Northern Ireland abortion: Westminster inquiry mounts pressure on UK Government to reform law

Northern Ireland abortion: Westminster inquiry mounts pressure on UK Government to reform law
Women and Equality Committee report makes clear UK Government responsible for addressing breach of women’s rights in Northern Ireland

25 Apr 2019

The Women and Equalities Committee have today (25 April) published their inquiry report on abortion in Northern Ireland. Amnesty International UK and the Family Planning Association have welcomed the report and called on the UK Government to take immediate action.
The report identifies serious concerns with the abortion law and makes a series of important recommendations on the law, policy and practice governing abortion access for women in Northern Ireland. Critically, it calls on the UK Government to address the rights breaches found by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/northern-ireland-abortion-westminster-inquiry-mounts-pressure-uk-government-reform

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UK – Ministers accused of inaction over Northern Ireland abortion rights

Ministers accused of inaction over Northern Ireland abortion rights
MPs say government must provide clarity on legal situation for women

Heather Stewart Political editor
Thu 25 Apr 2019

Ministers must act urgently to address human rights breaches faced by women in Northern Ireland who seek an abortion, according to a damning report from a cross-party committee of MPs.

The women and equalities committee accuses the government of failing to tackle challenges identified by a UN committee on women’s rights last year, which found “systematic violations”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/25/ministers-accused-of-inaction-over-northern-ireland-abortion-rights

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UK intervention on global abortion rights ‘welcome’ but urgent need for Northern Ireland law reform remains

UK intervention on global abortion rights 'welcome' but urgent need for Northern Ireland law reform remains

April 9, 2019

Responding to a speech by International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt at an event hosted by the Canadian High Commission yesterday, Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager, said:

“We very much welcome the Development Secretary championing abortion rights on a global scale and speaking out in support of women’s right to freedom and choice over their own bodies. The roll-back on reproductive rights in some places around the world is deeply concerning and must be addressed.

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/uk-intervention-global-abortion-rights-welcome-urgent-need-northern-ireland-law

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UN says Northern Ireland’s abortion laws violate the human rights of women

the UN says northern ireland’s abortion laws violate the human rights of women
A United Nations Committee found that the current restrictive abortion laws in Northern Ireland breach the UK’s international human rights obligations.

by Roisin Lanigan
11 March 2019

While the Republic of Ireland’s historic vote to repeal the 8th Amendment transformed the lives of thousands of women last year, giving them access to healthcare, termination of pregnancies without having to travel and the right to choose, women in Northern Ireland are still suffering. While abortion is now legal in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland, in the North it is still considered a crime, punishable with up to life in prison. On average 28 women every day make the journey to Britain to obtain abortions after being denied medical treatment at home in Northern Ireland.

Since the 8th Amendment was repealed activists in the North have been leading a campaign, #NowForNI, to help those women currently oppressed and left behind by the region’s draconian abortion laws. Today, the campaign received a huge boost as a United Nations Committee said that not only are those laws oppressive, they are also a violation of international human rights obligations.

Continued: https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/panwmb/the-un-says-northern-irelands-abortion-laws-violate-the-human-rights-of-women

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Northern Ireland abortion protest led by Derry Girls and cross-party MPs at Westminster

Northern Ireland abortion protest led by Derry Girls and cross-party MPs at Westminster
Karen Bradley must 'stop hiding behind the excuse of devolution' and decriminalise terminations, says Amnesty

Maya Oppenheim, Women's Correspondent @mayaoppenheim
Feb 26, 2019

Female MPs and the stars of the TV programme Derry Girls marched on Westminster to call for the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland has a ban on abortions in almost all cases – even rape or incest. Abortion is only permitted when there is a risk to the life of the mother, or a serious risk to her physical or mental health.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/northern-ireland-abortion-protest-derry-girls-westminster-a8798281.html

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Derry Girls join Northern Ireland abortion protest

Derry Girls join Northern Ireland abortion protest
Cast members march on Westminster to lobby secretary of state for change in law

Mattha Busby
Tue 26 Feb 2019

Stars of the hit television show Derry Girls have joined a group of female MPs in a march on Westminster calling for the extension of abortion rights to Northern Ireland.

The women, including the actors Siobhan McSweeney and Nicola Coughlan, formed part of a group of 28 to symbolise the number of people who leave Northern Ireland for England and Wales each week to have an abortion.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/26/derry-girls-northern-ireland-abortion-protest

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‘Brave’ Belfast woman forced to go to England for abortion launches bid to change law on human rights grounds

'Brave' Belfast woman forced to go to England for abortion launches bid to change law on human rights grounds
'Each time I re-live the trauma. I hope this will be the last time I have to go to court and prove that women like me should be able to access abortion services at home,' says Sarah Ewart

Maya Oppenheim, Women's Correspondent
Jan 29, 2019

A landmark case in Belfast High Court could find Northern Ireland’s abortion law in breach of the UK’s human rights commitments, say experts.

Sarah Ewart, who was forced to travel to England for an abortion after being told her unborn child would not survive outside the womb, has launched a new case which starts on Wednesday.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/northern-ireland-abortion-sarah-ewart-high-court-case-human-rights-commission-a8752241.html

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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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Northern Ireland: woman who bought abortion pills for daughter in court to challenge prosecution

Northern Ireland: woman who bought abortion pills for daughter in court to challenge prosecution

5 Nov 2018
Amnesty International

Mother could face a criminal trial and up to 5 years in prison

‘The fear and pain of it all. I feel like I am not allowed to move on’ – mother speaks out

This is the first-time a prosecution relating to Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion law has been challenged

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/northern-ireland-woman-who-bought-abortion-pills-daughter-court-challenge-1

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Northern Irish woman to challenge abortion prosecution

Northern Irish woman to challenge abortion prosecution
Mother fights decision to take her to trial on charges of supplying pills to daughter, 15

Rory Carroll Ireland correspondent
Mon 5 Nov 2018

A woman who is facing prosecution for obtaining abortion pills for her pregnant underage daughter is due to challenge the move in a potential legal landmark for Northern Ireland’s criminalisation of abortion.

The woman will appear in a Belfast court on Tuesday to seek to overturn a decision by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland to subject her to a criminal trial and the prospect of five years in prison for supplying the pills in 2013 to her then 15-year-old daughter, who terminated the pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/nov/05/northern-irish-woman-abortion-pills-fights-prosecution

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