How Our Government Has Betrayed Women Seeking Abortions
8 October 2019
All over England and Wales, abortion clinics are being targeted by anti-choice, anti-abortion and, ultimately, anti-women protestors. It often goes unreported and the scenes witnessed by clinic staff, pro-choice activists and service users alike are fraught.
In 2018, Ealing council became the first to implement a no-protest 'buffer zone' around the Marie Stopes West London clinic. That buffer zone prevents anti-abortion protestors from coming within 100 metres of the clinic. The move was hailed as a huge and hopeful step forward for the protection of women seeking abortion services against a backdrop of abuse.
Northern Ireland’s Abortion Laws Are Archaic – But The Fight Isn’t Over
Today’s ruling is a hard-won victory for women. Now, we need to confine these cruel laws to history, writes BPAS’ Katherine O’Brien.
By Katherine O'Brien
On Thursday a ruling from the High Court in Belfast has confirmed what campaigners, healthcare providers, and the women of Northern Ireland have known for years – that the country’s archaic, cruel abortion law is in breach of the UK’s human rights commitments.
This is a hard-won victory. Sarah Ewart is a young mother who had to travel to England for an abortion after receiving the devastating diagnosis that her baby would not survive outside the womb. Sarah has spent years in and out of court in order to challenge the near-total abortion ban which does not permit abortion in cases of fatal foetal anomaly. The ruling on Thursday that the current ban is in breach of her human rights is a testament to her bravery and courage.
UK / SPAIN – The Court of Appeal upholds the legality of a buffer zone around a London abortion clinic
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 23, 2019
The buffer zone around the clinic was imposed by the London council of Ealing in April 2018, but the call to impose national buffer zones around all clinics was rejected by the Conservative government’s Home Secretary in September 2018, in spite of the existence of strong evidence presented to him for imposing them.
This new judgment, handed down by Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lady Justice Nicola Davies is the first at appeal court level and provides solid case law for backing for other Public Spaces Protection Orders in the future.
What Happens When an Abortion Doesn't Fully Work
I had an incomplete abortion last year. This is what I wish I'd known about them.
by Rose Stokes
Aug 15 2019
Last year, I had an abortion. My reasons for doing so are deeply personal, painful, and nobody’s business but mine. Once I'd decided to terminate the pregnancy, a woman from British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) asked me over the phone if I wanted a medical abortion—which was still possible at my stage of pregnancy (nine weeks)—or a surgical one. I had no idea.
“What’s the difference?” I asked.
“Well, one you take a pill and the other is more invasive."
'Americanized' anti-abortion protests are on the rise in the UK. But a fight back has begun
By Amy Woodyatt, CNN
Tue July 9, 2019
London (CNN) Monika Neall was standing outside an abortion clinic in Manchester when she saw a woman in her mid-20s dart out the doors. The woman moved towards a parked car, then suddenly froze.
On the ground nearby lay plastic fetus models, candles and images of mothers gazing adoringly at babies. Panicking, she caught Neall's eye. "That's my car," she said, her voice starting to crack.
Jeremy Hunt Told Us He "Authorised" The Funding Of Abortions For Northern Irish Women. Campaigners Beg To Disagree.
The government only agreed to fund abortions for women from Northern Ireland after Hunt opposed a legal challenge by a mother and daughter seeking NHS funding for abortions for Northern Irish women.
June 18, 2019
Hannah Al-Othman, BuzzFeed News Reporter
Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt has been criticised by abortion rights campaigners for claiming credit for the funding the government provides for women in Northern Ireland to travel to England to get abortions.
At a hustings event in Westminster on Monday, BuzzFeed News asked Hunt whether, if he became prime minister, he would extend abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland, where it is currently illegal in most circumstances, including cases of rape, incest, and fatal foetal abnormalities.
Imperfect system and cruel barriers still stopping women access abortion
By Joyce Fegan
Monday, June 03, 2019
There has been a drop of up to 85% in the number of Irish women travelling to Britain for abortions, one year on since the Eighth Amendment was repealed from the Irish Constitution.
Nine women had been leaving Ireland every day to have a termination in Britain.
IN MEMORIAM – David Paintin, UK obstetrician-gynaecologist, lifelong abortion rights campaigner
David Paintin Hon FFSRH MB ChB FRCOG was part of the group from the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) in Britain, which he joined in 1963, that supported Lord Silkin and MP David Steel during the parliamentary debates that resulted in the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act. He also worked hard to increase the acceptability of abortion. He promoted innovation and good practice through his involvement with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and by lecturing on the provision of legal abortion to medical students, family planning doctors and gynaecologists throughout the country.
David qualified in Bristol in 1954. He trained under the supervision of Professor Dugald Baird, in Aberdeen, also a strong abortion rights advocate, before becoming a reader in obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1963. From 1963 to 1991, based at St Mary’s Medical School, he organised the teaching of medical students and also as an honorary consultant, provided NHS abortion services for Paddington and North Kensington. He was a chair of the Birth Control Trust (1981-1998) and a trustee of the Pregnancy Advisory Service (1981-1996) and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (1996-2003).
He continued to work on abortion issues. He was editor of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for a period, and became Emeritus reader in obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s Hospital. In a recent book, he reflected on the legal debates that led to the 1967 Abortion Act and its subsequent implementation, and attempts by parliamentarians to undermine and restrict abortion law in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s. He died aged 88 on 30 March 2019 after a long illness.
SOURCES: Friends of Bpas Newsletter, March 2019 ; Charter for Choice 2015 ; Wikipedia, 4 April 2019 ; Bucks Free Press, 5 April 2019
Northern Ireland’s abortion laws are an abomination. Westminster must step in
The government must heed a select committee report – and end the brutal, primitivist treatment of women in the region
Thu 25 Apr 2019
They were all there: Northern Ireland’s DUP and Sinn Féin leaders, side by side with the Good Friday agreement’s guarantors, the British and Irish prime ministers. All were gathered at the funeral of the journalist Lyra McKee. “Why in God’s name,” asked Fr Martin Magill, had it taken her death to bring them together? But his exasperated tone implied he didn’t expect a political miracle.
Visit this deadlocked region, the UK’s poorest, and it feels transformed from the dark days of the troubles. But its political paralysis is partly a product of Westminster’s longstanding neglect of the region, at least until the DUP unexpectedly came to play a pivotal role in the Brexit psychodrama. The red hand of Ulster holds in its palm the fate of May’s Brexit deal, though the DUP doesn’t represent the far more progressive and forward-looking remain-voting country. The party may yet become Boris Johnson’s kingmakers through its refusal to back Theresa May’s deal.
Anti-abortion activists harassing women at UK clinics during Lent
Clinic staff say protesters are calling women ‘murderers’ and giving out misleading leaflets
Mon 8 Apr 2019
Anti-abortion protesters are harassing vulnerable women at UK clinics as they ramp up demonstrations for Lent and are giving out leaflets suggesting that having a termination is harder to deal with than being raped, it has been claimed.
Hardline religious activists, some of whom are part of a so-called “40 Days for Life” campaign, have been targeting women in increasing numbers at 10 clinics across the country in the run-up to Easter, the Guardian has been told.