Government ‘using devolution as an excuse’ to avoid abortion reform in Northern Ireland, campaigners warn

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Government 'using devolution as an excuse' to avoid abortion reform in Northern Ireland, campaigners warn
Exclusive: Theresa May accused of being ‘held hostage’ by DUP

Lizzy Buchan Political Correspondent
March 16, 2018

The Government is using “devolution as an excuse” to avoid liberalising abortion laws in Northern Ireland, campaigners claim, saying Theresa May is being “held hostage” by her alliance with the DUP.

Ministers have been accused of “extraordinary” inconsistency in their stance, after parliamentary questions revealed that the UK Government might consider imposing same-sex marriage in the province but that it would not intervene on the issue of abortion.

Continued: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-devolution-northern-ireland-abortion-reform-theresa-may-dup-a8258841.html

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MPs from all sides call for abortion law in N Ireland to be relaxed

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MPs from all sides call for abortion law in N Ireland to be relaxed
Letter follows UN declaration that forcing women in Northern Ireland to travel to England is human rights infringement

Jane Martinson
Wed 7 Mar 2018

More than 100 MPs and peers from all parties have written to the home secretary, Amber Rudd, calling for women in Northern Ireland to be allowed access to abortion services locally rather than having to come to England.

The letter, signed by 131 parliamentarians including eight Conservatives such as the former education secretary Justine Greening and the former chancellor Ken Clarke, the former Liberal leader David Steel and the shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, follows a UN declaration that forcing women to travel for an abortion is an infringement of their human rights.

continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/07/mps-from-all-sides-call-for-abortion-law-in-n-ireland-to-be-relaxed

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Malta – Need to reform abortion law – Nils Muižnieks

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Need to reform abortion law - Nils Muižnieks

Monday, February 26, 2018
Nils Muižnieks

When I visited Malta last November, I noted how the very restrictive legislation on abortion jeopardised women’s rights. I was also particularly struck by the lack of an open debate about this issue. It is, therefore, encouraging that some voices are now starting to challenge the taboo that still surrounds discussions on abortion. To increase the chances of this debate leading to positive change for all women, it is necessary that discussions be well informed and avoid misconceptions.

Some argue that access to abortion care is not a matter of women’s human rights. Others, in Malta and elsewhere, question whether this is a human right at all.

Continued: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180226/opinion/need-to-reform-abortion-law-nils-muiznieks.671761

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The situation in Northern Ireland constitutes violence against women – CEDAW Inquiry

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The situation in Northern Ireland constitutes violence against women - CEDAW Inquiry
Feb 23, 2018

CEDAW Finds Human Rights Breaches by UK Government
Report on inquiry welcomed by Alliance for Choice

The UK violates the rights of women in Northern Ireland by unduly restricting their access to abortion, a UN expert committee has found.

Alliance for Choice are interested to note that the CEDAW Inquiry report has been published today. Emma Campbell Co-Chair says,
"We want to make humble thanks to the incredible women who bravely gave their testimonies to the CEDAW committee. Alliance for Choice, along with the Family Planning Association and NIWEP, feel vindicated in the report's findings on the many Human Rights breaches occurring daily due to the political lack of will in both Stormont and Westminster. We hope that the UK government will now recognise its responsibility to women in NI and legislate to implement the Committee's recommendations.

Continued: http://www.alliance4choice.com/news/2018/2/the-situation-in-northern-ireland-constitutes-violence-against-women-cedaw-inquiry

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Abortion: UK ‘breaches NI’s women’s rights’

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Abortion: UK 'breaches NI's women's rights'

By Catherine Smyth Health producer, BBC News NI
23 February 2018

The UK breaches the rights of women in Northern Ireland by unduly restricting their access to abortion, a UN Committee has found.

