The Root of Ireland’s Abortion Problem

Abortion is once again in the news in Ireland. Clare Daly’s latest attempt to introduce legislation reforming the laws on abortion in Ireland has failed. The Independent Socialist TD tabled a bill that would permit the termination of a pregnancy where a fatal foetal abnormality had been detected. It was defeated yesterday by 104 votesContinue reading “The Root of Ireland’s Abortion Problem”

‘Obvious Child’: a Refreshing Take on Abortion in Film

As my research on unwanted pregnancy touches on depictions in popular culture, I headed into London earlier today to see the film Obvious Child. Briefly, the plot centres on Donna Stern, a late-twenty-something woman who has an abortion after a one-night stand. But rather than trotting out the familiar cliches that audiences have almost come to expect, thisContinue reading “‘Obvious Child’: a Refreshing Take on Abortion in Film”

Locating Men in Abortion Narratives

How do we locate men in abortion narratives? With our Perceptions of Pregnancy conference just around the corner, Jennifer Evans and I have been keeping an eye on newspapers for stories relating to pregnancy. This story from The Guardian caught our attention: Ohio’s state assembly has tabled a bill that, if passed into law, would give fathersContinue reading “Locating Men in Abortion Narratives”

Round-Up: Pill & Pen – Unwanted Pregnancy in Popular Culture

I’ve just arrived back from the Pill and Pen conference at the University of Iowa, where delegates spent the weekend presenting on and discussing the representation of contraception and unwanted pregnancy in popular culture. It is rare to find a conference at which every paper is of interest and relates in some way to yourContinue reading “Round-Up: Pill & Pen – Unwanted Pregnancy in Popular Culture”

Perceptions of Pregnancy Conference: Call for Papers Closing Soon

Perceptions of Pregnancy: From the Medieval to the Modern is a three-day conference that I am co-organising with my colleague, Dr Jennifer Evans. It will be held at the University of Hertfordshire between 16 and 18 July. The response to our call for papers so far has been fantastic, and with abstracts coming from placesContinue reading “Perceptions of Pregnancy Conference: Call for Papers Closing Soon”

Column: Past Concerns Over Ireland’s Abortion Laws Foreshadowed Today’s Reality

On Saturday 2 November, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Britain’s largest provider of abortion services) placed the above advertisement in Irish newspapers.  Yesterday (6 November 2013), I contributed a column to TheJournal.ie setting the issue of Irish abortion in its historical context:

Conference CFP: Perceptions of Pregnancy – From the Medieval to the Modern

Download a PDF of the call for papers here. Visit the conference website for updates.

Enda Kenny, Garret FitzGerald and Personal Initiatives in Politics

‘Every vote counts’ was one of the key themes that emerged out of the weekend’s coverage of the Seanad referendum.  Emphasising the closeness of the result, reference was made on more than one occasion to the 10,000 votes that separated Eamon de Valera from his Fine Gael rival at the 1966 presidential election.  I couldn’tContinue reading “Enda Kenny, Garret FitzGerald and Personal Initiatives in Politics”

‘Your Husband Comes First in the House’: a (Catholic) Guide for The Young Wife (1938)

The following booklet belonged to my grandmother. It sort of surprises me that she owned a copy: she wasn’t the typical stay-at-home wife. Rather, she owned and ran the local shop in her rural community. In many ways, it served as a centre of activity. Locals stopped by not just to pick up their groceries,Continue reading “‘Your Husband Comes First in the House’: a (Catholic) Guide for The Young Wife (1938)”

Convening the Council of State: a Look Back Over 73 Years (Media Contributions)

  Yesterday, Michael D Higgins convened the first meeting of the Council of State of his presidency.  The members — with the exception of Mary Robinson, John Bruton and Albert Reynolds who sent their apologies — were called together to discuss the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, 2013.  It was the twenty-seventh time inContinue reading “Convening the Council of State: a Look Back Over 73 Years (Media Contributions)”

The Unchanging Rhetoric of the Abortion Debate (Radio Contribution)

On Wednesday 10 July, the Dáil sat through the night and into the morning of 11 July to debate the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.  Having spent much time recently researching and writing about the 1980s, I was invited onto  RTÉ’s Morning Ireland to discuss the current abortion debate in the context of the ’80s and ’90s.  IContinue reading “The Unchanging Rhetoric of the Abortion Debate (Radio Contribution)”