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Global Justice Center Blog

Abortion: Ireland’s past is America’s future

Excerpt of The Hill Op-Ed authored by GJC Legal Director Dr. Christine Ryan.

This month, four years ago, media from across the globe descended on the courtyard of Dublin Castle. They traveled to capture the scene of thousands of Irish people celebrating the results of the Irish abortion referendum. A landslide majority had “repealed the 8th” and voted to change the country’s constitution to enable legal recognition of abortion rights for the first time in the state’s history. Generations of families cheered and cried together while politicians from warring parties embraced. Viewers abroad marveled at the displays of pride, rapture, and even love.   

To understand why the referendum result in Ireland prompted such outpourings is to understand the full meaning of the right to abortion. On the one hand, the right ensures that women and pregnant people of reproductive age can terminate unwanted or unsafe pregnancies without legal sanction. On the other, it signifies state recognition that women are equal agents in their societies, deserving of respect for their life choices. The right upends the assumptions that coerce women into predefined gender roles and rejects the seemingly immortal ideologies that accord women a lesser status. It demands that society trust women and that the law affirms their dignity and autonomy.

Read the Article

IAWL Leadership Academy: Taking the Leap from Local to Global

Globalization has increased opportunities to work at the international level. The transition from working at the local level to the global level is fraught with many challenges and success stories. This panel is made up of women who against the odds are representing their countries on the global level and making an impact. They will share how their training and experience at the local level helped prepare them for global work.

Moderated by Melene Rossouw, the panel comprises of: Naa Adoley Azu, Angela Mudukuti, and Tafadzwa Pasipanodya.