Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws must end

Northern Ireland's restrictive abortion laws must end

Cahir O'Doherty
Nov 09, 2018

In Northern Ireland a woman who has been raped or abused can still receive a longer prison sentence than her rapist or abuser if she seeks to end the resulting unwanted pregnancy.

Sit with the implications of that sentence for a moment. Thanks the 1861 Offenses Against The Person Act, written over 151 years ago, anyone performing or receiving abortions there can be threatened with life imprisonment.

Continued: https://www.irishcentral.com/homepage/northern-ireland-abortion-ban-must-end

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MPs’ vote calls for explanation of Northern Ireland abortion law

MPs' vote calls for explanation of Northern Ireland abortion law
Westminster votes by 207 to 117 to force Karen Bradley to ‘issue guidance’ on continued enforcement of law

Dan Sabbagh
Wed 24 Oct 2018

A landmark amendment forcing Northern Ireland secretary, Karen Bradley, “to issue guidance” to explain how officials can continue to enforce the region’s draconian Victorian-era abortion law was passed by MPs.

MPs in Westminster voted by 207 to 117 to impose their will, a matter normally reserved for Stormont, arguing that the abortion ban was incompatible with human rights on an amendment proposed by Labour’s Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/24/commons-withdraws-amendment-to-legalise-abortion-in-northern-ireland

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UK – Diana Johnson interview: “We need a modern, fit-for-purpose abortion law”

Diana Johnson interview: “We need a modern, fit-for-purpose abortion law”

Sienna Rodgers
23rd October, 2018

Labour MP Diana Johnson will today introduce a ten-minute rule bill in the House of Commons that would see abortion decriminalised. Currently, the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 makes abortion illegal in the UK except when there is a risk to the life or health of the mother, and this legislation was only partly superseded by the Abortion Act 1967. Ahead of tabling the backbench bill, Johnson spoke to LabourList.

How did abortion become a key focus in your work as an MP?

Continued: https://labourlist.org/2018/10/diana-johnson-interview-we-need-a-modern-fit-for-purpose-abortion-law/

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Labour MPs in fresh bid to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland

Labour MPs in fresh bid to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland
Stella Creasy launches new attempt after government rebuffs move by colleague

Dan Sabbagh
Tue 23 Oct 2018

Eighty MPs have signed an amendment that aims to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland as part of a bill before the Commons on Wednesday designed to give civil servants in the region greater power in the absence of a functioning Stormont.

The amendment, put down by Labour’s Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn, would abolish the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, still applicable in Northern Ireland, which makes obtaining or helping somebody obtain an abortion a criminal offence.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/23/mps-support-new-amendment-to-override-stormont-northern-ireland-on-abortion

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Polls show broad support for Northern Ireland abortion reform

Polls show broad support for Northern Ireland abortion reform
By Lianne Kolirin, CNN
Oct 9, 2018

Story highlights
- 78% of British people would like to see abortion decriminalized in Northern Ireland, a poll found
- 65% of those living in Northern Ireland believe that having an abortion should not be a crime

(CNN)Nearly two-thirds of people in Northern Ireland -- and more than three-quarters of the UK public -- believe that abortion should be decriminalized in the country, according to polls released Wednesday by Amnesty International.

Pregnancy terminations are illegal in Northern Ireland, except in cases in which the mother's life or health is at risk. The 1967 Abortion Act, which broadly legalized the procedure in the rest of the UK, has never been extended to Northern Ireland, where an 1861 law still stands.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/09/health/northern-ireland-abortion-polls-intl/index.html

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N. Ireland- DUP calls for its voice to be heard in Westminster abortion inquiry

DUP calls for its voice to be heard in Westminster abortion inquiry

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
September 25 2018

The DUP has expressed reservations about a Westminster inquiry into Northern Ireland’s abortion ban, and appealed for all views to be represented.

The staunchly anti-abortion party, which is supporting the prime minister Theresa May’s Conservative minority government, has also claimed that some UK politicians have used the issue to try to embarrass the British government.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dup-calls-for-its-voice-to-be-heard-in-westminster-abortion-inquiry-qdthpbbmx

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Allowing English women to take the abortion pill at home is good news – and now we’re coming for you, Northern Ireland

Allowing English women to take the abortion pill at home is good news – and now we're coming for you, Northern Ireland

Harriet Marsden
25 August 2018

As landmark women’s health text Our Bodies, Ourselves put it in 1970, abortion is “our right ... as women to control our own bodies. The existence of any abortion laws (however ‘liberal’) denies this right.”

Those rights are advancing in some parts of the UK, and stalling in others. The latest development is that women in England will soon be able to take an abortion pill at home: a small but significant step forward that many welcome. Yet in Northern Ireland, women still face draconian laws and life in prison for daring to access their reproductive rights.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-pill-at-home-northern-ireland-pregnancy-a8507811.html

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NI anti-abortion activists warn MPs over Westminster interference

NI anti-abortion activists warn MPs over Westminster interference

Jul 18th 2018

Anti-abortion activists from Northern Ireland have warned MPs that any move to change the region's laws at Westminster would cripple devolution.

Campaigners travelled to London on Wednesday to make clear their opposition to any relaxation of Northern Ireland's strict legal position on terminations.

Continued: https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2018/07/18/ni-anti-abortion-activists-warn-mps-over-westminster-interferenc/?guccounter=1

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Criminalised abortion in UK obstructs reflective choice and best care

Criminalised abortion in UK obstructs reflective choice and best care

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2928
Published 09 July 2018
Sandy Goldbeck-Wood, Abigail Aiken, David Horwell, Oskari Heikinheimo, Ganesh Acharya, editorial board of BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health

Theresa May could seize this opportunity for evidence based reform

The recent decisions to liberalise abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man1 have put pressure on the British prime minister, Theresa May, to consider decriminalising abortion in the UK. Although she believes “that a woman should be able to access safe, legal abortion,”2 she has not yet acted to initiate amendment of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act—perhaps in fear of Northern Ireland's anti-abortion Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on which her minority government depends.

Continued: https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k2928

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Northern Ireland one of ‘most restrictive abortion regimes’

Northern Ireland one of 'most restrictive abortion regimes'
Ban, including in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality, sees women travel to England for procedure.

Alasdair Soussiby Alasdair Soussi
3 Jul 2018

Ashleigh Topley, from Portadown, Northern Ireland, recalled a harrowing stage in her own pregnancy when she was "willing her [child's] heart to stop" so she could begin the grieving process.

At her 20-week scan in 2013, Topley was told that her baby had a fatal foetal abnormality and would not survive outside the womb.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/northern-ireland-europe-restrictive-abortion-regimes-180702204715776.html

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