MPs step up pressure for Northern Ireland abortion reform

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MPs step up pressure for Northern Ireland abortion reform
Cross-party calls for backing on plan to force May to intervene

Michael Savage
Sat 2 Jun 2018

MPs are being canvassed to back a plan to force through measures liberalising abortion in Northern Ireland, it has emerged.

A cross-party coalition has drawn up a proposal that would force Theresa May into taking action. Some of the most senior women in the Tory party are said to be supportive of the campaign following the landslide result in Ireland’s referendum in favour of ending its near total ban on abortion.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/02/mps-urged-back-forced-liberalisation-abortion-northern-ireland

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MPs call for exclusion zones around abortion clinics to stop protests

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MPs call for exclusion zones around abortion clinics to stop protests
Home secretary urged to follow lead of Ealing council in effort to prevent harassment

Dan Sabbagh
Thu 31 May 2018

Dozens of MPs are demanding Sajid Javid introduce exclusion zones outside abortion clinics in England and Wales to prevent protesters from harassing women, ahead of a court case that could see the sole existing safety area scrapped.

Rupa Huq, who represents Ealing Central and Acton, accused the home secretary of sitting on a review started by his predecessor Amber Rudd, which she and 160 other MPs and peers from all parties believe could halt emotive anti-abortion protests that take place outside an estimated 42 clinics.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/31/mps-call-for-exclusion-zones-around-abortion-clinics-protests-harassment

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The only Northern Irish woman with a choice about abortion? Arlene Foster

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The only Northern Irish woman with a choice about abortion? Arlene Foster
In Northern Ireland a rape victim seeking to end a pregnancy risks a longer sentence than her attacker. This has to change

Stella Creasy
Tue 29 May 2018

The jubilation at the result of the referendum on abortion in Ireland quickly gave way to rage as focus turned to Northern Ireland, where women are treated as second-class citizens when it comes to their reproductive rights.

Abortion is only legal in that part of the UK if the mother’s life is at immediate risk – as the law stands, a victim of rape who sought to end an unwanted pregnancy would risk a longer prison sentence than her attacker. Women whose babies will not live outside the womb are forced to carry them to term.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/29/northern-ireland-abortion-choice-arlene-foster-dup-rape-pregnancy

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Number of Tasmanians travelling interstate for abortions rises fivefold

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Number of Tasmanians travelling interstate for abortions rises fivefold
Marie Stopes chief executive says the state needs abortion care funding reform

Calla Wahlquist
Fri 27 Apr 2018

The number of Tasmanians travelling interstate for abortions has increased fivefold since the state’s only dedicated abortion clinic shut in January, Marie Stopes Australia has said.

The chief executive of Marie Stopes, Michelle Thompson, said the number of women from Tasmania who were visiting the Melbourne clinic had increased from about two a month to 10 or 12 a month since the closure of the Hobart clinic, which offered surgical terminations of pregnancies up to 12 weeks.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/27/number-of-tasmanians-travelling-interstate-for-abortions-rises-fivefold

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Britain enforces first abortion clinic exclusion zone

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Britain enforces first abortion clinic exclusion zone

Apr 23, 2018

LONDON (AFP) - A ban on pro-life protests outside an abortion clinic in London came into force on Monday (April 23) in a first that pro-choice campaigners hope will set a precedent for the country.

The local authority in Ealing, west London, imposed an exclusion zone after claims that women and staff at the Marie Stopes clinic were being intimidated and harassed by vigils that have been held outside the building for more than 20 years.

Continued: https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/britain-enforces-first-abortion-clinic-exclusion-zone

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GREAT BRITAIN – Documenting the harassment of anti-abortion protests

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GREAT BRITAIN – Documenting the harassment of anti-abortion protests
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Mar 2, 2018

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) is a charity that offers abortion care, contraception, STI testing, miscarriage management, and pregnancy counselling to nearly 80,000 women each year via clinics in England, Wales, and Scotland. As part of their advocacy work, they have been running the Back Off campaign to introduce legal buffer zones around abortion clinics and pregnancy advisory bureaux since 2014, based on evidence collected from their clients that protests outside clinics are distressing and intimidating. Their work with Rupa Huq, a Member of Parliament, led to the establishment of a government review into protests outside abortion clinics, to which they wrote an in-depth response.

In the last 12 months, 18 of their 70 clinics have been affected by anti-abortion protests, including:

Continued:http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/great-britain-documenting-the-harassment-of-anti-abortion-protests/

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UK: Why buffer zones around abortion clinics do not threaten the right to protest

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Why buffer zones around abortion clinics do not threaten the right to protest
February 13, 2018
Arianne Shahvisi

Ealing council in West London could soon set up a buffer zone to limit the harassment faced by patients of a local abortion clinic. The clinic is run by the reproductive health charity Marie Stopes, one of many abortion providers across the UK regularly targeted by anti-abortion protestors. In mid-January, councillors voted to launch a public consultation about the creation of a Public Space Protection Order, or buffer zone, around the clinic.

Common forms of anti-abortion protest include public prayer, hymns, and chanting. Protesters also distribute leaflets exaggerating the risks of abortion, display posters including images of aborted foetuses, strew

continued: https://theconversation.com/why-buffer-zones-around-abortion-clinics-do-not-threaten-the-right-to-protest-90371

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‘Shrouded in shame’: the young women on either side of Ireland’s abortion debate

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'Shrouded in shame': the young women on either side of Ireland's abortion debate
Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists are gearing up for a hard-fought referendum in which the youth vote could prove key

Ammar Kalia
Tue 30 Jan 2018

An average of 11 women travel each day from the island of Ireland to have an abortion in England and Wales, according to the most recent Department of Health data. That adds up to more than 200,000 journeys since 1983, when the passing of the Eighth Amendment underlined the ban on abortions in the republic.

In Northern Ireland, the potential punishment for contravening the ban is even more severe. “It’s much more difficult even to have a conversation about abortion in Belfast,” says Jess Brien, a 25-year-old pro-choice campaigner who lives in Northern Ireland’s capital, “because the maximum sentence for having one here is life imprisonment.”

continued: https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/jan/30/ireland-abortion-referendum-debate-young-women

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How UK anti-abortion activists use American tactics to shock and shame women

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How UK anti-abortion activists use American tactics to shock and shame women
Phoebe Braithwaite
19 December 2017

50 years after the 1967 Abortion Act, the anti-abortion movement is consolidating – with transatlantic support.

Anti-abortion activists gathered outside the UK Houses of Parliament on 27 October to protest 50 years since the passing into law of the UK’s 1967 Abortion Act. Nina Naidu* was working nearby, and went to take a closer look.

Like many women in the UK, she had previous, personal experience with both abortion and virulent anti-choice demonstrators. Earlier this year, the 24-year-old decided to terminate a pregnancy, and was accosted by protestors on the way to her appointment.

Continued at source: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/phoebe-braithwaite/uk-anti-abortion-american-tactics-shock-shame

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The rate of abortion in Australia is lower than you think

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The rate of abortion in Australia is lower than you think
By the National Reporting Team's Alison Branley and medical reporter Sophie Scott

Updated December 13, 2017

An ABC investigation has found that Australia has been following international trends and many of the available statistics point to a marked reduction in terminations across the country to a rate as low as 13.5 per 1,000 women.

Despite the available evidence, key opinion leaders, including the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, academics and family planning clinics, continue to mistakenly suggest Australia has one of the highest rates of abortion in the developed world — even though it is lower than countries like the UK and Canada.

Continued at source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/the-rate-of-abortion-in-australia-is-lower-than-you-think/9250122

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