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
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.
Labour MPs in fresh bid to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland
Stella Creasy launches new attempt after government rebuffs move by colleague
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.
The ethical case against sex-selective abortion isn’t simple
September 25, 2018
A key theme in public debate over abortion in many countries over the last few years has been the morality and legality of sex-selective terminations. Now the use of an early prenatal testing technique in the UK has led to further concerns.
The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is being fully introduced on the NHS this year, as a safe method of detecting Down’s Syndrome and other genetic conditions. But it has been internationally available from private providers for a number of years, and, as a 2017 report noted, is often offered as a sex-determination test. This has raised concerns that the test may be used to facilitate sex-selective abortion – particularly within communities where women can be subject to strong cultural and familial pressure not to have girls. The current legal status of this practice in the UK is a matter of some controversy.
Bill to give medical staff right to refuse role in abortions condemned
Bill would expand rights of conscientious objection for healthcare professionals
Wed 21 Mar 2018
Pro-choice groups have condemned an attempt to create new laws that would allow doctors and nurses to refuse to take part in abortions on moral grounds.
A private bill going through the House of Lords that would expand rights of conscientious objection for healthcare professionals has been dismissed as unnecessary by abortion providers and campaigners.