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Amnesty Ireland are hoping to host a disco at Dáil Éireann to protest US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Ireland/

The visit has been moved forward, and Amnesty has began crowdfunding to organise the event in time.

On their crowdfunding page, they said:

“He’ll be in Dublin on the 3rd of September. We want to have a Disco outside the Dáil (at 1pm) in protest. A celebration of all the people that Pence and Trump’s cruel policies are hurting; women, refugees, migrants, and LGBTI people."

They continued;

“We want to show him, and people that support him, that we’re a different country now and that he can’t go back to the USA and say that Ireland supports him, Trump or their policies of hate.

“We’re going to need plenty of colourful banners, a sound system for music, a stage for dancing and maybe even a disco ball! Leftover funds will go to support our other related campaigns.

“And we’re going to invite Mr Pence to our disco. We hope he RSVP’s.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Vice President Mike Pence (@vp) on

Pence is renowned for defending the horrible conditions in US immigrant detention centres recently, and tweeted his excitement at the prospect of celebrating his "Irish roots".

Of course, many Twitter users were highly disgusted at the hypocrisy. His grandfather immigrated to the US from Co. Sligo in 1923, so his anti-immigrant views are even more ridiculous.

Pence’s trip is expected to cost up to €10 million in security costs.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt Barrett attended a breakfast with Pence and his wife Karen, which must have been awkward considering the Vice President’s track record on LGBT+ rights.

Pence voted against hate crime laws during his stint in Congress, and has allegedly endorsed cruel gay conversion therapy. His wife also teaches in a school which refuses to accept LGBTI pupils.

Pence opposed the repeal of the US military’s controversial 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy in 2010, citing that he did not want to see the military become ‘a backdrop for social experimentation’. Wow.

To make Disco at the Dáil happen, donate here. You can find full details of the event here.

Feature image: Twitter/@AmnestyIreland

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As many women of all gender-identities, races, classes and ages are aware, the abortion laws in Northern Ireland are one of the most dangerous and limiting in the world.

Recently, attention has been drawn to the blanket ban on abortion in place in the North as a result of the attack on reproductive rights in America by right-wing, conservative administrations.

However, under a law from 1861, Northern Ireland has criminalised abortion with a maximum sentence of life in prison. Both the medical practitioner who carries out the abortion and the recipient face prison time.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Marie Stopes International (@mariestopes) on

Rape and incest are not allowed as exceptions, only if the mother's life is in danger.

As we saw in the Republic, that is a very difficult line to draw, and essentially gives the foetus equal rights to the mother, despite the fact that it cannot survive outside of her body until late in the pregnancy.

These laws are extremely different from the rest of the UK, where abortion is allowed up until 24 weeks since 1967.

These controversial laws have been condemned in recent years, with the Supreme Court calling it 'untenable' and in need of 'radical reconsideration', and the UN Human Rights body CEDAW referring to it as a 'grave and systematic' violation of NI women's rights.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Amnesty International UK (@amnestyuk) on

Medical bodies, women's rights organisations, politicians and a large part of the general public are calling on Karen Bradley, NI's Secretary of State, to unite Stormont in legalising abortion in NI and regulate it in the same way as every other medical procedure.

If the intense stipulations of the 1967 Act are not met, both people with uteruses and their doctors remain at risk of prosecution.

Alarmingly, five out of the six Conservative candidates for the Tory leadership recently said they would take no action against NI's laws, and Boris Johnson failed to answer the question.

Celebrities are using their platform to spread the message, yet there remains almost a total silence from politicians themselves.

We decided to take it upon ourselves to quiz Irish men on their knowledge of the highly restrictive abortion laws (God help us), to see how the other half lives.

The answers we received ranged from having absolutely zero clue about the reproductive healthcare policies, to knowing more about the current 'Heartbeat Bills' sweeping across Gilead/America's Southern states, to knowing about the laws in surprising detail.

The following range of people who identify as male in the Rep. of Ireland have offered their first names, and will remain otherwise anonymous. 

Dan:

"I know that they can go to England to get it done for free, so it's similar to our right to travel law we had before Repeal. I also remember it being slightly more liberal than our Eighth Amendment. I think it accounts for situations where the mothers life is at risk and will be permit abortions in that circumstance, but it's otherwise banned. They’re a joke. It's the only part of the United Kingdom or Ireland to ban abortion, you could say it's Draconian."

Cian:

"I'd say the women in the North see going to England as less of a big deal than going over from Republic of Ireland because they see themselves as closer to English. I don't know much about them to be honest."

Eoin:

"I have absolutely no clue about the North's abortion policy, but I'm guessing it's sh*t."

Kev:

"Is it the same as England? I've been following bits about it from Aisling Bea's Instagram, she's very forward on that stuff. I do like her a lot, but I just know they don't have access to abortion. That's it. I saw that the North have made a logo for Repeal that's similar to ours."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Janine McLaughlin (@janinemclaughlin) on

James:

"I think no abortions are allowed in Northern Ireland. I believe it should be the exact same as laws in England. I did have to think about it, though. I am 100 percent unfamiliar with the specifics of the law in Northern Ireland and what special situations it may be allowed."

