would have thought there was a broad inclination to defer any non-urgent Dail business until covid restrictions are largely lifted, but at the same time I'd imagine there is a desire to get this potentially unpleasant bit of business done with as quickly as possible, and the whole divisive issue put to bed once and for all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,180 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    What the Act provide is that "the Minister shall, not later than 3 years after the commencement of this section [which was on 1 January 2019], carry out a review of the operation of this Act".

    Since "carry out a review" implies a process that will take a bit of time, the Minister could wait until 1 January 2022 before starting his review, in which case the results of the review would likely not be available for several months after that. But he can start the review before that date - and, indeed, finish it, if he wants to, since the 3-year deadline is just a long-stop. If the Minister adopts the objective of having the results of the review available by 1 January 2022 then, yeah, the review will be conducted in the course of this year.

    Interesting, there is no requirement in the legislation for the Minister to publish the results of the review, or lay it before the Oireachtas, or anything of the kind. That strikes me as an oversight on the part of whoever put the review clause in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,106 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf


    Sinn Fein getting hammered over their abstention on a DUP bill to prevent abortions being carried out in cases of non-fatal disabilities.

    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/pro-choice-activists-slam-sinn-fein-over-stormont-anti-abortion-vote-absention-40203791.html

    They tried to deflect attention onto the failure of the NI Health Minister to commission abortion services previously legislated, so as usual it's difficult to discern their position on the specific issue here.

    Seems their core objective is to 'align' the laws north and south, so they did not oppose this bill because it sought to prevent the regime in the north becoming more liberal than the one in the republic. Possibly....


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭Bannasidhe


    Sinn Fein getting hammered over their abstention on a DUP bill to prevent abortions being carried out in cases of non-fatal disabilities.

    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/pro-choice-activists-slam-sinn-fein-over-stormont-anti-abortion-vote-absention-40203791.html

    They tried to deflect attention onto the failure of the NI Health Minister to commission abortion services previously legislated, so as usual it's difficult to discern their position on the specific issue here.

    Seems their core objective is to 'align' the laws north and south, so they did not oppose this bill because it sought to prevent the regime in the north becoming more liberal than the one in the republic. Possibly....


    My Twitter feed lit up over this but tbh I haven't really been paying attention to what's going on up there.


    Anyone have a synopsis for me?


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,106 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf


    Bannasidhe wrote: »
    My Twitter feed lit up over this but tbh I haven't really been paying attention to what's going on up there.


    Anyone have a synopsis for me?

    Well here's the gist
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/sinn-f%C3%A9in-accused-of-speaking-out-of-both-sides-of-their-mouth-on-abortion-1.4512180
    Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate have criticised Sinn Féin after its Assembly members abstained in a vote on a Bill seeking to ban terminations in cases of non-fatal foetal disabilities.

    Questions were asked about the party’s position on abortion, after Sinn Féin speakers in the debate on Monday complained about an attempt to row back on abortion legislation, yet abstained rather than opposed the second stage of the Bill.

    They previously signalled support for the essence of what the DUP bill is doing

    SF proposes tightening NI abortion legislation over non-fatal disability

    so it's hard to pin down where they stand.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭Bannasidhe


    Well here's the gist
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/sinn-f%C3%A9in-accused-of-speaking-out-of-both-sides-of-their-mouth-on-abortion-1.4512180


    They previously signalled support for the essence of what the DUP bill is doing

    SF proposes tightening NI abortion legislation over non-fatal disability

    so it's hard to pin down where they stand.




    Cheers Loafing Oaf.


    I find pinning down where SF stand on a number of issues to be difficult.


    I've been on at them about animal welfare issues for years and it's no clearer. They literally support running with the hares and hunting with the hounds depending on who you ask and which constituency they are in.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,401 Mod ✭✭✭✭robindch


    Bannasidhe wrote: »
    I find pinning down where SF stand on a number of issues to be difficult.
    Where they exist, and where they're consistent and comprehensible, many of SF's policies are obtuse and weird.

    For a laugh, next time you meet an SF supporter, ask them about human rights' abuses in Russia, the invasion and annexation of Crimea, Syria, Navalny and so on - things may have changed since I last went looking, but when I did, SF maintained an almost complete radio silence on anything which could be interpreted as disrespectful towards the current Russian administration.

    One wouldn't need to be Sherlock Holmes to suspect there may be a simple reason for that general silence.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,226 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    it's easy to be all things to all people when you've only ever been in opposition "down here", and "up there" the executive is suspended more often than not, has very limited powers, and anything fiscally unpalatable can be blamed on London.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,401 Mod ✭✭✭✭robindch


    it's easy to be all things to all people when you've only ever been in opposition "down here", and "up there" the executive is suspended more often than not, has very limited powers, and anything fiscally unpalatable can be blamed on London.
    Easier still if you don't even show up to the parliament you've been elected to.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,226 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    Of course let's not forget the DUP's utter hypocrisy in insisting on being 100% British in everything - except women's and gay rights...

