Only 2 Political Parties Have Pledged To Decriminalise Abortion In England & Wales
By Lauren Sharkey
Nov 27, 2019
Manifestos have been released and election campaigns are well underway. But a closer look at each manifesto has revealed that only two major parties are promising to decriminalise abortion in England and Wales.
Although the 1967 Abortion Act permits abortions up to 24 weeks, the Victorian-era 1861 Offences Against The Person Act was never repealed. This means that abortions performed outside of the Abortion Act's parameters are technically punishable by a lengthy prison sentence. (Both the person having the abortion and the people assisting it are at risk of criminal prosecution.)
How We Won the Right to Choose
By Maev McDaid and Brian Christopher
Coming hot on the heels of Dublin’s repeal of anti-abortion laws, decriminalization in the North is a decisive victory for Irish feminists. The church and the state are losing their control over our bodies — but we still need to make abortion legal, safe, and free.
October 22 marked a decisive victory in the North of Ireland, as abortion was finally decriminalized. This news will surely have passed many people by — after all, in national as in international media, the North is almost only ever “represented” by the bigots in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). But last week, this stridently anti-choice party was finally overruled by the Westminster parliament. Its move to decriminalize abortion in the North came fifty years after a similar step was taken on the British mainland. Yet this success especially owes to decades of heroic struggles waged by Irish feminists.
Campaign launched to abolish old law which means abortion is still technically illegal in England, Scotland and Wales
Oct 26, 2019
A campaign has been launched to abolish an old law which means abortion is still technically illegal in England, Scotland and Wales.
In the wake of decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland earlier this week, campaigners say England, Scotland and Wales now have "the most draconian abortion laws in the union".
Ireland: this is just the beginning
Decriminalisation is long overdue. But will much change in practice?
Ella Whelan, Columnist
24th October 2019
Northern Ireland’s government in Stormont has been inactive for over 1,000 days. Sinn Fein and the DUP have been unable to bury the hatchet over a botched environmental policy and age-old rows over cultural practices. With the power-sharing agreement unable to function, the Northern Irish civil service has been left running the country, unable to make any key decisions. As a result, the UK parliament passed a law that instructed the two parties to return to Stormont to kiss and make up or face the prospect of Westminster taking over.
After an embarrassing performance in Stormont on Monday, in which a handful of politicians made a hamfisted show of trying to come back together, at midnight Westminsters’ threats became real and the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 came into force. Most significantly, the law also repealed sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, clearing the way for the decriminalisation of abortion.
Abortion Still Isn't Fully Decriminalised In England & Wales — This Campaign Wants To Change That
By Lauren Sharkey
Oct 23, 2019
In a week where one part of the UK is celebrating the introduction of long-awaited-for reproductive rights, the rest are slowly realising they now live in the least progressive parts of the nation. Thanks to a Victorian-era law, abortion is still technically a criminal offence in England and Wales. But a campaign, led by Refinery29 and an 88-year-old campaigner, is aiming to decriminalise it once and for all.
Currently, England and Wales adhere to the 1967 Abortion Act. (Scotland did too until 2016 when powers were handed over to the Scottish Parliament, per the BBC.) This legislation allows abortions up to 24 weeks, but only if two doctors state that continuing with a pregnancy would involve a greater risk to a person's physical or mental health than terminating it.
Mum who bought abortion pills for daughter acquitted after landmark law reform
Wednesday 23 Oct 2019
A mother who has faced prosecution for six years for buying online abortion pills for her teenage daughter has been formally acquitted after landmark reform in Northern Ireland.
A judge directed a jury at Belfast Crown Court today to find the woman not guilty. The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been facing two counts of procuring and supplying the abortion drugs with the intent to procure a miscarriage, contrary to the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act.
Woman in Northern Ireland abortion pills case formally acquitted
Judge instructs jury to find woman not guilty after legal changes come into force
Rory Carroll, Ireland correspondent
Wed 23 Oct 2019
A court in Northern Ireland has acquitted a woman who was prosecuted for buying online abortion pills for her daughter, after the decriminalisation of abortion in the region.
The judge, David McFarland, directed a jury at Belfast crown court on Wednesday to find the woman not guilty a day after Northern Ireland’s Victorian-era abortion laws were liberalised. The prosecution offered no evidence.
Abortion is now no longer illegal in Northern Ireland
22 October 2019
By Jessica Hamzelou
Abortion in Northern Ireland is now legal. As of midnight on Monday 21 October, women and girls can legally access abortions and seek medical aftercare, and the UK government will fund journeys to England for the procedure.
The UK Offences Against the Person Act ruled that “procuring a miscarriage” was against the law in 1861. The Abortion Act legalised abortions in some cases in 1967, but not in Northern Ireland, where the procedure remained illegal even in cases of rape, incest and when the fetus is unlikely to survive.
Why We’re Campaigning To Change Abortion Law
21 October 2019
At some point in their lives, before the age of 45, one in three women will have an abortion. Just like pregnancy itself, the need to terminate one is a fact of life. More than this, being able to access safe, free and legal abortion services should you need to is acknowledged to be a basic human right for women and pregnant people.
Since 1967, abortion has been legal in England, Scotland and Wales because of the Abortion Act, a victory that was hard-fought and won by campaigners. For those of us who have grown up in Britain since, access to abortion is something we have (for the most part) been able to take for granted.
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.