Pressure mounts on Ireland to scrap its foolish abortion ban
Two women have travelled from Ireland to the UK in order to get an abortion, and to protest and highlight the fact that abortion is illegal in the Republic of Ireland.
According to this report, the pair recorded their journey on a Twitter account, TwoWomenTravel, posting photos and updates of their journey by plane, train, and taxi.
The account of the journey was set up in solidarity with the many other Irish women who are forced to make the same journey every year.
It also supports the campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment – the amendment which criminalises all abortion in Ireland with the exception of a pregnancy which would result in the mother’s death.
The pair’s story comes just a couple of months after a UN human rights panel said that the country’s restrictive abortion laws are cruel and inhumane, and degrading to women.
Meanwhile, it’s reported here that billionaire George Soros, 86, has incurred the wrath of anti-abortionists by funding organisations seeking to scrap the Irish abortion ban.
A leaked strategy document details how Soros’s Open Society Foundation planned to fund Amnesty International Ireland, the Abortion Rights Campaign and the Irish Family Planning Association.
Cora Sherlock, of The Pro Life Campaign said:
These revelations are extremely disturbing. The fact that an outside body is talking about funding and coordinating groups in Ireland to dismantle protection for the unborn child represents a gross interference and is an attack on democracy.
I think most people want to see a fair debate regardless of where they stand on the issue. The public will be deprived of such a debate if this kind of meddling continues from well-funded outside bodies.
The three organisations confirmed they had received grants from the foundation.
In the leaked strategy document, the foundation said it would fund the three Irish organisations:
To work collectively on a campaign to repeal Ireland’s constitutional amendment granting equal rights to an implanted embryo as the pregnant woman.
The document continued:
With one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, a win there could impact other strongly Catholic countries in Europe, such as Poland, and provide much needed proof that change is possible, even in highly conservative places.
The recent legalisation of same-sex marriage offers valuable and timely opportunities to advance the campaign.
Amnesty International Ireland said the funding it received from the foundation amounted to €137,000 over two years.
Philanthropic foundations have always been an important source of funding for human rights work, both here in Ireland and globally. Amnesty International Ireland applied for and received funding from the Open Society Foundation to part fund our campaign on sexual and reproductive rights.
The Irish Family Planning Association said it received a support grant of €132,500 from the foundation.
The funding will be used to support the IFPA’s long-standing advocacy to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in Ireland.
The Abortion Rights Campaign did not disclose the amount of funding it received, but said it would be disclosed in its financial statements.
Hungarian-American businessman and philanthropist Soros (86) is among the 30 wealthiest people in the world, with an estimated fortune of €22bn. He is thought to have donated almost €10bn to various causes in recent decades.