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,644 ✭✭✭✭lazygal


    The new series of Reeling in the Years will be broadcast from next month, covering 2009-19 I understand. Several programmes on RTE covered this today, none of which included any mention of the repeal of the eighth amendment. Seems a calculated decision, given that marriage equality was mentioned in solely positive terms, despite being 'controversial' as a campaign.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,562 ✭✭✭✭aloyisious


    It seems the British Govt's N/I Secretary of State Brandon Lewis intends to lay changes in regulations before the UK parliament next week which will empower him to direct the N/I Govt's Minister for Health Dept to commission abortion services there in line with the rest of Britain. The British Dept of Health has apparently NOT [to date] commissioned N/I-wide abortion services according to a report in the Irish Times. Its reported that Arlene Foster is seeking an urgent meeting with Mr Lewis on the issue as N/I Govt ministers don't want UK abortion services "foisted" on them. RTE radio news has also reported on the news item. I haven't put in a link as Irish Times is a subscriber-service and RTE news has an on-line podcast service.


  • Posts: 5,917 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Of course let's not forget the DUP's utter hypocrisy in insisting on being 100% Britisn in everything - except women's and gay rights...

    You're talking about people who would fight the crown to stay loyal to the crown


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,106 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf


    Well here's the gist
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/sinn-f%C3%A9in-accused-of-speaking-out-of-both-sides-of-their-mouth-on-abortion-1.4512180


    They previously signalled support for the essence of what the DUP bill is doing

    SF proposes tightening NI abortion legislation over non-fatal disability

    so it's hard to pin down where they stand.

    Some unpacking of SF's position by veteran feminist Susan McKay
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/20/northern-ireland-women-abortion-rights-stormont-westminster
    While it is now broadly pro-choice, Sinn Féin shares the DUP’s position that some abortion rights must be legally restricted. It does not support the UN’s recommendation on severe foetal impairment. Voting with the DUP would have been honest but impossibly embarrassing to it, so abstention was the only option.

    McDonald said her party wants “the same legislative framework and regime” to apply to the whole of Ireland. The Republic’s legislation on the late abortion issue is actually in line with the DUP and Sinn Féin’s.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,226 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    But we got here going from a very illiberal abortion law, DUP and in reality SF want NI to go in the oppisite direction. I think there would be public support here for making the abortion law more liberal, and in NI too, but the politicians are not representative of this viewpoint.

    Anyway exposing SF's hypocrisy and differing policy and messaging cross-border can only be a good thing.

    But this is all academic as long as the actual provision of the abortion services which are legal remains blocked in NI.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,562 ✭✭✭✭aloyisious


    Brandon Lewis has got parliamentary go-ahead to enforce abortion rights in N/I against the wishes of the DUP and [according to RTE] has been laying out the grounds on which he will make changes to ensure the rights are commissioned over the DUP. Some N/I health trusts had already made the rights and abortions allowed under the law to women there but other trusts did not.

    Updated info in todays [southern] newspapers: Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said he hoped progress could be made on the long-delayed central commissioning of services without him having to use new powers to direct the devolved administration to act on the issue. Mr Lewis laid regulations at Westminster yesterday that would give him the ability to compel the region’s health department to commission the services. He will assume the power when the regulations come into force on March 31. The UK parliament will convene in the coming weeks to consider the regulations, with an expectation they will be approved and maintained....

    From this, I'm thinking my first sentence in Para 1 above might not be correct time-line and empowerment-wise, though I won't change the words in it yet as there might be a misunderstanding of Mr Lewis's powers right now in todays newspaper reports.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,226 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    Half of the country's maternity hospitals do not offer full abortion services
    Half of county'sI]sic[/I maternity hospitals still do not offer full abortion services more than two years after the law to allow for termination of pregnancies was introduced.

    Under Government policy, termination of pregnancy services requiring hospital treatment should be provided in all 19 maternity hospitals and units to "ensure appropriate geographic coverage across all areas of the country", but just 10 currently offer terminations up to 12 weeks.

    The Department of Health had hoped to visit hospitals still not offering the service late last year, however, this engagement was cancelled due to Covid-19.

    "The Department continues to engage with the HSE National Women & Infants Health Programme (NWIHP) in relation to plans for the further rollout of termination services in additional maternity hospitals/units," secretary general of the Department of Health Robert Watt said.

    "In this context, the NWIHP and the clinical lead had planned to visit a number of hospitals in the latter part of 2020 to support sites where the service was operational; and to engage with the other sites to overcome any obstacles preventing the commencement of the full service.

    "However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was not possible for those site visits to proceed," he said, in a letter to the Oireachtas Health Committee.

