Northern Ireland’s abortion laws are an abomination. Westminster must step in
The government must heed a select committee report – and end the brutal, primitivist treatment of women in the region
Thu 25 Apr 2019
They were all there: Northern Ireland’s DUP and Sinn Féin leaders, side by side with the Good Friday agreement’s guarantors, the British and Irish prime ministers. All were gathered at the funeral of the journalist Lyra McKee. “Why in God’s name,” asked Fr Martin Magill, had it taken her death to bring them together? But his exasperated tone implied he didn’t expect a political miracle.
Visit this deadlocked region, the UK’s poorest, and it feels transformed from the dark days of the troubles. But its political paralysis is partly a product of Westminster’s longstanding neglect of the region, at least until the DUP unexpectedly came to play a pivotal role in the Brexit psychodrama. The red hand of Ulster holds in its palm the fate of May’s Brexit deal, though the DUP doesn’t represent the far more progressive and forward-looking remain-voting country. The party may yet become Boris Johnson’s kingmakers through its refusal to back Theresa May’s deal.
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”.
DUP calls for its voice to be heard in Westminster abortion inquiry
Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
September 25 2018
The DUP has expressed reservations about a Westminster inquiry into Northern Ireland’s abortion ban, and appealed for all views to be represented.
The staunchly anti-abortion party, which is supporting the prime minister Theresa May’s Conservative minority government, has also claimed that some UK politicians have used the issue to try to embarrass the British government.
New inquiry: Abortion law in Northern Ireland
The Women and Equalities Committee launches inquiry looking into abortion law in Northern Ireland.
20 September 2018
In Northern Ireland, abortion is only legal in circumstances where the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy poses a serious, permanent or long-term risk to her health and wellbeing.
In 2016, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women conducted an inquiry on the subject of access to abortion in Northern Ireland. It concluded that the rights of women in Northern Ireland were being violated by restrictions on access to abortion, and argued that devolution of power over criminal law to the Northern Ireland Assembly did not remove the responsibility of the UK Government for this matter.
How did Northern Ireland lawmakers carve out an anti-abortion ‘ghetto’ within the UK?
Northern Ireland remains a blind spot for equality for women and members of the LGBTIQ community. Will Ireland’s abortion referendum change this?
11 June 2018
More than two weeks have passed since Ireland’s historic abortion referendum was won by a groundswell of grassroots feminist activism. A large majority (66.4%) voted to repeal the country’s eighth constitutional amendment, opening the door to proposed legislation to allow abortions up to 12 weeks.
Huge numbers of repeal campaigners and voters were young women – with a staggering 94% increase in the turnout of women aged 18-24, compared to the 2016 general election. The result reflected a frank rejection of decades of misogyny and the suffocating grip of church and state on women’s rights.
Tory deputy chair attacks MPs over Northern Ireland abortion law
James Cleverly says calls for Westminster to legislate in Northern Ireland are ‘party political game playing’
Jessica Elgot and Peter Walker
Wed 30 May 2018
Conservative party deputy chair James Cleverly has hit out at MPs campaigning for a change in Northern Irish abortion law, accusing Labour of exploiting the issue for party political gain.
Cleverly made his attack despite the fact that at least 13 female Conservative MPs have publicly supported a change to the law in Northern Ireland, which has some of the most restrictive rules on abortion in the world.
Finally the injustice of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws is being recognised – Theresa May must end this gross violation of women's rights
Theresa May is a self-proclaimed feminist, yet she is the one who got into bed with the DUP – which is vocal about its opposition to women accessing abortions – in order to keep hold of her job as prime minister
May 28, 2018
On Friday, the Republic of Ireland overwhelmingly voted to repeal the eighth amendment to its constitution, which prevented abortion in almost all cases, meaning that women in Ireland were forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, often to the detriment of their health and even threatening their lives. There is no doubt this is a huge success for pro-choice activists the world over.
But before the dust had settled, the focus had shifted to Northern Ireland as now within Europe only Malta, San Marino and the Vatican have more draconian laws than part of the United Kingdom.
Government U-turns on NHS abortions for Northern Ireland women
The Government is heading off a possible defeat on the issue at the hands of Labour
Jon Stone, Rob Merrick
Thursday 29 June 2017
The English NHS will provide free abortions for women visiting from Northern Ireland, the Government has announced.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the policy change in the House of Commons after Labour proposed an amendment to the Queen's Speech that would have forced the change.
The amendment, proposed by MP Stella Creasy, was picked for a vote later today – and was expected to be backed by some Tory backbenchers.
Continued at source: The Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/northern-ireland-nhs-abortions-uk-pay-terminations-pregnancy-philip-hammond-dup-a7814606.html
Northern Irish women win access to free abortions as May averts rebellion
Ministers announce funding for NI women to have abortions in England, in attempt to head off Tory revolt in Queen’s speech vote
Jessica Elgot and Henry McDonald
Thursday 29 June 2017
A decades-long struggle to give Northern Irish women access to terminations on the NHS in mainland Britain was unexpectedly won in the space of 24 hours on Thursday, as the UK government dramatically changed its policy in an attempt to head off a damaging Tory rebellion on the Queen’s speech.
Dozens of Conservative MPs were understood to have expressed to Tory whips their support for an amendment by the Labour MP Stella Creasy to allow Northern Irish women access to NHS-funded abortions in Great Britain.
Continued at link: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/29/rebel-tories-could-back-northern-ireland-abortion-amendment