Abortion law change: Is Northern Ireland really next?

Abortion law change: Is Northern Ireland really next?
Pro-choice activists in the North hope a string of court cases will advance their cause

Sat, Jan 12, 2019
Susan McKay

On the 29th of this month, Sarah Ewart will appear before the High court in Belfast to present her case that women in Northern Ireland should have access to rights enjoyed by women in all other parts of the United Kingdom.

Ewart is bracing herself – this appearance, while demanding, will be infinitely less agonising than other ordeals she has been through. Five years ago, aged 23, the Belfast woman travelled to an abortion clinic in England to terminate a much wanted pregnancy that was otherwise going to end with the birth of a baby with a foetal abnormality.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/abortion-law-change-is-northern-ireland-really-next-1.3753579

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Ireland/N.Ireland – Abortion for a select few wasn’t the goal when we campaigned to repeal the eighth – but that’s exactly what’s happening

Abortion for a select few wasn’t the goal when we campaigned to repeal the eighth – but that’s exactly what’s happening
Now that it’s emerged that Northern Irish people seeking abortion services in the republic will have to pay €450, it’s clear this isn’t the end of the fight for legalisation in Ireland

Katie Goh
Jan 7, 2019

In May of last year, when Ireland voted for legalisation of abortion in its historic referendum, pro-choice campaigners on both sides of the Northern Irish-Irish border celebrated. The campaign to repeal the eighth amendment (the law that previously made abortion illegal in Ireland) had begun as a grassroots movement, culminating in a mass cultural shift led by both Irish and Northern Irish activists.

Many in the north, particularly those in border counties, canvassed in the republic, held fundraisers and rallies, and threw themselves behind pushing for a Yes vote despite not being able to vote in the referendum themselves.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-northern-ireland-republic-repeal-eighth-vote-referendum-family-planning-a8715276.html

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N.Ireland – Abortion pills prosecution could have ‘chilling effect’

Abortion pills prosecution could have 'chilling effect'

By Catherine Smyth, BBC News NI
6 November 2018

The decision to prosecute a woman accused of buying abortion pills for her 15-year-old daughter could have a "chilling effect" on woman and girls in a similar situation, a court has heard.

A lawyer representing the Northern Irish woman made the comments at the High Court in Belfast. The woman is challenging the decision to prosecute her.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46099973

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New inquiry: Abortion law in Northern Ireland

New inquiry: Abortion law in Northern Ireland
The Women and Equalities Committee launches inquiry looking into abortion law in Northern Ireland.

20 September 2018

Background

In Northern Ireland, abortion is only legal in circumstances where the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy poses a serious, permanent or long-term risk to her health and wellbeing.

In 2016, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women conducted an inquiry on the subject of access to abortion in Northern Ireland. It concluded that the rights of women in Northern Ireland were being violated by restrictions on access to abortion, and argued that devolution of power over criminal law to the Northern Ireland Assembly did not remove the responsibility of the UK Government for this matter.

Continued: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/women-and-equalities-committee/news-parliament-2017/abortion-law-northern-ireland-launch-17-19/?mc_cid=b515a2798a&mc_eid=daef22644f

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This British overseas territory has some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe – welcome to Gibraltar

This British overseas territory has some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe - welcome to Gibraltar

Molly McElwee
20 August 2018

Last week, Argentina's senate blocked a bill to legalise abortion up to 14 weeks. In a year marked by progress for women's rights campaigners - including the Ireland referendum victory to repeal its outdated abortion laws - it has come as a huge setback.

Not even stories of 500,000 illegal abortions, leading to 100 unnecessary deaths every year - including one in the days since the bill was blocked - could break through the staunchly Catholic country's status quo.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/british-overseas-territory-has-strictest-abortion-laws-europe/

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UK politicians call for Northern Ireland abortion reforms

UK politicians call for Northern Ireland abortion reforms
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where abortion is illegal unless pregnancy poses a serious health risk.

22 Jul 2018

More than 170 politicians from the UK and Ireland have signed a letter calling on the UK government to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.

The cross-party letter, published in UK newspaper The Sunday Times, said the "current situation for women [in Northern Ireland] cannot be ignored or allowed to continue".

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/07/uk-politicians-call-northern-ireland-abortion-reforms-180722081907466.html

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Removing shackles of abortion restrictions in Ireland

Removing shackles of abortion restrictions in Ireland

July 18, 2018

The landslide victory of the Yes campaign in the May 2018 referendum paves the way for an end to decades of harms caused by the abortion ban (the 8th amendment) of the Irish Constitution.

Inserted in 1983, this provision prevented legal abortion in all cases except risk to a pregnant woman’s life. It has forced thousands of women and girls to leave Ireland to access care, to undergo illegal abortions or to continue pregnancy against their will.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/removing-shackles-abortion-restrictions-ireland

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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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Abortion referendum aftermath: Is Northern Ireland next?

Abortion referendum aftermath: Is Northern Ireland next?
Its laws breach human rights, and its people back change, but politicians remain resistant

Sat, Jun 9, 2018
Fionola Meredith

The decisive vote for repeal in the Republic’s referendum on the Eighth Amendment to its Constitution sent a seismic jolt through Northern Ireland, where abortion remains illegal in almost all cases. It has intensified public conversation about the issue, inspiring pro-choice activists to renew their demands for a change in the law.

Last week, in a protest outside Belfast’s High Court, women from the socialist feminist organisation Rosa NI swallowed abortion pills while being filmed by police. The verdict in the South has also caused uncertainty and dismay in anti-abortion campaigners, who fear that, in the words of the slogan, the North is next.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/abortion-referendum-aftermath-is-northern-ireland-next-1.3522667

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Government under pressure over ‘incompatible’ Northern Ireland abortion law

Government under pressure over ‘incompatible’ Northern Ireland abortion law
Pro-choice campaigners demand action after Supreme Court judges say ban on terminations needs ‘radical reconsideration’.

June 7 2018

The Government is facing mounting pressure to reform abortion laws in Northern Ireland after Supreme Court judges said they were incompatible with human rights legislation.

Pro-choice campaigners demanded action after a majority of Supreme Court judges said the ban on terminations in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality needed “radical reconsideration”.

Continued: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/republic-of-ireland/government-under-pressure-over-incompatible-northern-ireland-abortion-law-36986743.html

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