FEATURE: Brilliant Letter to Irish Minister of Health Simon Harris

from the Abortion Support Network, London
19 December 2018

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6 December 2018

Dear Mr Simon Harris

You and I don’t know each other, although I follow you on Twitter. We share a common area of interest, or, if not interest, a common duty to protect.

I am not a health official or a medical professional. I am the founder of Abortion Support Network (www.asn.org.uk), the England-based charity that provides information on the least expensive methods of abortion and travel and money towards the E500 to E3000 it can cost to travel and pay privately for the procedure. We are a small organisation, without an office or a land line, and since we started in 2009 we have helped almost 5,000 people. The majority have been resident in the Republic of Ireland.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-brilliant-letter-to-irish-minister-of-health-simon-harris-from-the-abortion-support-network-london-19-december-2018?e=372dd34034

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Scotland – Anti-abortion campaign back in court over home terminations

Anti-abortion campaign back in court over home terminations
The group has appealed against a ruling rejecting their legal challenge to the Scottish Government allowing at home abortions.

Dec 17, 2018

A campaign group which lost its legal challenge over the Scottish Government’s move to allow pregnant women to take abortion pills at home will return to court for an appeal hearing.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) argued the decision by ministers to enable women to drug misoprostol to induce abortion at home, was “unlawful” and a threat to women’s health.

Continued: https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/uk-news/2018/12/17/anti-abortion-campaign-back-in-court-over-home-terminations/

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$350m pledge to drive family planning targeting young

$350m pledge to drive family planning targeting young

By Judd-Leonard Okafor
Published Date Nov 14, 2018

At least three donors have announced up to $350 million in new funding for family planning services and commodities for women and girls spanning nearly 27 of the lowest-income countries.

The UK’s Department for International Development will invest some $260m in a new flagship programme Women’s Integrated Sexual Health to ensure voluntary contraception for up to six million couples.

Continued: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/350m-pledge-to-drive-family-planning-targeting-young.html

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Wales Offers Free Abortions To Northern Ireland Residents, & Here’s What That Means

Wales Offers Free Abortions To Northern Ireland Residents, & Here’s What That Means

By Morgan Brinlee
Nov 10, 2018

Earlier this year, reproductive rights advocates celebrated a major victory when the Republic of Ireland repealed a constitutional amendment banning abortion. But while Ireland embraced reproductive rights, abortion has remained largely illegal in the autonomous region of Northern Ireland. Meaning, women living in Northern Ireland who wish to obtain an abortion must travel outside of the province, often incurring costly expenses. But other parts of the United Kingdom are now stepping up to help those in Northern Ireland better access reproductive rights. Wales will offer free abortions to Northern Ireland residents, the country's health secretary announced Friday.

"Our view has always been [that] a woman from Northern Ireland, in Wales, should be able to access termination of pregnancy on the same basis as women in Wales," the BBC reported Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said in a statement released Friday.

Continued: https://www.bustle.com/p/wales-offers-free-abortions-to-northern-ireland-residents-heres-what-that-means-13124502

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Google Maps is directing British women to fake abortion clinics

Google Maps is directing British women to fake abortion clinics
'These groups are not pro-life – they are anti-women'

Sarah Young
Nov 5, 2018

Women in the UK seeking an abortion are being directed by Google Maps to pro-life organisations.

Search results for abortion clinics on the web mapping service suggest addresses and phone numbers for a number of “pregnancy crisis centres” - non-profit organisations which counsel pregnant women against having an abortion.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/women/google-maps-fake-abortion-clinics-unwanted-pregnancy-a8618081.html

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UK abortion law is outdated, not evidence based, and prevents best practice

Hayley Webb: UK abortion law is outdated, not evidence based, and prevents best practice

We must build on the momentum of this year to ensure that women across the UK can truly have governance over their own bodies

October 30, 2018

There is an air of hopeful anticipation within the abortion rights movement. So far, 2018 has brought much cause to celebrate. In March, the 50th anniversary of the implementation of the Abortion Act marked 50 years of safe provision in the UK. Then in May came the landslide vote in favour of repealing the eighth amendment in Ireland. A victory undoubtedly in part due to the collective voice of Irish doctors who came forward in their hundreds to stand up for women, sharing their powerful stories from the frontline and debunking the abundant harmful abortion myths. June and August brought approval for home use of Misoprostol in England and Wales, meaning that women will soon be able to take the second pill for early medical abortion in the comfort of their own homes. This came as a legal challenge to home use in Scotland, which had led the way in 2017, was successfully defended.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/10/30/hayley-webb-uk-abortion-law-is-outdated-not-evidence-based-and-prevents-best-practice/

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MPs’ vote calls for explanation of Northern Ireland abortion law

MPs' vote calls for explanation of Northern Ireland abortion law
Westminster votes by 207 to 117 to force Karen Bradley to ‘issue guidance’ on continued enforcement of law

Dan Sabbagh
Wed 24 Oct 2018

A landmark amendment forcing Northern Ireland secretary, Karen Bradley, “to issue guidance” to explain how officials can continue to enforce the region’s draconian Victorian-era abortion law was passed by MPs.

MPs in Westminster voted by 207 to 117 to impose their will, a matter normally reserved for Stormont, arguing that the abortion ban was incompatible with human rights on an amendment proposed by Labour’s Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/24/commons-withdraws-amendment-to-legalise-abortion-in-northern-ireland

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UK – Diana Johnson interview: “We need a modern, fit-for-purpose abortion law”

Diana Johnson interview: “We need a modern, fit-for-purpose abortion law”

Sienna Rodgers
23rd October, 2018

Labour MP Diana Johnson will today introduce a ten-minute rule bill in the House of Commons that would see abortion decriminalised. Currently, the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 makes abortion illegal in the UK except when there is a risk to the life or health of the mother, and this legislation was only partly superseded by the Abortion Act 1967. Ahead of tabling the backbench bill, Johnson spoke to LabourList.

How did abortion become a key focus in your work as an MP?

Continued: https://labourlist.org/2018/10/diana-johnson-interview-we-need-a-modern-fit-for-purpose-abortion-law/

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Northern Ireland abortion: MPs pass bill demanding terminations legalised

Northern Ireland abortion: MPs pass bill demanding terminations legalised
Ministers including Penny Mordaunt back calls for change, raising prospect of major Cabinet row

Benjamin Kentish
Oct 23, 2018

MPs have voted in favour of legalising abortion in Northern Ireland after a number of Tory ministers broke ranks to back demands for change, creating a potential headache for Theresa May.

The House of Commons voted by 208 votes to 123 in favour of a bill introduced by Labour MP Diana Johnson that seeks to scrap 157-year-old laws that make the practice illegal.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/abortion-northern-ireland-legalisation-mps-vote-bill-repeal-assembly-diana-johnson-a8597541.html

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Labour MPs in fresh bid to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland

Labour MPs in fresh bid to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland
Stella Creasy launches new attempt after government rebuffs move by colleague

Dan Sabbagh
Tue 23 Oct 2018

Eighty MPs have signed an amendment that aims to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland as part of a bill before the Commons on Wednesday designed to give civil servants in the region greater power in the absence of a functioning Stormont.

The amendment, put down by Labour’s Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn, would abolish the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, still applicable in Northern Ireland, which makes obtaining or helping somebody obtain an abortion a criminal offence.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/23/mps-support-new-amendment-to-override-stormont-northern-ireland-on-abortion

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