CAMPAIGNERS WELCOME HISTORIC DAY AS ABORTION DECRIMINALISED IN NORTHERN IRELAND
21st October 2019
For immediate release
Today is a landmark moment for reproductive rights in Northern Ireland, and for women and girls who have been living under one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. At midnight tonight, abortion will be decriminalised, and we will be one step closer to free, safe, legal and local abortion in Northern Ireland. Women and girls in Northern Ireland have been left behind for too long - and today marks a historic step in bringing this cruel injustice to an end.
In July 2019, the UK Parliament voted in favour of an amendment proposed by Stella Creasy MP and supported by pro-choice groups across the UK. Section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Bill 2019 passed by 332-99 votes in the House of Commons and 182-37 in the House of Lords. Section 9 states that decriminalisation of abortion would take effect if no Executive was formed in Northern Ireland by October 21st.
Abortion to be decriminalised in Northern Ireland
Much to the chagrin of the DUP, Northern Ireland will be brought into regulatory alignment with the rest of the UK.
Oct 21, 2019
Women in Northern Ireland will have a legal right to safe abortions from midnight local time (23:00 GMT) on Monday, after a last-ditch bid to maintain the illegality of terminations fell apart in the regional legislature.
MPs at Westminster successfully amended a bill in the summer to include measures to end the near-blanket prohibition on abortion and introduce same-sex marriage, bringing Northern Ireland into regulatory alignment with the rest of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland prepares for momentous abortion, same-sex marriage changes
Amanda Ferguson, Reuters
October 21, 2019
BELFAST — Campaigners who fought for decades to end Northern Ireland’s same sex-marriage ban and restrictions on abortion prepare on Monday for a momentous change to the laws on both at the stroke of midnight.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that does not allow same-sex marriage. Also, unlike England, Scotland and Wales, laws in Northern Ireland forbid abortion except where a mother’s life is at risk, bans that have been upheld by the region’s block of conservative politicians.
Abortion: NI politicians' bid to halt law changes fails
Oct 21, 2019
A last ditch attempt at the Stormont assembly to stop abortion law changes in Northern Ireland has failed, with the law set to change at midnight.
Unionist parties, who oppose the upcoming liberalisation, triggered the assembly's recall with a petition.
But politicians were told the assembly could not do any business until a speaker was elected with cross-community backing.
Northern Ireland faces decriminalization of abortion
The UK region's strict abortion law is set to change after politicians in London stepped in to legislate to end decades of discrimination against British and Irish women there. The legislation dates back to 1861.
Author Amanda Ferguson (Belfast)
Northern Ireland's abortion legislation is some of the most restrictive in the world and come from the Victorian-era of history. Pro-choice campaigners have for decades pursued legal challenges for them to be changed to respect women's human rights.
The 1967 Abortion Act in Britain, allowing for abortion up to 24 weeks in the rest of the United Kingdom, was never extended to Northern Ireland.
Morocco: Journalist's pardon for 'abortion' reflects societal split
Hajar Raissouni was jailed for an abortion she has always denied. Her pardon this week was a small victory for women's rights activists across the region who, despite recent gains, still face serious resistance.
Author Tom Allinson, Imane Mellouk
After Morocco's king pardoned her for the crimes of having an "illegal abortion" and premarital sex , journalist Hajar Raissouni on Wednesday made a victory sign with her fingers. The moment has come to symbolize a win for her and civil rights activists, who have campaigned for her release.
King Mohammed VI overturned her one-year sentence and conviction, which was handed down on September 30 in order to "preserve the future of the two fiancés who planned to found a family in line with our religious and legal precepts, despite the error they made," the justice ministry said.
Criminalisation of even consensual sex between adolescents obstructs access to safe abortion for girls
October 19, 2019
Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India, leading to about 10 deaths every day. ‘The incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy in India, 2015’ study records that of the 15.6 million abortions in 2015, only 22% were conducted in health facilities, whereas an overwhelming 78% abortions were done outside health facilities. Adolescent girls, in the age group of 16-18 years, are left at the mercy of life-threatening pregnancy termination methods. A 2010 facility-based study discloses that 20-30% of abortion seekers were unmarried young women and adolescent girls; and 16.7% of them were victims of sexual abuse.
Significantly, this life endangering vulnerability is abetted by the law. Section 19(1) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stipulates mandatory reporting of all sexual offences against a child to the law enforcement authorities, and failure to report the same entails punitive consequences.
Louisiana could become the first state without abortion access as soon as next year
By Kate Smith, CBS News
October 18, 2019
Louisiana could become the first state not to have legal abortion access since the procedure was legalized in 1973. Depending on the outcome of an upcoming Supreme Court case next spring, the state could see abortion access effectively eliminated, even though Roe v. Wade — the case that legalized the procedure — would stay intact.
Louisiana's "Unsafe Abortion Protection Act" is at the heart of the Supreme Court case. The law, not currently in effect, would require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Supporters of the law say the regulation would assist with "continuity of care" in the event of an emergency.
Almost 50 years after Roe v. Wade, right to abortion under threat in US
Issued on: 18/10/2019
Revisited FRANCE 24
By: Manon HEURTEL | Sophie PRZYCHODNY
Forty-six years after Roe v. Wade, the historic US Supreme Court decision recognising the right to abortion, the issue continues to bitterly divide public opinion in the United States. Already undermined by local policies, this fundamental right is now threatened at the federal level, following the appointment of two conservative judges to the Supreme Court. FRANCE 24’s team reports.
Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a woman’s right to abortion, is perhaps the most famous ruling by the US Supreme Court. The historic milestone, dating back to 1973, refers to the battle between Jane Roe (not her real name) and the state of Texas, represented by Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade. Roe, who was just 21 years old, was pregnant for a third time and wanted to have an abortion. But like in 45 other US states, the law in Texas prohibited it. She decided to approach two feminist lawyers, who seized upon her case as a symbolic one to fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
Northern Ireland Is About to Reform Its Abortion Law – Now What?
If its government doesn't reconvene by October 21st, its draconian law will be tossed out the window. Activists are counting down the days.
by Mary McGill
18 October 2019
With just a few days to go until October 21st, it is almost certain that Northern Ireland’s draconian law against abortion will be reformed. The political situation in Northern Ireland is complex. The region’s devolved government has been suspended for over two years. For campaigners fighting for equal rights issues like abortion, this stalemate has been frustrating.
That is, until July of this year, when Westminster issued a ruling paving the way for the liberalisation of the region’s abortion legislation, provided Northern Ireland’s government does not reconvene before October 21st. Although there are fears that Boris Johnson will use abortion in Northern Ireland as a bargaining tactic in Brexit negotiations, at this late stage reform is unlikely to be derailed