Northern Ireland’s new abortion guidelines are welcome but should have gone further
Posted: Fri, 27 Mar 2020
by Dr Antony Lempert
As the government publishes a framework for the extension of abortion rights in NI, Dr Antony Lempert welcomes politicians' belated willingness to defend women's right to choose but laments several missed opportunities.
On 23 February 2018 the UN committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) issued a damning verdict on the state of abortion in Northern Ireland. It concluded that women were subject to violence by virtue of the fact that nearly every woman or child who became pregnant had to carry the pregnancy to term. This was the case even where there was evidence that the foetus would not be viable and even in cases of incest or rape.
Abortion should be a medical matter, not a criminal one. The law needs to change
Manifesto promises by Labour and the Liberal Democrats to decriminalise abortion are welcome news for women
Sun 1 Dec 2019
There has been a predictably overwrought response to the election manifesto promises of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats to decriminalise abortion. Rightwing and Catholic commentators alike imagined hordes of heavily pregnant women at abortion clinics, demanding their fully formed foetuses be evacuated from their uteruses. Just because the law said that they now could.
I, unfortunately, know far more than I want to about what utter nonsense this emotive, anti-abortion rhetoric is. On 26 September 2012 I ended the life of my much-wanted daughter, Elodie, at 24 weeks’ gestation. It’s the hardest and most painful thing I’ve ever done. One thing I now know, with certainty, following this traumatic experience, is that no woman would choose to terminate a pregnancy that late on unless she felt there wasn’t any other option. And no doctor would countenance it, whatever the law said.
Ireland’s abortion debate has already succeeded in shifting my position
I’m adamantly pro-choice, but was ambivalent about liberalising UK laws. The Irish referendum has changed all that
Thu 24 May 2018
They came from Los Angeles, from Bangkok, from Sydney, from Buenos Aires; from all four corners of the globe. One woman said her plane ticket was a birthday present from her boyfriend, who knew how much it meant to her. Others are funded by student unions, family whip-rounds, expats who have been away too long to take part. Young Irish women and men are coming home to vote in Ireland’s abortion referendum, many wearing their hearts on the sleeves of their repeal jumpers. They swap knowing glances in airports, proudly tweeting and Instagramming as they go. The #HomeToVote phenomenon is an extraordinarily moving, powerful sight. For what cause would you fly halfway round the world and back again? Only one that cuts to the heart of who you are, how you seek to live.
A bitter pill
Health bodies are proposing a change to make abortions easier to get. Could this stop the trade in illegal abortion pills?
Josh Wilmer 6th November 2017
You need to be at home or somewhere comfortable. Know which hospital you’re going to if things go wrong, and be able to get there in less than an hour. It’s normal to carry on bleeding for days, even weeks.
That makes up some of the online advice for women who buy abortion pills online instead of having a termination on the NHS. Despite having access to free abortions, under medical supervision, many British women are paying money to buy pills online and going it alone.
Continued at source: https://theovertake.com/~alpha/abortion-pills/
The Guardian view on 50 years of legal abortion: let’s finish the work
David Steel’s act was a job half done. Abortion is not a crime, it’s a matter of health
Thursday 26 October 2017
It is 50 years on Friday since David Steel’s abortion act became law. It did not come into force until the following April. In those six months, it is likely that around 70 women died from sepsis or some other cause resulting from illegal abortion: in the previous decade, it claimed at least 150 lives a year, the biggest single cause of maternal mortality. Activists in a campaign that began in the 1930s toasted victory with champagne. But one veteran, who had had an illegal abortion herself, dampened the celebrations. They should be drinking half-glasses, she said, for the job was only half done.
Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/26/the-guardian-view-on-50-years-of-legal-abortion-lets-finish-the-work
Anne Robinson discusses having an abortion as 'very unhappy' newlywed
11 October 2017
Anne Robinson will talk about having an abortion as part of a new BBC documentary marking 50 years since the practice was partially decriminalised.
The 73-year-old Weakest Link presenter said it was “out of the question” not to discuss her own experience and that doing so was a vital part of the filmmaking process.
Titled Abortion On Trial, the programme sees Ms Robinson invite nine people with conflicting views on the topic to her Gloucestershire home to share their personal stories.
Continued at source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/11/anne-robinson-discusses-having-abortion-unhappy-newlywed/
This Leading Pregnancy Doctor Says Abortion Shouldn't Be Considered Controversial
Professor Wendy Savage made the comments after members of the Royal College of Gynaecologists voted in favour of relaxing current abortion laws.
Posted on September 27, 2017
Laura Silver, BuzzFeed News Reporter
A leading pregnancy doctor has dismissed claims that the decriminalisation of abortion in England and Wales would lead to a "free for all", after members of the Royal College of Gynaecologists voted in favour of relaxing current abortion laws.
According to the Abortion Act 1967, women who choose to terminate a pregnancy can be punished by life in prison unless the procedure is obtained in highly specific clinical settings. RCOG joins the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Midwifes in formally supporting removal of criminal sanctions around abortion in England and Wales.
Continued at source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/laurasilver/this-leading-pregnancy-doctor-says-abortion-shouldnt-be
Pregnancy doctors back abortion on demand with no criminal sanctions
22 September 2017
The leaders of Britain’s pregnancy doctors have voted to support abortion on demand, despite a revolt from members.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists tonight formally demanded the full decriminalisation of terminations at any stage in a pregnancy.
The influential body will now lobby Government for a change in the law, aping the stance of Britain’s doctors’ union, the British Medical Association, which voted for decriminalisation in June.
Abortion should not be a crime, say Britain's childbirth doctors
Members of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists vote in favour of decriminalisation of abortion
Denis Campbell Health policy editor
Friday 22 September 2017
Britain’s childbirth doctors have urged ministers to scrap laws dating to Victorian times that could see a woman jailed for life for having an abortion.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) voted on Friday to support the growing demand for decriminalisation of abortion in Britain.
Its ruling council agreed to change the college’s position from neutrality on the issue to one that urges the repeal of sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861.
Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/22/abortion-decriminalise-crime-britain-childbirth-doctors
Abortions on demand: Top medic says the rule that two doctors must sign for a termination should be scrapped
By Sophie Borland Health Editor For The Daily Mail
Published: 16 September 2017
Women should be able to terminate pregnancies with the approval of a single doctor, says one of the country’s top medical leaders.
Professor Lesley Regan, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said abortions should be treated no differently from other medical procedures – including something as simple as removing a bunion.
She called for abortions to be decriminalised and made much more freely available.
Continued at source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4889942/Top-medic-calls-looser-abortion-laws.html