Amy Dunne on her lonely, harrowing abortion fight: 'I was told I would be done for murder'
At 17, Dunne was pregnant with a baby who had a fatal abnormality. She was given a pseudonym and became the focus of a landmark Irish legal case – but now she is reclaiming her story
Thu 5 Dec 2019
The week Amy Dunne turned 17, she was several months pregnant and made two discoveries – one devastating and the other incomprehensible. A hospital scan showed something badly wrong in her womb. The foetus had anencephaly, a fatal abnormality. Doctors said the baby, a girl, would die soon after birth.
Although she was living in foster care and still a child herself, Dunne had looked forward to becoming a mother and building a new life with her boyfriend. Distraught, she shared the news with her social workers and said she needed to travel to Britain from Ireland for an abortion. That’s when Dunne discovered something badly wrong in her country.
Abortion: Public consulted on new Northern Ireland laws
By Jayne McCormack, BBC News NI Political Reporter
4 November 2019
A public consultation about a new legal framework on abortion services in Northern Ireland has been opened.
It follows the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland last month after MPs passed a law in Parliament.
‘It is not a crime’: The women behind North’s abortion law change
Pro-choice campaigners say there is much yet to do, but for now they are celebrating
Oct 26, 2019
Two years ago, a Belfast woman told Danielle Roberts what she had told no one else – that she had had an abortion.
“She closed the kitchen door in her own house before she would say to me that she had taken abortion pills,” says Roberts.
Northern Irish GPs face ‘legal uncertainty’ as abortion decriminalised
Doctor says abortion services not deregulated and abortions up to 28 weeks not allowed
Oct 22, 2019
Freya McClements, Gerry Moriarty
Doctors in Northern Ireland must be given clarification about the rules now governing abortion laws following the decriminalisation of abortion this week, professional bodies representing GPs and midwives have warned.
GPs continue “to face uncertainty about where they stand legally”, warned Dr Gráinne Doran, the chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners Northern Ireland.
Abortion to be decriminalised in Northern Ireland
Much to the chagrin of the DUP, Northern Ireland will be brought into regulatory alignment with the rest of the UK.
Oct 21, 2019
Women in Northern Ireland will have a legal right to safe abortions from midnight local time (23:00 GMT) on Monday, after a last-ditch bid to maintain the illegality of terminations fell apart in the regional legislature.
MPs at Westminster successfully amended a bill in the summer to include measures to end the near-blanket prohibition on abortion and introduce same-sex marriage, bringing Northern Ireland into regulatory alignment with the rest of the United Kingdom.
NI abortion: Guidelines issued ahead of 21 October deadline
8 October 2019
The government has published guidance for healthcare professionals on abortion law in Northern Ireland.
The new guidelines cover the period from 22 October to 31 March 2020.
They set out what will happen following changes to the law after 21 October, if the NI Executive is not restored.
‘The doctors in Northern Ireland knew my baby would die. But I was refused an abortion’
One grieving woman tells of the suffering the current ban caused her
Sun 6 Oct 2019
Denise Phelan was denied an abortion three years ago in circumstances so extreme she still finds it harrowing to speak about it, and does so only because she is determined that no other woman should be forced to go through a similar experience.
“My anger wakes me up at night. It’s a deep, almost in-the-bone anger,” she says. She and her husband, Richard Gosnold, are also still grieving for the loss of their baby, Alenja. Their trauma has been prolonged and they feel it is too late now to try for another pregnancy.
This week has proved that the fight for abortion rights is far from over
Kerry Abel, Chair of the Abortion Rights campaign
Sunday 6 Oct 2019
As the Chair of Abortion Rights, I am often asked why my organisation is still needed in 2019.
This week has been proof of why.
We’ve seen the High Court ruling that Northern Ireland’s archaic abortion laws breach the UK’s human right commitments, while also witnessing the disgusting harassment of Stella Creasy in her constituency, with anti-choice bullies putting up billboards with vile, misleading images they claim to be of foetuses.
Northern Ireland abortion law ruled to breach human rights
High court in Belfast rules against Northern Ireland’s strict abortion law
Rory Carroll, Ireland correspondent
Thu 3 Oct 2019
Northern Ireland’s near-blanket abortion ban breaches the UK’s human rights commitments, the high court in Belfast has ruled.
The decision, on Thursday, was made following a case brought by Sarah Ewart, 29, who was denied a termination in 2013 despite a scan showing the foetus she was carrying would not survive.
Why Ireland’s battle over abortion is far from over
From sham websites to rogue crisis pregnancy centres, Irish anti-abortionists are using shocking tactics to block women’s rights to safe abortions
Thu 3 Oct 2019
It has been more than a year since the landslide vote for abortion rights in Ireland, yet last weekend hundreds of people were once more marching through the streets of Dublin, chanting: “Get your rosaries off our ovaries!” “It’s nonsense, what are they marching for?” a guard standing on the road outside the National maternity hospital asked a colleague on a motorbike – referring to the 2018 referendum in which the Irish public voted overwhelmingly to repeal the law prohibiting abortion. The answer is that, while the law may have changed, many people are still struggling to access abortions in Ireland due to a lack of provision, the time restrictions on terminations, the illegal activities of anti-abortion campaigners – and an enduring legacy of shame.