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Nepal Was Far Ahead of Its Neighbors in Protecting Reproductive Rights

I am the daughter of a formidable campaigner for women’s reproductive rights in Nepal. Decades ago, when such issues were not part of the playbook for development activists, my mother, a medical doctor, started setting up family…
Women activists lie down on the road during a protest demanding women’s rights in the constitution in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 7, 2015.
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‘Yes’ Vote Ends 35 Years of Shame and Secrecy for Irish Women and Girls

The first vote I ever cast was in one of the six referendums that Ireland has had on abortion. Today, I watched with tears of joy as it became clear that two-thirds of Irish people voted to repeal the 35-year constitutional ban on…
Women celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.
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Women Were Incorrectly Cleared as Cancer-Free

Cervical cancer need not be a death sentence. Between vaccination, routine screening, timely follow up, and early detection, cervical cancer is preventable and highly curable. When a woman dies from cervical cancer, something went wrong. For at least 17…
Vicky Phelan speaks on the Ray D'Arcy Show. Phelan was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014, although a screening test from 2011 should have found strong indications of the presence of cancer.
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Women in Ireland are live tweeting their periods to Prime Minister Enda Kenny, in protest of the state’s long-held legislative control over their bodies. One woman detailed the length of time she’d been menstruating and the level of flow. Another…
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The Irish president signed the “Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill” — the so-called  “abortion bill” — into law, meaning that for the first time in history a girl or woman with a life-threatening pregnancy in Ireland has legal safeguards on how she…
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Provides Clarity, but Leaves Broad Criminal Ban Intact

(London) – The Irish Parliament on July 12, 2013, passed a law, the first of its kind in the country, regulating access to abortion in circumstances in which it is necessary to save the life of the woman. However, although the law clarifies how…
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New EU Presidency Should Set Example for Justice

(Brussels) – As Lithuania takes over the European Union’s rotating presidency it should lead by example, meet its legal obligations, and reopen its investigation into its own complicity in CIA secret prisons, US enforced disappearances, and alleged…
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Status Quo Incompatible With Human Rights Obligations and European Court Ruling

(London, January 10, 2013) –Irish legislators should take decisive action to safeguard in law the right of women and girls to terminate a life-threatening pregnancy, and explore further reforms to the countries’ near total ban on abortion, Human Rights…
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Human Rights Watch (HRW) welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) in the context of its review of the right to life and legal reform on access to abortion in times of life-threateningpregnancy. …
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Re: Hearings on Government Response to the A, B, C v. Ireland Decision

Honorable Members of the Joint Committee on Health and Children: Human Rights Watch welcomes the upcoming hearings on of the Joint Committee on Health and Children concerning government actions to comply with the European Court of Human Rights’ judgment…
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Upholding Rights Includes Access to Legal Abortion

(London) – The tragic death of a woman denied an abortion in Ireland should catalyze the Irish government to fulfill its international human rights obligation to ensure access to safe and legal abortions. Savita Halappanavar, 31, who was 17 weeks pregnant…
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The U.N. Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution on “traditional values of humankind” as a vehicle for “promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.” It sounds innocuous, but its implications are ominous. Indeed, it is an immediate threat to…
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Ruling Says Ireland Must Ensure Access to Legal Services

(New York) - The European Court of Human Rights judgment on December 16, 2010, on Ireland's abortion restrictions is a wake-up call to the Irish government, Human Rights Watch said today. The case before the Strasbourg-based court, ABC vs. Ireland, was…
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As told by Marianne Mollmann, Women’s Rights Advocacy Director

I met Aisling in her office in Dublin. "Keep your voice down," she said, closing her office door and sitting behind her desk. The walls were thin, and she didn't want her colleagues to overhear us talking about her abortion. Aisling had short hair, wore…
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New Survey Shows Irish Public Would Support Access to Abortion in Many Circumstances

(New York) – The Irish government should implement the will of the Irish population by liberalizing the country’s restrictive abortions laws, Human Rights Watch said today, on International Women’s Day. In a survey published today by YouGov, a polling…
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Policies Designed to Sabotage Access Both at Home and Abroad

(Dublin) - The Irish government actively seeks to restrict access to abortion services and information both within Ireland and for its residents seeking care abroad, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 57-page report, "A…
Report
  A State of Isolation Access to Abortion for Women in Ireland I. Summary II. Recommendations To the Irish Government To the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.. To the Department of…
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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…