"Denial of abortion and criminalisation of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need," said the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-43167255

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Open Letter to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Open Letter to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 10, 2017
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Open Letter To:
Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
c/o sr.disability@ohchr.org / crpd@ohchr.org

RE: “Concluding observations on the initial report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” CRPD/C/GBR/CO/1, 29 August 2017 (As adopted during the 18th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (14 -31 August 2017)

9 November 2017

Dear Ms Devandas Aguilar and members of the CRPD,

I am the International Coordinator of the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion and an abortion rights advocate for more than 35 years, living in the UK. I am writing to you in a personal capacity regarding the “Concluding observations on the report of the UK to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”, as above.

Your recommendations to the UK overall are absolutely fair and just, but I am writing to take issue with those related to abortion, and to explain why. These are as follows:

Equality and non-discrimination (art. 5)

The Committee is concerned about perceptions in society that stigmatize persons with disabilities as living a life of less value than that of others and about the termination of pregnancy at any stage on the basis of fetal impairment.
The Committee recommends that the State party amend its abortion law accordingly. Women’s rights to reproductive and sexual autonomy should be respected without legalizing selective abortion on the ground of fetal deficiency.

My concerns regarding these recommendations are threefold: the first is to do with your definition of “a person”. The second is to do with the reasons why women have abortions vs. how different laws address and codify reasons for abortion as legal or illegal grounds. The third is that I believe including any ground for abortion in the law whatsoever – apart from permitting abortion at the woman’s request – is a mistake because it serves to restrict women’s autonomy and decisions over their own bodies.

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/open-letter-to-the-special-rapporteur-and-committee-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/

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Why Aren’t American Women’s Rights Guaranteed by Law?

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Why Aren’t American Women’s Rights Guaranteed by Law?
By Janet Benshoof and Serra Sippel
Aug 14, 2017

A fight is again brewing within the Democratic Party after they recently announced that they would fund candidates with anti-abortion stances.

Many American women are frustrated that they must continue fighting against legislatures that actively attack their rights.

Unlike in other countries, and despite what most Americans believe, robust anti-discrimination laws do not protect women in the United States.

Continued at source: Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/why-arent-american-womens-rights-guaranteed-law-649848

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Nicaragua: Abortion Ban Threatens Health and Lives

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Nicaragua: Abortion Ban Threatens Health and Lives
Publisher: Human Rights Watch
Publication Date: 31 July 2017

Nicaragua's total ban on abortion is putting women and girls' health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The country's 2006 law punishing abortion - without any exceptions, even if pregnancies are life-threatening or resulted from rape - has driven abortions underground. The ban has not stopped abortion, but has made it more unsafe.

Women and girls with crisis pregnancies are getting unsafe clandestine abortions. Often too afraid to seek medical care when complications arise from such abortions, some women and girls delay seeking care and do not disclose to doctors the cause of complications. Medical providers, caught in a conflict between the law and medical ethics, have reported women and girls to police for suspected abortions. Under Nicaragua's criminal code, women and girls who terminate pregnancies face sentences of

Continued at source: Ref World: http://www.refworld.org/docid/597f3e094.html

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Families, fertility and feminism: landmarks in women’s rights

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Families, fertility and feminism: landmarks in women's rights

Women have fought long and hard to secure access to family planning and abortion, and reduce maternal mortality. A modern timeline of that struggle tells a story full of highs and lows

by Liz Ford
Thursday 27 July 2017

Women have been joining forces to agitate for their right to a better life for centuries, but some of the most significant changes have occurred over the past four decades.

It has been a journey of big leaps, small steps and setbacks. Four international women’s conferences, a bunch of UN resolutions and two sets of global goals have all played their part.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jul/27/families-fertility-feminism-landmarks-in-womens-rights-timeline

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Human Rights Watch Submission on South Korea to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

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Human Rights Watch Submission on South Korea to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
June 20, 2017

We write in advance of the 69th pre-sessional working group of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and its review of South Korea’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This submission focuses on restrictions on women’s reproductive rights, LGBT rights and sex education in schools, ongoing discrimination against women, and addresses articles 3, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16 of the Convention.

Continued at source: Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/20/human-rights-watch-submission-south-korea-committee-elimination-discrimination

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