Northern Ireland abortion laws must not be changed in Westminster, says Karen Bradley

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Northern Ireland abortion laws must not be changed in Westminster, says Karen Bradley
Karen Bradley insisted that people in the north do not want MPs making decisions on abortion laws

12 June, 2018

WESTMINSTER politicians are not qualified to change abortion laws for Northern Ireland, the secretary of state has said.

Karen Bradley insisted that people in the north do not want MPs making decisions on whether to overhaul the existing regime, as she explained the UK government's reluctance to intervene.

She said it was another example of why the Stormont executive needed to be reformed.

Continued: https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2018/06/12/news/northern-ireland-abortion-laws-must-not-be-changed-in-westminster-says-karen-bradley-1353442/

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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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The Guardian view on Northern Ireland and abortion: the mounting demand for change

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The Guardian view on Northern Ireland and abortion: the mounting demand for change
Editorial
A judgment from the UK’s supreme court adds to the already overwhelming case for reforming oppressive laws

Thu 7 Jun 2018

The moral case for the reform of Northern Ireland’s harsh abortion laws, which forbid terminations even in the case of rape or fatal foetal abnormalities, has long been clear. But the sweeping victory for reform in the Irish abortion referendum last month made it starker than ever. The logical case is obvious: the restrictions do not prevent but displace abortions, with women travelling across the Irish Sea to end their pregnancies. The political case is equally evident: poll after poll has shown that voters in Northern Ireland believe the law must change. Now the supreme court has laid out the legal case.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/07/the-guardian-view-on-northern-ireland-and-abortion-the-mounting-demand-for-change

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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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The Northern Irish abortion issue could topple Theresa May once and for all – here’s why

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The Northern Irish abortion issue could topple Theresa May once and for all – here’s why
It is fair to say the deal the prime minister made with the DUP wasn’t thought through

Rachael Revesz
June 4, 2018

Depending on which side of the Brexit debate you sit, it has been easy to blame obtuse EU bureaucrats or incompetent Westminster officials for the fragile state of negotiations. Behind the scenes, the DUP is the link in the chain that is increasingly likely to snap.

Soon after DUP leader Arlene Foster told Sky News that any Brexit deal that treated Northern Ireland differently to the rest of the UK would be her “only red line”, a cross-party coalition, including senior Tory MPs, announced that Foster could not have her cake and eat it. If she wanted equal application of Brexit in Northern Ireland, she would also have to accept same sex marriage and abortion.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/northern-ireland-abortion-theresa-may-dup-arlene-foster-brexit-a8382616.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_todayworld

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N.Ireland – DUP leader Arlene Foster warned over ‘undemocratic’ abortion stance

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DUP leader Arlene Foster warned over 'undemocratic' abortion stance
Labour backbencher Stella Creasy claims the DUP leader is "the only woman with any choice over abortion in Northern Ireland".

Sunday 03 June 2018
By Greg Heffer, political reporter

The Labour MP spearheading a cross-party coalition effort to repeal Victorian-era laws criminalising abortion across the UK has told DUP leader Arlene Foster her views shouldn't prevent their bid.

Stella Creasy, who wants MPs to repeal the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which makes abortion a criminal act, suggested Mrs Foster is "the only woman with any choice over abortion in Northern Ireland".

Continued: https://news.sky.com/story/dup-leader-arlene-foster-warned-over-undemocratic-abortion-stance-11393563

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Ireland Repealed Its Abortion Ban. Is Northern Ireland Next?

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Ireland Repealed Its Abortion Ban. Is Northern Ireland Next?
After Dublin voted overwhelmingly to repeal its near-outright abortion ban, pressure is mounting for Belfast to do the same.

Yasmeen Serhan
May 29, 2018

All eyes were on the Republic of Ireland this weekend when it voted resoundingly in favor of repealing its near-total ban on abortion. In the days since, some of that attention has turned to Northern Ireland, where pressure is mounting to change its own restrictive abortion laws.

Though Northern Ireland is a member of the United Kingdom, where abortions are permitted within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy (and later, under exceptional circumstances), U.K. abortion law doesn’t apply in Northern Ireland. This is because the 1967 Abortion Act that legalized abortion access across the U.K. was never enforced in Northern Ireland, which instead adopted abortion laws similar to those of the Republic of Ireland.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/05/northern-ireland-abortion-ban/561383/

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The DUP has backed itself into a corner with its reactionary stance on abortion and gay rights, but Northern Ireland is moving on

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The DUP has backed itself into a corner with its reactionary stance on abortion and gay rights, but Northern Ireland is moving on
The party now finds itself in familiar hypocritical territory: threatening to self-implode if it doesn't get the same Brexit treatment as the rest of Britain, while simultaneously relishing its divergence

Ben Kelly
Tuesday 29 May 2018

News of the landslide vote to legalise abortions in Ireland this weekend was met with calls for the law to be changed in Northern Ireland too. Sinn Fein’s leaders held up a sign at Dublin Castle reading ‘The North Is Next’, while in London, female ministers put pressure on Theresa May to demonstrate her feminist credentials by backing reform.

This issue, and the continued lack of same sex marriage in Northern Ireland, are finally being recognised by the rest of Britain and Ireland as a serious infringement of rights. While this mainstream discussion is appreciated, we must face the reality.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/northern-ireland-abortion-dup-referendum-westminster-stormont-sinn-fein-theresa-may-a8373966.html

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The only Northern Irish woman with a choice about abortion? Arlene Foster

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The only Northern Irish woman with a choice about abortion? Arlene Foster
In Northern Ireland a rape victim seeking to end a pregnancy risks a longer sentence than her attacker. This has to change

Stella Creasy
Tue 29 May 2018

The jubilation at the result of the referendum on abortion in Ireland quickly gave way to rage as focus turned to Northern Ireland, where women are treated as second-class citizens when it comes to their reproductive rights.

Abortion is only legal in that part of the UK if the mother’s life is at immediate risk – as the law stands, a victim of rape who sought to end an unwanted pregnancy would risk a longer prison sentence than her attacker. Women whose babies will not live outside the womb are forced to carry them to term.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/29/northern-ireland-abortion-choice-arlene-foster-dup-rape-pregnancy

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Abortion: Theresa May urged to act on NI’s strict law

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Abortion: Theresa May urged to act on NI's strict law
28 May 2018

Theresa May has been urged to help liberalise Northern Ireland's abortion law by a woman whose experience brought the issue back before the courts.

Sarah Ewart went to England in 2013 for a termination after doctors said her unborn child would not survive outside of the womb.

Such a diagnosis, known as fatal foetal abnormality, is not grounds for a legal abortion in Northern Ireland.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/44275372

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