Labour MPs to press May for Commons vote on Northern Ireland abortion ban

Labour MPs to press May for Commons vote on Northern Ireland abortion ban
Diana Johnson to table bill aimed at forcing government into allowing proper Commons vote

Dan Sabbagh
Sun 21 Oct 2018

Labour MPs will increase the pressure to end Northern Ireland’s highly restrictive Victorian-era abortion laws this week in a series of Commons votes designed to push the UK government into action.

Diana Johnson, the Hull North MP, will introduce a backbench bill on Tuesday calling for a repeal of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which criminalised any woman seeking an abortion with a theoretical maximum term of life imprisonment.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/21/northern-ireland-abortion-ban-commons-vote-labour-diana-johnson

Read more

Malta sets stage for abortion debate

Malta sets stage for abortion debate

By Mario Cacciottolo
19 October 2018

Malta is the only country in the EU where abortion remains illegal, and is still a taboo subject for many. But now, a ground-breaking play featuring local voices from both sides of the debate is trying to change that.

It is estimated that hundreds of women leave Malta each year to have an abortion overseas, usually in the UK or Italy. Others illegally buy abortion pills online.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45900815

Read more

UK – London mayoral candidate said children used abortion as contraception

London mayoral candidate said children used abortion as contraception
Conservative Shaun Bailey accused of being ‘anti-women’ over remarks made in 2007

Jessica Elgot
Fri 12 Oct 2018

The Conservative London mayoral candidate, Shaun Bailey, said children used abortion services as contraception, in newly unearthed comments that have put him under further pressure.

Labour has urged Bailey to give assurances that he would not campaign to reduce the abortion time limit, after remarks in a 2007 Guardian interview were highlighted in which he expressed concern that terminations were being used flippantly by underage girls and said the limit should be reduced to 22 weeks.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/12/shaun-bailey-said-children-used-abortion-as-contraception

Read more

UK government ‘must act on Northern Ireland abortion’

UK government 'must act on Northern Ireland abortion'
The UK government must "wake up" and decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland, Tory MPs have told the BBC.

By Jean Mackenzie and Andy Smythe, BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme
10 October 2018

Anna Soubry, Nicky Morgan and Heidi Allen said Westminster must step in to protect women's human rights.

Northern Ireland's Assembly - which legislates on healthcare - collapsed 21 months ago, and a new poll suggests two-thirds of Northern Ireland citizens would support Westminster intervening.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-45719000

Read more

Theresa May urged to reform ‘cruel and barbaric’ abortion law in Northern Ireland

Theresa May urged to reform ‘cruel and barbaric’ abortion law in Northern Ireland

David Young
September 29 2018

A Conservative MP has urged the British prime minister to reform abortion law in Northern Ireland as a colleague branded the present regime barbaric, cruel and callous.

Huw Merriman said it was the “right time” for Theresa May to let Westminster vote on the restrictive laws on terminations in the region. Anna Soubry, another Tory MP, echoed the call, saying the near-blanket ban on abortion was unacceptable in the modern age.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/theresa-may-urged-to-reform-cruel-and-barbaric-abortion-law-in-northern-ireland-cwd3svvxh

Read more

Emma Watson on the global fight for reproductive justice

Emma Watson on the global fight for reproductive justice

Incredible Women
29 Sep '18

Emma Watson Writes A Letter To Savita Halappanavar

Although she made her name as an actor, Emma Watson has also been making a sizeable impact this year as an activist and agent of change, building on her record as an outspoken feminist who famously launched the ‘HeForShe’ campaign at the UN in 2014.

An advocate on issues ranging from violence against women to sustainability, she guest-edited the first-ever issue of Vogue (Australia) completely dedicated to sustainability, and catalyzed the UK Time’s Up network and the Justice and Equality Fund.

Continued: https://www.net-a-porter.com/gb/en/porter/article-37c38cba6b8816cc

Read more

UK – The ethical case against sex-selective abortion isn’t simple

The ethical case against sex-selective abortion isn’t simple

September 25, 2018
Jeremy Williams

A key theme in public debate over abortion in many countries over the last few years has been the morality and legality of sex-selective terminations. Now the use of an early prenatal testing technique in the UK has led to further concerns.

The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is being fully introduced on the NHS this year, as a safe method of detecting Down’s Syndrome and other genetic conditions. But it has been internationally available from private providers for a number of years, and, as a 2017 report noted, is often offered as a sex-determination test. This has raised concerns that the test may be used to facilitate sex-selective abortion – particularly within communities where women can be subject to strong cultural and familial pressure not to have girls. The current legal status of this practice in the UK is a matter of some controversy.

Continued: http://theconversation.com/the-ethical-case-against-sex-selective-abortion-isnt-simple-103806

Read more

UK – The government is wrong to dismiss abortion clinic buffer zones

The government is wrong to dismiss abortion clinic buffer zones
Protests outside abortion clinics are a form of harassment which undermine the free choices of women

By Sophie Kilminster
September 22, 2018

Last week, Home Secretary Sajid Javid rejected calls for buffer zones outside abortion clinics by saying that protest-free areas around clinics “would not be a proportionate response” to the harassment from protestors. Now perhaps it’s the English student in me, but the suggestion of a “proportionate response” seems to imply that the Home Secretary feels we should wait for a ‘proportionate’ number of women to be harassed before any action is taken to stop this harassment.

Abortion is a contentious issue, but I believe wrongly so; abortion should be personal and the business of only the woman who needs it, like any medical procedure. Protestors have attempted to undermine women’s choices through tactics such as physically blocking the patient’s path, assault and displaying distressing images.

Continued: http://cherwell.org/2018/09/22/the-government-is-wrong-to-dismiss-abortion-clinic-buffer-zones/

Read more

UK – Liberal Democrat Conference votes to liberalise abortion laws

Liberal Democrat Conference votes to liberalise abortion laws

September 17th, 2018

The Liberal Democrats have passed a motion at the party’s autumn conference in Brighton to support the removal of consensual abortion from criminal law, and instead have it governed through medical regulation like all other healthcare procedures. This would mean that women in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland who procure an abortion outside of the exceptional grounds allowed by the Abortion Act 1967 would not face criminal prosecution. Humanists UK, which campaigns for the realisation of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, welcomes the decision of the Liberal Democrat Party members to adopt this policy.

Continued: https://humanism.org.uk/2018/09/17/liberal-democrat-conference-votes-to-liberalise-abortion-laws/

Read more

Early gender tests ‘leading to selective abortions of girls in UK’

Early gender tests 'leading to selective abortions of girls in UK'Labour calls for ban on misuse of blood screening for sex-selective abortions

Adam Forrest
Monday 17 September 2018

Blood tests used to reveal a baby’s gender are leading to the abortion of unwanted girls in the UK, MPs and charities have warned.

Labour MP Naz Shah, shadow women and equalities minister, said the government must act now to stop the misuse of Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) to abort pregnancies based on gender.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/selective-abortions-gender-tests-girls-uk-labour-a8540851.html

Read more