We are currently gathering people's views on the subject of abortion:-
The following has been receieved from The Humanist Association of Ireland. So if you are a member do please respond to the email address at the bottom of the article.
If you are not a member then do please respond to this forum discussion and we will make your views known to The Humanist Association of Ireland. Your anonymity is assured. Can we also suggest you make your views known to your TD
November 2012
Dear HAI Member
The Board of the Humanist Association of Ireland seeks your view on the law on Abortion in Ireland.
The law on abortion is a very important issue in Ireland now. The Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) Board decided in April 2012 that it is in favour of new laws that would permit and regulate therapeutic abortion to the full extent that the Constitution permits, as the Supreme Court decided in the X case in 1992. This news was sent to members in the next newsletter and email newsletter.
The Supreme Court’s rule from the X case is that a woman may have an abortion in Ireland if the pregnancy is causing a risk to her life. This rule would include only a very few of the types of crisis pregnancies for which women now travel abroad to obtain abortions.
The HAI Board is now considering if the HAI should be in favour of abortion being made legal in wider circumstances than would be allowed in the X case rule. To help with this the HAI is now seeking every member's view on the law on abortion in Ireland.
The HAI Board are aware that people in Ireland have various views on the legalisation of abortion here.
First, a quick account of the present state of affairs in Ireland:
According to the Supreme Court, in a judgement on a case in 1992 (the X case, who was a girl aged 14, and a friend of her parents had made her pregnant), the Constitution of Ireland allows abortion when there is a risk to the life of the pregnant woman. In practice, women do not obtain abortions here, as there is no legislation or regulations under which staff or clinics can provide them.
Women go to Britain, and some go to other countries, to obtain abortions. As many people in Ireland do not approve of abortion, any woman, who is pregnant and in difficulty and is considering having an abortion, may not know which of her friends, neighbours, and relatives do approve of abortion and to whom she can safely talk. Similarly, a woman may not know whether her GP is a safe person to whom to talk, who would not judge her. So many women go to Britain with little information, and often they go alone and with no immediate support. It is a lonely journey and a lonely experience.
Prior to the 1992 Supreme Court case and the 3 referendums later that year, public talk in Ireland about abortion was very nearly all against it. After the X case in 1992, many people felt able to give their opinion that when a woman is in very difficult circumstances, she should be able to get an abortion. However only since about 2010 have people felt really able to come out and say that they favour a law permitting abortion in Ireland. This freedom to ask for abortion legislation has increased since a woman died after a spontaneous miscarriage that took 3 days to go to completion in Galway in October 2012.
In late 2010 the European Court of Human Rights said that Ireland had infringed the rights of one woman (titled C), because she could not obtain an abortion here even though there was a risk to her life. Our government set up a group of experts to advise how the State should respond to the judgement. Their report is now with the government, but not public yet.
 In order to help the Board with its views on abortion, we ask that you send us your views on legalisation and availability of abortion in Ireland. We do wish to know that the views that we receive are indeed from HAI members, but we will not keep your name or other details while we collate and consider the various views we receive.
The HAI inclines towards a view about abortion based on compassion. The Board also would want any new law to be clear (that you will know when you are entitled to an abortion, and how to obtain it), and whatever the rules might be, if it becomes available abortion should be available equally in all parts of the country.
The Board would like to hear members' views on
Would you like the law in Ireland to be changed so that a woman can obtain an abortion in Ireland, without her life having to be at risk? ....................................................
Under what circumstances would you say that a woman should be allowed to obtain an abortion? ....................................................
Any ideas you have about –
Clarity of the law; ....................................................
How to make availability even throughout the country; ....................................................
How to deal with staff who in conscience wish not to be involved. ....................................................
 We want to receive views from as many members as possible.
 Please write to HAI at Rose Cottage, Coach Road, Balrothery, Balbriggan, County Dublin
Or email info@humanism.ie


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    January 2013