Abortion law change: Is Northern Ireland really next?

Abortion law change: Is Northern Ireland really next?
Pro-choice activists in the North hope a string of court cases will advance their cause

Sat, Jan 12, 2019
Susan McKay

On the 29th of this month, Sarah Ewart will appear before the High court in Belfast to present her case that women in Northern Ireland should have access to rights enjoyed by women in all other parts of the United Kingdom.

Ewart is bracing herself – this appearance, while demanding, will be infinitely less agonising than other ordeals she has been through. Five years ago, aged 23, the Belfast woman travelled to an abortion clinic in England to terminate a much wanted pregnancy that was otherwise going to end with the birth of a baby with a foetal abnormality.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/abortion-law-change-is-northern-ireland-really-next-1.3753579

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Pro-choice campaigners target North’s abortion laws

Pro-choice campaigners target North’s abortion laws
Women’s rights activists confident 2019 will see North’s restrictive regime reformed

Mon, Jan 7, 2019
Amanda Ferguson Belfast

Ashleigh Topley was devastated to learn at her 20-week scan that her baby had a fatal foetal abnormality and “would never take a breath”.

“Being denied a termination and then being forced to endure 15 weeks of willing my much-wanted daughter’s heart to stop and waiting for the pregnancy to end naturally can only be described as torture,” she says.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/pro-choice-campaigners-target-north-s-abortion-laws-1.3749396

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Bradley pressed to maintain restrictions on abortion in Northern Ireland

Bradley pressed to maintain restrictions on abortion in Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland Secretary has received extensive and emotive correspondence about terminations since last spring.

January 1 2019

The Northern Ireland Secretary has come under pressure from people born with serious conditions to maintain restrictions on abortion.

Karen Bradley has received extensive and emotive correspondence about terminations since last spring when the Republic of Ireland voted to legalise the procedure during early pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/bradley-pressed-to-maintain-restrictions-on-abortion-in-northern-ireland-37672441.html

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2018: the fight for abortion rights gets real

2018: the fight for abortion rights gets real
This year we made some historic gains for women's freedom.

Ella Whelan, Columnist
27th December 2018

2018 has been a big year for pro-choice campaigners. Across the world, women (and men) have argued for more liberal abortion laws – and in some cases they won the argument.

First there was Ireland. In May, ‘Yes’ voters won a landslide victory in a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. The Eighth Amendment enshrined the ‘right to life’ of the unborn, meaning that abortion in the Republic of Ireland was prohibited even in cases of fatal fetal abnormality, rape and incest.

Continued: https://www.spiked-online.com/2018/12/27/2018-the-fight-for-abortion-rights-gets-real/

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Ireland – HSE launches website with information on abortion services

HSE launches website with information on abortion services

22.12.2018

The HSE has launched a website with information on abortion services in Ireland.

It comes after President Michael D Higgins signed the legislation to allow for abortion services in Ireland to be put into law on Thursday.

The myoptions.ie section of the HSE website details information on how to get an abortion, abortion methods, aftercare and the possible risks involved.

Continued: http://admin-www.eveningecho.ie/nationalnews/HSE-launches-website-with-information-on-abortion-services-bec45072-cbd5-461a-8430-d773ea1a8ccf-ds

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N. Ireland – Girl ‘taken from classroom to be questioned by police over abortion pills’

Girl ‘taken from classroom to be questioned by police over abortion pills’
The teenager’s mother is taking a judicial review against the decision to charge her for procuring the medication online.

November 6 2018

A Northern Ireland schoolgirl whose mother is facing prosecution for buying her abortion pills was taken from a classroom by police officers and spoken to about the alleged crime without her parents being present, a court has heard.

A barrister for the mother outlined the circumstances of the case as she urged judges to rule that her looming prosecution is in contravention of human rights laws.

Continued: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/girl-taken-from-classroom-to-be-questioned-by-police-over-abortion-pills-37497844.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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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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