From Ireland to Northern Ireland: campaigns for abortion law

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From Ireland to Northern Ireland: campaigns for abortion law

Angel Li
Published: 16 June 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31357-6 |

After Ireland successfully overturned its 8th Amendment using grassroots activism, attention turns to Northern Ireland's abortion laws. Angel Li reports from Dublin.

Sitting in a quiet carriage of a train to Gatwick Airport, my thoughts turned to the women taking this same route back to Ireland after travelling to the UK for abortions. I wondered if anyone was on this train for that very purpose. More than 170 000 women have travelled abroad from Ireland seeking abortions since 1980.

Having arrived at Gatwick Airport, I met two volunteers working with the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign who were taking the same flight to Dublin as me.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31357-6/fulltext

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How did Northern Ireland lawmakers carve out an anti-abortion ‘ghetto’ within the UK?

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How did Northern Ireland lawmakers carve out an anti-abortion ‘ghetto’ within the UK?
Northern Ireland remains a blind spot for equality for women and members of the LGBTIQ community. Will Ireland’s abortion referendum change this?

Stephanie Williamson
11 June 2018

More than two weeks have passed since Ireland’s historic abortion referendum was won by a groundswell of grassroots feminist activism. A large majority (66.4%) voted to repeal the country’s eighth constitutional amendment, opening the door to proposed legislation to allow abortions up to 12 weeks.

Huge numbers of repeal campaigners and voters were young women – with a staggering 94% increase in the turnout of women aged 18-24, compared to the 2016 general election. The result reflected a frank rejection of decades of misogyny and the suffocating grip of church and state on women’s rights.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/stephanie-williamson/northern-ireland-anti-abortion-ghetto-uk

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Abortion campaigners target Sajid Javid over Northern Ireland

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Abortion campaigners target Sajid Javid over Northern Ireland
Pro-choice MPs seek to put down amendment to grant right to access terminations

Rajeev Syal
Mon 11 Jun 2018

Sajid Javid will come under pressure from a crossbench group of MPs to bring forward a bill that would allow reformers to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.

More than 30 MPs have pledged to send the home secretary written questions on Monday demanding the domestic abuse bill be brought before parliament by the autumn. This would allow pro-choice MPs to put down an amendment that would give women in Northern Ireland the right to access terminations.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/11/abortion-campaigners-target-sajid-javid-over-northern-ireland

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UK – Stella Creasy’s abortion law campaign showed practical politics at its best

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Stella Creasy’s abortion law campaign showed practical politics at its best
Courteous, attentive and largely free of partisan posturing, the debate on Northern Ireland’s law was a triumph of cross-party collaboration

Helen Lewis
Sun 10 Jun 2018

The most striking moment in politics last week was not David Davis’s fifth (unfulfilled) threat to resign. Nor was it Boris Johnson’s latest (unpunished) violation of collective responsibility. It wasn’t even the spectacle of hours of intense cabinet psychodrama finally resulting in a customs proposal that was instantly shot down by the EU’s chief negotiator. In Brexitland, a lot happens – but very little changes.

No, the week’s most interesting political event came late on Monday, when the Speaker, John Bercow, asked if he had “the leave of the House” to grant Labour backbencher Stella Creasy an emergency debate on Northern Irish abortion law. In silence, the vast majority of the MPs present in the Commons stood up – and the debate was granted. Supporters of the motion included the new minister for women, Penny Mordaunt, and Karen Bradley, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/10/stella-creasy-abortion-law-campaign-practical-politics-at-its-best

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Abortion referendum aftermath: Is Northern Ireland next?

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Abortion referendum aftermath: Is Northern Ireland next?
Its laws breach human rights, and its people back change, but politicians remain resistant

Sat, Jun 9, 2018
Fionola Meredith

The decisive vote for repeal in the Republic’s referendum on the Eighth Amendment to its Constitution sent a seismic jolt through Northern Ireland, where abortion remains illegal in almost all cases. It has intensified public conversation about the issue, inspiring pro-choice activists to renew their demands for a change in the law.

Last week, in a protest outside Belfast’s High Court, women from the socialist feminist organisation Rosa NI swallowed abortion pills while being filmed by police. The verdict in the South has also caused uncertainty and dismay in anti-abortion campaigners, who fear that, in the words of the slogan, the North is next.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/abortion-referendum-aftermath-is-northern-ireland-next-1.3522667

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Belfast woman to challenge NI abortion laws in High Court

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Belfast woman to challenge NI abortion laws in High Court
Decision follows ruling by British supreme court on legality of situation in North

June 7, 2018
Amanda Ferguson

A Belfast woman who travelled to Britain for an abortion is to take a case to the High Court in her home city after campaigners lost a UK supreme court appeal over the legality of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws.

Supported by Amnesty International, Sarah Ewart, who travelled for an abortion after being told her baby would not survive, said she was seeking a formal declaration that the North’s laws on abortion were incompatible with human rights law.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/belfast-woman-to-challenge-ni-abortion-laws-in-high-court-1.3522595

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Northern Ireland abortion law clashes with human rights, judges say

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Northern Ireland abortion law clashes with human rights, judges say
Supreme court dismisses bid to overturn law but adds to pressure on politicians to act

Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent
Thu 7 Jun 2018

Pressure is growing on the government to reform Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws after the supreme court concluded that they are incompatible with human rights legislation.

Justices at the UK’s highest court dismissed a legal challenge by a narrow majority of four to three and said they had no jurisdiction to consider the latest case because there was no actual or potential victim of an unlawful act involved in it.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/07/supreme-court-dismisses-bid-to-overturn-northern-ireland-abortion-laws

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NI abortion law should be changed at Stormont, Sinn Féin says

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NI abortion law should be changed at Stormont, Sinn Féin says
Michelle O’Neill open to Intergovernmental Conference tackling issue in absence of powersharing

June 5, 2018
Amanda Ferguson Belfast

Legislative change on abortion in Northern Ireland should be brought about by the Stormont Assembly or through the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference, Sinn Fén vice president Michelle O’Neill has said.

She was speaking after a three-hour debate in the House of Commons on a proposal to repeal two sections of the 1861 Offences against the Person Act (OAPA) which criminalise abortion in the North.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/ni-abortion-law-should-be-changed-at-stormont-sinn-f%C3%A9in-says-1.3520468

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UK government calls for Northern Ireland to consider abortion reforms

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UK government calls for Northern Ireland to consider abortion reforms
Tuesday, 5 Jun 2018

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley has said she personally backs abortion reform but the Northern Assembly must be restored to consider the issue to avoid disenfranchising 1.8 million people in the UK.

She confirmed that if abortion came before the House of Commons in London, a free vote would take place, as it is a "matter of conscience".

Continued: https://www.rte.ie/news/uk/2018/0605/968195-oapa/

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UK – MPs emergency debate on abortion in Northern Ireland – ‘inappropriate’ for Westminster to intervene, says Karen Bradley

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Live updates: MPs emergency debate on abortion in Northern Ireland - 'inappropriate' for Westminster to intervene, says Karen Bradley

June 5 2018

MPs are debating repealing sections of a 150-year-old law that criminalises abortion.

The emergency debate will discuss repealing parts of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 on Tuesday following an application from Labour MP Stella Creasy.

It follows last month's landslide vote in Ireland to liberalise its termination laws.

Continued https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/live-updates-mps-emergency-debate-on-abortion-in-northern-ireland-inappropriate-for-westminster-to-intervene-says-karen-bradley-36979241.html

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