    It comes as the public is to be asked for their views on abortion services in this country as part of a review to be carried out by the Department of Health.

    Mr Watt confirmed that a review of legislation enacted after the repeal of the Eighth Amendment will be conducted this year.

    Recommendations to change any aspects of abortion services in this country will then be brought to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

    This review will involved a three-part approach and will focus on those who have used the service, hospital that provide abortion service as well as a public consultation process.

    The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, which provides universal access to termination of pregnancy services, came into force in January 2019 and states that the Minister for Health must carry out a review of how it is operating no later than three years after the commencement.

    "Research to inform the service user and service provider strands will be commissioned and carried out independently, while the Department will manage the public consultation," Mr Watt wrote in a letter to the Oireachtas Health Committee.

    "The Department will collate the findings of the three strands of the review. Upon completion a full report, with any necessary recommendations, will be submitted to the Minister for Health for consideration," he said.

    Mr Watt also told the committee that in early 2020, as part of the Government's ongoing efforts to protect public health and limit the spread of Covid-19, arrangements were put in place to allow termination of pregnancy services in early pregnancy to be provided remotely.

    "For the duration of the Covid-19 public health emergency, where the need for social distancing, reducing personal contacts and reducing the burden on medical practitioners are paramount, terminations under section 12 of the Act (i.e. before 12 weeks of pregnancy) may be accessed from medical practitioners by telephone or video conference consultation."

    Mr Watt said this arrangement will lapse once the public emergency is declared over.


    Not good enough, not nearly good enough at all. Crisis pregnancy doesn't stop because of Covid-19. Inaction lets religion-dominated public hospitals like Kilkenny off the hook.

    As for the bolded part, it's up to us to ensure that it isn't dominated by the smaller but noisier anti-choice lobby - no doubt they will be emailing the usual cut-and-pasted screeds in their tens of thousands as happened so often pre-repeal.

    There is no constitutional right to abortion. It is vital that every pro-choice voter ensures that they only vote for explicitly pro-choice representatives.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,586 ✭✭✭uptherebels


    Half of the country's maternity hospitals do not offer full abortion services




    Not good enough, not nearly good enough at all. Crisis pregnancy doesn't stop because of Covid-19. Inaction lets religion-dominated public hospitals like Kilkenny off the hook.

    As for the bolded part, it's up to us to ensure that it isn't dominated by the smaller but noisier anti-choice lobby - no doubt they will be emailing the usual cut-and-pasted screeds in their tens of thousands as happened so often pre-repeal.

    There is no constitutional right to abortion. It is vital that every pro-choice voter ensures that they only vote for explicitly pro-choice representatives.
    Sadly there are still some within the healthcare system that mistakenly conflate their right to object, with the ability to obstruct. These need to be worked out of the system asap


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal


    Of course let's not forget the DUP's utter hypocrisy in insisting on being 100% British in everything - except women's and gay rights...

    don't forget science and teaching evolution :pac::D


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,562 ✭✭✭✭aloyisious


    The Life Institute are back publicizing quotes from others publications to further their agenda. They've a video on their F/B page with what purports to be a quote from a Doctor in a UCC report which people looking at the L.I video should presumably think is referring to abortions "it feels like stabbing the baby in the heart". The video states that what was said around the referendum was lies while running clips of Leo, Simon and Dr Peter Boylan on the video. Shown on the video is a screenshot of a page titled NIH National Library of Medicine with the words PubMed.Gov. NIH is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, not Cork. I'm unaware of whom the doctors mentioned by the L.I woman narrator are as names are not given, or whom the people behind the reported UCC report apparently interviewed. The L.I video alleges the injections used here on feotus during abortions are the same as those used in the US to execute death-row prisoners.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,078 ✭✭✭✭Igotadose


    Can you complain to FB about the fake information?


  • Posts: 5,917 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Igotadose wrote: »
    Can you complain to FB about the fake information?

    Probably the closest is
    https://www.facebook.com/help/572838089565953

    They did some work on trying to stem the tide of bullsh1t around covid, which often have the same type of groups spreading abortion and other medical misinformation, but they are very lax around other forms of medical misinformation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,026 ✭✭✭Bredabe


    aloyisious wrote: »
    The Life Institute are back publicizing quotes from others publications to further their agenda. They've a video on their F/B page with what purports to be a quote from a Doctor in a UCC report which people looking at the L.I video should presumably think is referring to abortions "it feels like stabbing the baby in the heart". The video states that what was said around the referendum was lies while running clips of Leo, Simon and Dr Peter Boylan on the video. Shown on the video is a screenshot of a page titled NIH National Library of Medicine with the words PubMed.Gov. NIH is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, not Cork. I'm unaware of whom the doctors mentioned by the L.I woman narrator are as names are not given, or whom the people behind the reported UCC report apparently interviewed. The L.I video alleges the injections used here on feotus during abortions are the same as those used in the US to execute death-row prisoners.

