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– Sarah McCarthy reports on last night’s draft legislation on life-saving abortion, and the reaction of pro-choice groups.

Savita Halappanavar died last November as a result of Ireland's restrictive laws on abortion.

Savita Halappanavar died last November as a result of Ireland’s restrictive laws on abortion.

Last night, the Cabinet finally published the draft of the Heads of Bill for the ‘Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013’. After 21 years, it looks like we will finally have legislation on the X Case before the summer is out.

The Bill requires one doctor to approve a termination to save a pregnant woman’s life in the case of an emergency, two in a non-emergency situation, and three consultants to unanimously approve a termination when a woman’s life is at risk due to “suicidal ideation”. If a woman at risk of suicide is denied a termination she must appeal to another panel of three consultants, who must also be unanimous in their decision.

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– Aisling Gallagher writes about her recent experience of having her delegate status revoked at USI Congress because she voted for two pro-choice motions. Aisling is Women’s Officer for NUS-USI and a student at Queen’s University Belfast. This post originally appeared on Aisling’s personal blog here

Last week I went to Ballinasloe for USI Congress 2013 as part of the QUBSU delegation. We were all student councillors, elected at the start of the year. We weren’t elected separately as delegates for the Congress (there is never as much interest within QUBSU about attending USI in comparison to attending NUS-USI), but rather expressed our interest and as councillors were all allowed to attend. This is the first important thing to remember. We weren’t elected. Our mandate came from our election as councillors, months ago, in October.

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Róisín Jackman of Queen’s University Belfast writes about the controversy surrounding the removal of QUB Students’ Union delegate Aisling Gallagher, The NUS-USI Womens’ Officer,  from her delegation for claims that she voted against her Union’s mandate on abortion services twice. Róisín raises  questions about the legitimacy of these mandates and questions the democratic structures of the student movement. Business as usual some would say. Read the Trinity News story here.

Contentiously at this year’s Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Congress, a delegate from Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union was stripped of her delegacy rights and barred from participation at Congress.  This was the result of her voting in favour of two motions which the Executive Management Committee (EMC) argued equated to her breaking QUBSU mandate. She initially received a warning having voted in favour of a pro-choice motion and was stripped of her delegacy after voting in favour of a motion instructing the USI Welfare Officer to lobby against agencies giving out misinformation to individuals who may seek abortions. Read the rest of this entry »

In his debut for the blog Frank Doherty writes about the recent student union elections in NUI Galway and how these compare to how things were done in the past

Students’ Union full-time officer elections took place on Thursday, 7th March. At the same time, a referendum of the SU’s position on women’s reproductive rights and the on-going national struggle to provide access to abortion for all women was balloted. Read the rest of this entry »

This post originally appeared on Kiran’s personal blog: filmfootmarx.blogspot.co.uk

The Choice and Feminist Societies at NUI Galway secured a significant victory in a referendum held last week. The referendum was to decide whether the Students Union should take a pro-choice stance. The exact proposition that was voted on was:

‘That NUIG Students Union adopt a pro-choice position, in support of the national campaign for full reproductive rights, which includes a woman’s right to abortion, whether elective or medically necessary. Furthermore, the SU should use every available measure to realise these rights on campus and nationally.’

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– Sarah McCarthy writes about that momentous moment in Ireland’s abortion history.

Twenty-one years ago, this cartoon appeared on the front page of the Irish Times. It encapsulated perfectly the grotesque actions of the State at that time, and the striking image haunted a divided nation.

It’s hard not to know the story of X by now. She was a fourteen year old rape victim, who had been assaulted by Read the rest of this entry »

Sarah McCarthy writes on the recent proposal that five doctos would be required to diagnose if someone is suicidal to be allowed access to an abortion. 

Tensions in the Government coalition have delayed Health Minister’s Reilly submission to Cabinet on proposed changes to abortion legislation. The strain comes as some of the ultra-conservative anti-choice deputies in Fine Gael are insisting that five doctors would be necessary to determine whether the life of Read the rest of this entry »

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