Marcus:

"There is no access to abortion in the North, which is not in line with rest of UK. I believe that women in the North should be able to access these services. The Derry Girls cast, Nicola Coughlan and Siobhan McSweeney particularly, are quite active in drawing attention to protesting the lack of services. I think they led the suitcase protest at Westminster."

(#DerryGirls REPRESENT.)

@theirishfor:

"I know that the law is different there because of a weird time overlap between the 1967 UK legislation and the existence of the Old Stormont parliament. Irish women pay taxes to fund an NHS that won't serve them such services. I do not agree with them."

Brian:

"Call me Jon Snow because I know nothing. I'd have said that abortion wasn't available at all but don't know much else. And of course it should be available."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by kahunababy (@kahunababy) on

Calum:

"I thought it wasn’t the same as the rest of UK but that you could get the abortion pills through Northern Ireland, but obviously not as safely."

Dave:

"I just assumed it was the same as UK. I'm self-proclaimed ignorant when it comes to these topics though."

It's safe to say that a little more notice should be taken by men towards this issue. Supporting our Northern sisters can be progressed if we educate men on the issue; it's crucial not to forget their importance.

We're getting some extreme Handmaid's Tale vibes from up North, but if we can Repeal the eighth then there's hope for them too.

Men hold a huge amount of power when it comes to female reproductive healthcare, and it's time we start educating them about it.

Feature image: Amnesty International/Simon Graham

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 Last week, a mural by renowned street artist Maser was removed from the front wall of the Project Arts Centre, as it jeopardised the centre's charitable status. 

The mural, featuring Maser's signature Repeal the 8th heart motif, was taken down just weeks after if was created. 

 

A post shared by M A S E R (@maserart) on

 However, anew mural has been erected in it's stead. 

Covering the upper portion of the side wall of the Amnesty International building in Temple Bar, just a five minute walk from where the original mural called home. 

Rather than featuring the signature red and blue colour scheme, this mural gives a nod to Amnesty International with the yellow and pourple shades used in it's creation. 

 

A post shared by Sarah Magliocco (@sarahmagliocco) on

'We are proud and honoured to host this iconic piece of art, which captures the essence of this campaign,' said Amnesty executive director Colm O’Gorman.

'This mural is a testament to the unwavering spirit of those who have campaigned for 35 years for its repeal.'

The original mural was removed as it made a political statement, against the guidelines of the charity regulator. 

 Feature image: Instagram / The Hunreal Issues 

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New figures released today show that over half of us would vote to repeal the Eight Amendment

A Red C poll for Amnesty International found that 60 per cent of us are in favour of abortion on request, while a further 25 per cent agree that the option to terminate should be available to women who become pregnant as a result of rape.

The poll result come ahead of a referendum on the repeal of the Eight Amendment, due to be held next year.

Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O'Gorman, said: "There is the side to this debate that recognises that women should be able to make decisions about their own healthcare without the opinions or morals or views of other people being enforced upon them.

"Then there is the side of the debate that believes that women should be criminalised for making these kind of decisions."

The Oireachtas committee tasked with examining Ireland's abortion laws recently voted overwhelmingly against retaining the Eight Amendment.

The decision was passed by 15 votes to three, with two Fianna Fáil TDs, James Browne and Anne Rabbitte, abstaining.

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80 percent of Irish people would vote yes in a referendum to repeal the the 8th amendment, according to a study by Amnesty International Ireland.

The data gathered in a study of over 1000 people across all genders, social classes and counties showed that Irish people are in favour of repealing the 8th amendment, with only 12 percent saying that they would vote no should a referendum occur. 

"The concept that abortion rights is a deeply divisive opinion is nonsense." Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, told SHEmazing!

"Remarkably few people refuse to answer or don't know either, the data shows that overwhelmingly people are very progressive." 

"Only 5 percent of people are personally against abortion."

Red C and Amnesty International "Public Attitudes Towards Abortion in Ireland"

"The parties cannot pretend this is a divided or divisive issue."

"Our poll clearly shows that support for expanding access and repealing the Eighth is shared strongly right across the country and all age groups and social groups. People in Ireland are clear on the need to expand access to abortion and they want women’s and girls’ human rights to be respected."

The poll also shows that almost three quarters of people agree that the fact that women must travel abroad to access abortion unfairly discriminates against women who are unable to or cannot afford to travel. 

Red C and Amnesty International "Public Attitudes Towards Abortion in Ireland"

The study reveals that 55 percent of people agree with the United Nation's Human Rights Committee, and think that Ireland's abortion ban is "cruel and inhumane."

Another key finding was that almost three quarters, 72 percent, believe that the Government should hold a referendum to allow people to vote on whether or not to remove the 8th amendment from the Constitution. 

Two-thirds of people also believe that it is hypocritical that Ireland’s constitution bans abortion in Ireland but allows women to travel abroad for abortions.

 Red C and Amnesty International "Public Attitudes Towards Abortion in Ireland"

Even among the aforementioned 5 percent of respondents personally opposed to abortion in all circumstances (i.e. even where the woman or girl’s life is at risk), 34 percent would vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment, rising to half if there was legislation placing “reasonable restrictions” on access to abortion.

"This poll demonstrates yet again, that on the issue of abortion, Ireland’s people are way ahead of their political leaders," said Colm O'Gorman, 

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