Northern Ireland: We are the invisible victims of the DUP’s anti-abortion hardliners

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We are the invisible victims of the DUP’s anti-abortion hardliners
Any fight to protect women’s rights under a Tory-DUP regime is useless if it ignores the fight in Northern Ireland to have these rights for the first time

Elizabeth Nelson
Monday 19 June 2017

Five years ago a 15-year-old girl travelled from Northern Ireland to Manchester with her mother to have an abortion in a private clinic. The procedure plus travel and accommodation cost them about £900. They were UK citizens. Had they been resident elsewhere in the UK, a termination would have been free on the NHS. But they were from Northern Ireland and this is the price – psychological, medical, physical and literal – that women in Northern Ireland pay for living here.

Amid the outrage about what a British government propped up by the Democratic Unionist party would mean for the rights of women in Britain, and for lesbian, gay and transgender communities, the experiences of those groups in Northern Ireland have been all but invisible.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/19/invisible-victims-dup-anti-abortion-womens-rights-northern-ireland

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Abortion: NI women not entitled to NHS terminations in England

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Abortion: NI women not entitled to NHS terminations in England

June 14, 2017

The Supreme Court challenge centred on the case of a Northern Ireland woman who became pregnant when she was 15. She went to England with her mother for an abortion in a private clinic in 2012, at a cost of about £900.Northern Ireland's abortion law is much stricter than the rest of the UK.

The mother and daughter took the case against UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who conceded that he had the power to make provisions for Northern Ireland residents to access free NHS abortions in England.

Continued at link:BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-40271763

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Supreme court narrowly rejects Northern Ireland free abortions appeal

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Supreme court narrowly rejects Northern Ireland free abortions appeal

Mother and daughter were appealing for women from Northern Ireland to receive free abortions on the NHS in England

Amelia Gentleman
Wednesday 14 June 2017

The supreme court has ruled that women from Northern Ireland are not entitled to free access to abortions on the NHS, a decision that was condemned by campaigners as a “further blow to women” from the region.

A panel of supreme court judges narrowly upheld an earlier judgment, confirming that women who travel to England from Northern Ireland, which has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, cannot receive free abortion care on the NHS.

Continued at link: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/14/supreme-court-narrowly-rejects-northern-ireland-free-abortions-appeal

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Humanists UK urges British leaders to allow free NHS abortions for Northern Ireland women

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Humanists UK urges British leaders to allow free NHS abortions for Northern Ireland women
June 14th, 2017

Today, the Supreme Court ruled that the matter of charging Northern Irish women to access abortion services on NHS England, which are free women living in Britain, is a political decision. Therefore, the UK Government and, specifically, the Secretary of State for Health, has the power to end this unequal and discriminatory charge. Humanists UK, in response to today’s judgment, is calling upon anyone concerned by the unequal treatment of Northern Irish women  to sign its petition urging Theresa May, Nicola Sturgeon, and Carwyn Jones to grant Northern Irish free access to abortion services on the NHS in England, Scotland, and Wales respectively.

Continued at source: Humanists UK: https://humanism.org.uk/2017/06/14/humanists-uk-urges-mainland-british-leaders-to-allow-free-nhs-abortions-for-northern-ireland-women/

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UK: High-quality abortion services come at a price, so let’s pay it

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by Ann Furedi
Abortion care charities now have to compete for contracts – and NHS cost-cutting means the cheapest service is almost always commissioned

Ann Furedi is chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Thursday 22 December 2016, The Guardian

Abortion today is an extremely safe, straightforward procedure, provided in a highly regulated environment. One in three women in the UK will have an abortion in her lifetime, funded by the NHS (except if she lives in Northern Ireland). This will usually take place within an NHS hospital or in a centre run by one of the independent charitable providers – the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) or Marie Stopes International (MSI). But just because it is safe doesn’t mean corners can be cut, or providers can pick and mix from rules and regulations, as was unearthed in the course of the care quality commission’s investigation of MSI.

[continued at link]
Source: The Guardian

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UK Supreme Court asked to rule on abortion funding for Northern Ireland residents

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Tue Nov 1, 2016 | 8:06pm EDT, Reuters

Women's rights groups are to ask the British Supreme Court on Wednesday to compel the government to fund abortions for Northern Ireland residents traveling to England to avoid some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

While the National Health Service routinely provides free abortions to women in most of the United Kingdom, abortion is only permitted in the British province of Northern Ireland when a woman’s life is at risk or if there is a risk of permanent and serious damage to her mental or physical health.

Last year just 16 abortions were carried out in Northern Ireland but women's rights groups estimate that around 1,000 women travel to Britain each year for terminations, which they must finance themselves along with travel and other costs.

[continued at link]
Source: Reuters

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