    I saw a version of this, comments obviously American even tho most were Irish-sounding names. one poster on every few threads typing in capitals. Fear-mongering about late-term abortions! sickening stuff reported as fake news.

    I though they were barred from this kind of thing since the ref?

    "Have you ever wagged your tail so hard you fell over"?-Brod Higgins.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,401 Mod ✭✭✭✭robindch


    Igotadose wrote: »
    Can you complain to FB about the fake information?
    Essentially, facebook doesn't give a flying, twopenny f*ck about disinformation. Zuck cares about "engagement", as that translates to advertizing revenue, and he appears to care about little else.

    Twitter isn't quite as bad, but neither of them have reliable mechanisms for reporting general disinformation, and even if you do manage to find some means of reporting some specific item of disinformation, it's not at all guaranteed that the report will be actioned.

    This is one area where boards, with it's stronger rules and moderation policy, has a distinct advantage over other social media outlets.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,562 ✭✭✭✭aloyisious


    robindch wrote: »
    Essentially, facebook doesn't give a flying, twopenny f*ck about disinformation. Zuck cares about "engagement", as that translates to advertizing revenue, and he appears to care about little else.

    Twitter isn't quite as bad, but neither of them have reliable mechanisms for reporting general disinformation, and even if you do manage to find some means of reporting some specific item of disinformation, it's not at all guaranteed that the report will be actioned.

    This is one area where boards, with it's stronger rules and moderation policy, has a distinct advantage over other social media outlets.

    On reading another Ad on Facebook, this one from Precious Life, I get how F/B is not so caring about the messages published on it's pages. P/L's Ad includes images of 5 Westminster MPs above a blunt statement "Westminster MPs want MORE unborn babies killed in Northern Ireland". The [probable] saving of the Ad is P/L's use of the word killed instead of the one inferring a criminal offence was condoned by the 5 MPs, 2 of whom are Conservative Party NI Ministers, 2 are SDLP & the last an Alliance MP. It seems there's a cross-border alliance as usual against allowing women decide their own future when it come to an extremely personal and private legally authorised issue of choice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,226 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    Zuckerberg really is one of the most amoral beings on the planet.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,729 Mod ✭✭✭✭smacl


    aloyisious wrote: »
    On reading another Ad on Facebook, this one from Precious Life, I get how F/B is not so caring about the messages published on it's pages. P/L's Ad includes images of 5 Westminster MPs above a blunt statement "Westminster MPs want MORE unborn babies killed in Northern Ireland". The [probable] saving of the Ad is P/L's use of the word killed instead of the one inferring a criminal offence was condoned by the 5 MPs, 2 of whom are Conservative Party NI Ministers, 2 are SDLP & the last an Alliance MP. It seems there's a cross-border alliance as usual against allowing women decide their own future when it come to an extremely personal and private legally authorised issue of choice.

    Out of interest, have you or can you report the ad?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,562 ✭✭✭✭aloyisious


    smacl wrote: »
    Out of interest, have you or can you report the ad?

    Good question... Actually I have done neither. I think because the advertisement does not use the M-word denoting a clearly criminal act, I believe that reporting the ad to F/B would serve no purpose in respect of F/B taking action against it as it's likely within F/B's "no offence caused" boundary so it would serve no purpose except to provide the advertiser a means to moan about being attacked while "revealing" what Westminster MP's are doing interfering in N/I's devolved laws business. It's just worth noting that those intent on denying women the right to choose their future are still actively doing so via public advertising, while it doesn't involve large "in your face" billboard advertising.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,729 Mod ✭✭✭✭smacl


    aloyisious wrote: »
    Good question... Actually I have done neither. I think because the advertisement does not use the M-word denoting a clearly criminal act, I believe that reporting the ad to F/B would serve no purpose in respect of F/B taking action against it as it's likely within F/B's "no offence caused" boundary so it would serve no purpose except to provide the advertiser a means to moan about being attacked while "revealing" what Westminster MP's are doing interfering in N/I's devolved laws business. It's just worth noting that those intent on denying women the right to choose their future are still actively doing so via public advertising, while it doesn't involve large "in your face" billboard advertising.

    Could well be right. Reason I asked is I've a nephew working as a FB mod/censor and from what I gather, they're more reactive than proactive. Chances of it be actioned against unless it is reported could be slim. No idea what their policies are for this type of advertisement or whether reporting would help though can't see it causing much harm.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,106 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf


    Lengthy overview of the current situation regarding "the old abortion" (as Declan Lynch calls it) from the RTE website.

    https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2021/0525/1223737-abortion-legislation/

    Seemingly Stephen Donnelly had intended to initiate a Review of the Termination of Pregnancy Act last week, but the cyber attack has queered the pitch. Still the review is due to be "progressed" this year...


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