Northern Ireland: We are the invisible victims of the DUP’s anti-abortion hardliners

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We are the invisible victims of the DUP’s anti-abortion hardliners
Any fight to protect women’s rights under a Tory-DUP regime is useless if it ignores the fight in Northern Ireland to have these rights for the first time

Elizabeth Nelson
Monday 19 June 2017

Five years ago a 15-year-old girl travelled from Northern Ireland to Manchester with her mother to have an abortion in a private clinic. The procedure plus travel and accommodation cost them about £900. They were UK citizens. Had they been resident elsewhere in the UK, a termination would have been free on the NHS. But they were from Northern Ireland and this is the price – psychological, medical, physical and literal – that women in Northern Ireland pay for living here.

Amid the outrage about what a British government propped up by the Democratic Unionist party would mean for the rights of women in Britain, and for lesbian, gay and transgender communities, the experiences of those groups in Northern Ireland have been all but invisible.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/19/invisible-victims-dup-anti-abortion-womens-rights-northern-ireland

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Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon’s new NHS abortion plans which will INFURIATE the DUP

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Nicola Sturgeon's new NHS abortion plans which will INFURIATE the DUP

NICOLA Sturgeon plans to offer free abortions to women who travel to Scotland from Northern Ireland, in direct opposition to the Government's would-be political allies the DUP.

By Ross Logan
PUBLISHED: Sun, Jun 18, 2017

The First Minister is said to be concerned by a Supreme Court ruling last week which rejected an appeal for women in Northern Ireland to be allowed to terminate pregnancies safely and legally through NHS England.

Her ruling SNP party are now examining the implications of the legal case in Scotland, where the law is relaxed enough for doctors to be able to turn a "blind eye" to Northern Irish women seeking an abortion who give the address of a Scottish friend.

Continued at source: The Express: https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/818440/Nicola-Sturgeon-abortion-SNP-Northern-Ireland-DUP

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Humanists UK urges British leaders to allow free NHS abortions for Northern Ireland women

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Humanists UK urges British leaders to allow free NHS abortions for Northern Ireland women
June 14th, 2017

Today, the Supreme Court ruled that the matter of charging Northern Irish women to access abortion services on NHS England, which are free women living in Britain, is a political decision. Therefore, the UK Government and, specifically, the Secretary of State for Health, has the power to end this unequal and discriminatory charge. Humanists UK, in response to today’s judgment, is calling upon anyone concerned by the unequal treatment of Northern Irish women  to sign its petition urging Theresa May, Nicola Sturgeon, and Carwyn Jones to grant Northern Irish free access to abortion services on the NHS in England, Scotland, and Wales respectively.

Continued at source: Humanists UK: https://humanism.org.uk/2017/06/14/humanists-uk-urges-mainland-british-leaders-to-allow-free-nhs-abortions-for-northern-ireland-women/

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US: Federally Qualified Health Centers Could Not Readily Replace Planned Parenthood

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Federally Qualified Health Centers Could Not Readily Replace Planned Parenthood
May 17, 2017

New and Updated Guttmacher Resources Detail the Critical Roles Filled by Planned Parenthood and Title X in U.S. Family Planning Safety Net

New evidence from the Guttmacher Institute shows that it is unrealistic to expect federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to serve the millions of women who currently rely on Planned Parenthood for high-quality contraceptive care. The argument that FQHC sites could easily absorb these clients has been key to social conservatives’ efforts to shutter Planned Parenthood health centers by excluding them from various public funding streams, including Medicaid.

Continued at source: Guttmacher Institute: http://mailchi.mp/guttmacher/federally-qualified-health-centers-could-not-readily-replace-planned-parenthood?e=bb6e0547c2

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U.S.: Congressional health-care bill ‘defunds’ Planned Parenthood

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Congressional health-care bill ‘defunds’ Planned Parenthood

By Sandhya Somashekhar and Paige W. Cunningham
May 4, 2017

The health-care bill passed by the House brought Republicans closer to their goal of erasing Obamacare from the books. But it also revived another long-
cherished aspiration: cutting off the flow of federal funds to Planned Parenthood.

