How comedy is speaking up about abortion
It remains a contentious and emotive issue – but, despite opposition, comedians are determined to break taboos and speak their minds, writes Alice Jones.
By Alice Jones
22 August 2019
Comedy has a long and noble history of busting taboos but is every subject fair game for humour or are some too serious to joke about? What about abortion, for example?
In 2019, it remains a contentious and emotive issue: a YouGov-Cambridge Globalism survey in May found that 46 per cent of US citizens thought abortion was unacceptable (in the same poll, only 17% of British people said abortion was unacceptable). Beliefs aside, it has the potential to be a traumatic topic for some who have undergone the procedure.
Government obliged to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland, says Labour MP
Stella Creasy backed by 60 cross-party MPs calling for human rights to be upheld
Peter Walker, Political correspondent
Fri 5 Jul 2019
The Labour MP Stella Creasy is leading another attempt to extend access to abortion to Northern Ireland, tabling an amendment arguing that the government is obliged to do this to comply with human rights obligations.
Up to 60 MPs from across different parties were expected to co-sign the amendment, according to the Walthamstow MP, who has tried in the past to change Northern Ireland’s notoriously strict abortion laws.
Mordaunt targets ‘appalling’ Northern Ireland abortion laws
Equalities minister calls for government to act after Tory rivals rule out reform
Matthew Weaver and Henry McDonald
Wed 3 Jul 2019
The women and equalities minister, Penny Mordaunt, has signalled her determination to change the “appalling” abortion laws in Northern Ireland a day after the two Conservative leadership rivals ruled out reform on the issue.
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were accused of pandering to religious fundamentalists in the Democratic Unionist party by claiming that abortion rights were a matter for the devolved assembly if power sharing was restored.
Jeremy Hunt Told Us He "Authorised" The Funding Of Abortions For Northern Irish Women. Campaigners Beg To Disagree.
The government only agreed to fund abortions for women from Northern Ireland after Hunt opposed a legal challenge by a mother and daughter seeking NHS funding for abortions for Northern Irish women.
June 18, 2019
Hannah Al-Othman, BuzzFeed News Reporter
Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt has been criticised by abortion rights campaigners for claiming credit for the funding the government provides for women in Northern Ireland to travel to England to get abortions.
At a hustings event in Westminster on Monday, BuzzFeed News asked Hunt whether, if he became prime minister, he would extend abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland, where it is currently illegal in most circumstances, including cases of rape, incest, and fatal foetal abnormalities.
A 12 week abortion limit would be a disaster for vulnerable women
Monday 10 Jun 2019
I’ve tried to avoid as much of the Tory party leadership nonsense as I can. I don’t care if one of them took coke in the 90s. I don’t really care if one of them smoked a magic pipe of pixie dust in a forest, with a wizard.
However I do care that men like Jeremy Hunt are taking this opportunity to make edicts about how they see the future of women’s rights.
Tory leadership: Hunt rules out change to abortion law
10 June 2019
Jeremy Hunt has ruled out any changes to abortion law if he becomes the UK's next prime minister.
The Tory leadership contender has been criticised after saying his "personal view" was that the legal time limit for an abortion should be reduced from 24 weeks to 12.
But he told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg: "No government I lead will ever seek to change the law on abortion."
Allowing English women to take the abortion pill at home is good news – and now we're coming for you, Northern Ireland
25 August 2018
As landmark women’s health text Our Bodies, Ourselves put it in 1970, abortion is “our right ... as women to control our own bodies. The existence of any abortion laws (however ‘liberal’) denies this right.”
Those rights are advancing in some parts of the UK, and stalling in others. The latest development is that women in England will soon be able to take an abortion pill at home: a small but significant step forward that many welcome. Yet in Northern Ireland, women still face draconian laws and life in prison for daring to access their reproductive rights.
Allowing women to take the abortion pill at home would be a great first step for Matt Hancock – and for the NHS
Women, after taking the pill in a clinic, have to race home before their miscarriage starts. They often suffer heavy bleeding and cramping before they get there
July 22, 2018
Let’s get straight to the point. Women need the new health secretary, Matt Hancock, to act now.
If he wants to reverse the damage caused by his predecessor to women’s health and to the NHS in general, he needs to move quickly. Another cabinet reshuffle is only around the corner.
50 MPs Call For Women In England To Be Able To Take Abortion Pills At Home
Women can begin to miscarry on their way home from clinics, under current regulations.
By Nicola Slawson
July 16, 2018
MPs are calling on the new health and social care secretary to allow women in England to take the second pill required for an abortion at home.
In a letter, which has gained cross-party support from more than 50 MPs, Matt Hancock has been urged to remove the restriction, which requires women to take both drugs (mifepristone and misoprostol) at a licensed clinic or hospital.
The Anti-Abortion Lobby In The UK Has More Power Than You Realise
Jeremy Hunt's refusal to extend at-home abortions to women in England has nothing to do with women's welfare, and everything to do with politics
by Vicky Spratt
July 4, 2018
Donald Trump really has a way with words doesn’t he? As the news that Supreme Court judge Anthony Kennedy was retiring, women’s hearts raced. This is the Hand Maid’s Tale-esque moment American women had feared since the news broke that Trump had beaten Hillary: it is the right’s chance to undo Roe versus Wade: the landmark ruling that legalised abortion in America.
What has Trump said about it? Simply, when it comes to replacing Kennedy he plans to pick ‘a great one’ who, presumably, will be about as great as America is right now under his watch. Perhaps ‘great’ for Trump is a bit like ‘Brexit’ for Theresa May – a catch all phrase for something chaotically bad.