Amid COVID-19 pandemic, a landmark week for abortion care access in Northern Ireland
April 11, 2020
Belfast — After a chaotic week that saw outcry from pro-choice campaigners and abortion providers on both sides of the Irish Sea, Northern Ireland moved to ensure abortion services will be available during the pandemic. In a statement issued to the media on Thursday, April 9, the region’s Department of Health said medical professionals were now permitted to “terminate pregnancies lawfully.” The statement also claimed that the rollout of abortion services, which were meant to have been legally available beginning March 31, had been impacted by the pandemic and “the urgent need to focus resources on preparing the health and social care system for the surge in cases.”
The government’s decision comes after a tumultuous two weeks in which abortion services were supposed to be operational yet remained inaccessible through Northern Ireland’s health service.
British provider to post abortion pills to ensure Northern Irish women have access during pandemic
It said that under Northern Irish law it was only legally permitted to provide abortion for the purpose of preventing grave, permanent injury to the woman's physical or mental health
Amanda Ferguson, Reuters
April 9, 2020
BELFAST — Britain’s leading provider of abortions said it will offer abortion pills to women in Northern Ireland by post to avoid them having to travel to England by ferry now that the coronavirus pandemic has closed air traffic.
Although abortion was decriminalized in Northern Ireland last year, it remains unavailable in the British region after the local health ministry missed an April 1 deadline to begin providing terminations.
Coronavirus: Home abortions approved during outbreak
By Jim Connolly, Newsbeat politics editor
31 March 2020
Patients in England can now have home abortions during the Covid-19 outbreak, the government in England has said.
Abortion policy has changed several times during the current pandemic.
Women and girls wanting to terminate an early pregnancy were first told the service would be available but that decision was then retracted.
Women in England will be able to take abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak
Posted by Lauren Geall
Mar 30, 2020
Women in England will be able to take abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson has confirmed.
Last week the government published legislation which said that abortion pills would be available at home, before declaring that the update had been published in error and withdrawing the announcement.
Relaxation of UK abortion rules welcomed by experts
Rules eased during coronavirus crisis to allow women to be sent both sets of abortion pills
Mon 30 Mar 2020
Leading UK healthcare providers have welcomed the government’s decision to allow women to take abortion pills at home without travelling to a clinic.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed the government was updating its guidance to help women who need an abortion, but cannot access a clinic because of measures put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Coronavirus is making abortion access more difficult in the UK
By Rachel Thompson
March 25, 2020
The UK is now under lockdown. Britons are only permitted to leave their homes for food, health reasons, or work (if it's not possible to be done from home) in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Abortion services in the UK are under considerable strain as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Women with severe health issues who've been advised to self-isolate say they're being forced to choose between risking their health by leaving their house and continuing with an unwanted pregnancy that could imperil their health, according to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).
Calls for exclusion zones outside UK abortion clinics amid protests
Group of 45 people stopped women as they left centre in Finsbury Park on Saturday
Sat 8 Feb 2020
A leading provider of abortion care has criticised the Home Office for refusing to introduce exclusion zones after a group of anti-abortion activists protested outside a north London clinic on Saturday morning.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said its clinic in Finsbury Park had never had any problem with demonstrations until Saturday, when staff and clients were met with a group of 45 people protesting outside the centre.
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.)
911 doctors, nurses sign letter refusing to cooperate with new abortion law in Northern Ireland
By Louise Bevan
Nov 9, 2019
Since Northern Ireland formally legalized abortion, there has been a backlash from a faction of medical professionals who say they will not assist in the procedure.
Citing a violation of their Catholic beliefs, a number of doctors and nurses have signed a letter of opposition to the Northern Irish Secretary of State Julian Smith and the Secretary for the Department of Health Richard Pengelly.
Harassment, Tears & Distress: Inside The Battle For Bournemouth’s Abortion Clinic
Vicky Spratt, Poppy Thorpe
Last Updated 27 October 2019
Photographed by Poppy Thorpe.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) abortion clinic in Bournemouth is discreet. Set back on a quiet, leafy residential street sandwiched between a busy main road and a primary school, it’s flanked by two up, two down houses. Unless you had a reason to visit you wouldn’t necessarily know it was here.
But as I approach something immediately seems off. There are three women huddled together under a footbridge, sheltering from the rain and staring at the clinic’s front door. On a dull, grey October day, their presence is eerie. As I near them, I realise that they are each holding rosaries and praying, the beads moving steadily through their fingers.