A provision in the bill temporarily blocks the 100-year-old nonprofit women’s health organization and abortion provider from participating in the Medicaid program. If enacted, it would deal a devastating blow to an organization that provides reproductive services and other health care to 2.5 million people annually.

Continued at source: Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/congressional-health-care-bill-defunds-planned-parenthood/2017/05/04/afdc3b5a-30f1-11e7-8674-437ddb6e813e_story.html

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Expert panel endorses public coverage for abortion pill in Canada

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Expert panel endorses public coverage for abortion pill in Canada

Kelly Grant - HEALTH REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2017

A long-awaited expert committee report on the abortion pill is recommending that provincial and territorial governments cover the $300 cost of the medication, The Globe and Mail has learned.

The Common Drug Review (CDR) endorsement is a crucial step toward taxpayer-funded reimbursement for drugs new to Canada, including Mifegymiso, a two-drug combination kit that pro-choice advocates hope will eventually make abortions easier to obtain outside big cities.

Continued at source: Globe & Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/expert-panel-endorses-public-coverage-for-abortion-pill-in-canada/article34757082/

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New Brunswick becomes first Canada province to offer free abortion pill

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New Brunswick becomes first Canada province to offer free abortion pill

Pill will be given to women with a valid healthcare card, a big step for region that previously had some of Canada’s tightest restrictions on reproductive rights

Julien Gignac in Toronto
Wednesday 5 April 2017

New Brunswick has become the first province in Canada to distribute an abortion pill for free, in a major step for a region that previously had one of the country’s strictest policies on women’s reproductive rights.

The provincial health minister, Victor Boudreau, unveiled the policy on Tuesday, announcing that women will be entitled to receive Mifegymiso without payment if they have a valid healthcare card.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/05/canada-free-abortion-pill-new-brunswick

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Defunding UNFPA Makes Women a Casualty of Partisan Politics

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Defunding UNFPA Makes Women a Casualty of Partisan Politics
April 4, 2017

The U.S. Government defunds UNFPA, putting the health and rights of the world’s most vulnerable girls and women at risk.

On Monday, the U.S. Government withdrew funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), signaling yet another affront to women’s health and rights. With the stroke of a pen, the Trump administration sent a clear message to millions of women and girls around the world, effectively indicating that their health—and lives—are fair game for political posturing.

Continued at link: IPPF/WHR: https://www.ippfwhr.org/en/news-room/defunding-unfpa-makes-women-a-casualty-of-partisan-politics

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Trump administration halts money to UN population fund over abortion rules

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Trump administration halts money to UN population fund over abortion rules

International family planning agency, which will lose all future US funding, rejects state department claims it supports ‘coercive abortion’ in China

Liz Ford and Nadia Khomami
Tuesday 4 April 2017

The US state department said on Monday it was ending funding for the UN population fund (UNFPA) – the first concrete move in what activists describe as President Donald Trump’s “crusade against the health and rights of women and girls globally”.

Following weeks of speculation, a letter to Bob Corker, the chairman of the US Senate foreign relations committee, announced the state department was dropping the funding because the UNFPA “supports, or participates in the management of, a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation”.

Continued at link: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/apr/04/trump-administration-un-population-fund-abortion

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U.S.: Trumpcare’s Uncaring Impact on Pregnant Women

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Trumpcare’s Uncaring Impact on Pregnant Women
March 22, 2017

On March 13, 2017, President Trump and the Republican Party released their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Their plan, Trumpcare, will have a devastating effect on millions of Americans. Women are a particular target of the plan and pregnant women will face specific health care challenges regardless of their pregnancy outcomes.

For example, pregnant women who want to go to term will have trouble accessing or affording the maternity care they need. Trumpcare eliminates Medicaid expansion and removes federal support for adults earning more than 133% of the federal poverty level (a meager $33,000 for a family of four).1 As a result, some women will no longer be eligible for Medicaid under the new rules, even when they are pregnant.

Continued at source: National Advocates for Pregnant Women: http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/Trumpcare%20and%20Pregnant%20Women_3.22.17.pdf

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