N. Ireland: Now that abortion is legal, services need to be available across the region

Goretti Horgan: Now that abortion is legal, services need to be available across the region

26 May, 2020
Goretti Horgan

THE redrafted regulations governing the provision of abortion in the north of Ireland were laid at Westminster on Wednesday May 13.

These regulations have been described as "extreme". In fact, they are not at all extreme but mirror the recommendations of the Citizens' Assembly in the south in relation to the kind of abortion law that should be available.

Continued: https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2020/05/26/news/goretti-horgan-now-that-abortion-is-legal-services-need-to-be-available-across-the-region-1951500/

USA – How Abortion Pills Will Shape Our Future

How Abortion Pills Will Shape Our Future
The Supreme Court may make it harder to get to an abortion clinic, but thanks to drugs, coat hangers can remain a thing of the past.

By Katha Pollitt
Oct 10, 2019

The news that the Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case since Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy has prompted many to wonder whether Roe v. Wade will finally, unfortunately, be overturned. The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, challenges a Louisiana law requiring clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Sound familiar? In 2016 in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the court struck down a Texas law over a similar requirement. You’d think that would have settled the matter, but no. The case is essentially the same, but the court is not.

Continued: https://www.thenation.com/article/kavanaugh-pills-abortion/

Abortion law ‘harsher in Northern Ireland than in Alabama’

Abortion law ‘harsher in Northern Ireland than in Alabama’

May 25, 2019

Campaigners say women can face jail sentences up to life in UK owing to 1861 legislation

Alabama’s near total ban on abortion mirrors the situation in one corner of the UK: Northern Ireland.

But pro-choice campaigners in the region say Northern Irish anti-abortion laws are actually stricter than the legislation Republican senators have introduced in the southern US state.

Continued: http://www.brinkwire.com/canada/abortion-law-harsher-in-northern-ireland-than-in-alabama/

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

If Northern Irish women can now have an abortion in England, why not here?

If Northern Irish women can now have an abortion in England, why not here?
A policy offering free terminations for those who can travel is a first step. Now we need to change the law for those who can’t
Pro-choice rally in Northern Ireland

Goretti Horgan
Tuesday 22 August 2017

Northern Ireland’s Department of Health has declined to issue new guidance on abortion to doctors and other health professionals because “there has been no change to the law on abortion”. This is despite the fact that the situation clearly has changed since women from the region can now access free, NHS abortions in England.

This stubborn refusal to recognise the reality of women’s reproductive healthcare needs is concerning because it ignores the fact that, at present, GPs in Northern Ireland are not permitted to purchase procedures outside Northern Ireland “that would be illegal in Northern Ireland”. This prohibition clearly needs to be updated to take account of the new situation.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/22/women-northern-ireland-abortion-reproductive-rights-westminster-change-law

UK: BPAS withdraws abortion fees for Northern Irish women

BPAS withdraws abortion fees for Northern Irish women
British Pregnancy Advisory Services acts ‘in response to government’s commitment to provide abortion care funding’

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent
Monday 3 July 2017

Northern Irish women who travel to England, Scotland or Wales to have abortions will no longer have to pay consultation and treatment fees to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.

BPAS announced on Monday that it had decided also to refund women from the region who used their services last Friday, after the threat of a parliamentary defeat over the Queen’s speech last week forced the government to scrap its policy of not funding abortions on the NHS for Northern Irish women in other parts of Britain.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/03/bpas-withdraws-abortion-fees-northern-irish-women

Stella Creasy Has Called For British Women To Be Allies To Northern Irish Women On Abortion

Stella Creasy Has Called For British Women To Be Allies To Northern Irish Women On Abortion

Labour MP Stella Creasy has put forward an amendment to the Queen's Speech to allow women from Northern Ireland to access NHS abortion services in England and Wales.

Posted on June 23, 2017
Laura Silver
BuzzFeed News Reporter

Labour MP Stella Creasy is calling on women in England and Wales to help women in Northern Ireland access NHS-funded abortion by writing to their MPs in support of an amendment to the Queen's Speech.

Abortion is currently illegal in almost all circumstances in Northern Ireland, where the Abortion Act 1967 – the law which allows access to abortion in the rest of the UK – was never applied.

Continued at source: Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/laurasilver/this-mp-has-called-for-british-women-to-be-allies-to

We Trust Women: the case for decriminalising abortion

In every country in the UK today, a woman who ends her own pregnancy without legal authorisation from 2 doctors can be sentenced to life in prison, under legislation passed before women had the vote.

The 1967 Abortion Act did not overturn these laws, but provided legal exemptions. It did not extend to Northern Ireland. Even where the Act applies, abortion is not a choice women can make for herself, but a decision which must be made on her behalf by 2 doctors. And women are still being prosecuted – and imprisoned - for ending their own pregnancies in the UK.

Public opinion is now more liberal than the law, yet we have seen little progress on reproductive rights since the 1960s. Join our panel of experts and discuss why we need to campaign for full decriminalisation of abortion across the UK.

Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of bpas

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society

Elizabeth Prochaska, Human rights barrister at Matrix Chambers and founder of Birthrights

Diane Munday, Pioneering campaigner for the 1967 Abortion Act and former general secretary of the Abortion Law Reform Association in 1960’s

Goretti Horgan, Alliance for Choice Northern Ireland

Naomi Phillips, British Humanist Association (BHA)


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