International law and the provision of abortion services

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International law and the provision of abortion services

Kirsten Sjøvoll considers whether the Supreme Court's approach to international law as an aid to interpretation of the ECHR is out of step with Strasbourg, and where this leaves international law as an interpretative aid generally

By Kirsten Sjovoll · On July 28, 2017

In R (A & B) v Secretary of State for Health [2017] UKSC 41 the Supreme Court considered whether the Secretary of State’s failure to exercise his power to require that abortion services be provided through the NHS in England – to women ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland – was unlawful. The question was whether he failed to discharge his duty under the National Health Service Act 2006, s 3 to “take such steps as he considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements” for services. It also considered whether the continuing failure to provide such abortion services infringed the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR” of “the Convention”), art 14 in conjunction with 8. In particular, the Supreme Court considered to what extent these rights under the ECHR should be informed by other obligations and principles of international law.

Continued at source: Law of Nations Blog: https://lawofnationsblog.com/2017/07/28/international-law-provision-abortion-services/

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UK: BPAS withdraws abortion fees for Northern Irish women

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BPAS withdraws abortion fees for Northern Irish women
British Pregnancy Advisory Services acts ‘in response to government’s commitment to provide abortion care funding’

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent
Monday 3 July 2017

Northern Irish women who travel to England, Scotland or Wales to have abortions will no longer have to pay consultation and treatment fees to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.

BPAS announced on Monday that it had decided also to refund women from the region who used their services last Friday, after the threat of a parliamentary defeat over the Queen’s speech last week forced the government to scrap its policy of not funding abortions on the NHS for Northern Irish women in other parts of Britain.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/03/bpas-withdraws-abortion-fees-northern-irish-women

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Northern Ireland women to get free abortions in England

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Northern Ireland women to get free abortions in England

29 June 2017
Women from Northern Ireland will be able to get free abortions in England, the government has said.

More than 50 MPs from the major parties had backed a Labour-led call for the women to have access to NHS abortions in England. They currently have to pay.

The BBC's political editor said ministers made the concession because it appeared some Tory MPs might back the call, risking a possible defeat.

Continued at link: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-40438390

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UK: Abortion rights for Northern Irish women in UK ‘must be addressed’

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Abortion rights for Northern Irish women in UK 'must be addressed'

MPs raise fears that Conservative deal with DUP may scupper free terminations in Great Britain for women from Northern Ireland

Jessica Elgot
Monday 26 June 2017

MPs have warned that abortion rights for Northern Irish women travelling to Great Britain for a termination must be addressed despite the Conservative deal with the DUP, repeatedly raising their concerns during a heated debate in the Commons.

Labour MP Stella Creasy and Conservative MP Anna Soubry were among those who called on the government to permit Northern Irish women terminations in England without charge.

Continued at source: The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/26/abortion-rights-for-northern-irish-women-in-uk-must-be-addressed-mps-conservative-deal-dup

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UK:MPs to argue Northern Irish women have right to abortion on NHS

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MPs to argue Northern Irish women have right to abortion on NHS

Cross-party MPs want amendment to Queen’s speech to act as warning to government over DUP pact

Jessica Elgot Political reporter
Friday 23 June 2017

MPs from all the major parties will argue that abortion should be provided on the NHS in England for Northern Irish women, in an amendment to the Queen’s speech which supporters said would act as a warning to Downing Street about the implications of a pact with the Democratic Unionist party.

The amendment, coordinated by the Labour MP Stella Creasy with the support of the Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley, asks the government to consider legislating so women from Northern Ireland have NHS abortion provision when they travel to England to terminate a pregnancy.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/23/mps-argue-northern-irish-women-right-to-abortion-nhs

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Stella Creasy Has Called For British Women To Be Allies To Northern Irish Women On Abortion

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Stella Creasy Has Called For British Women To Be Allies To Northern Irish Women On Abortion

Labour MP Stella Creasy has put forward an amendment to the Queen's Speech to allow women from Northern Ireland to access NHS abortion services in England and Wales.

Posted on June 23, 2017
Laura Silver
BuzzFeed News Reporter

Labour MP Stella Creasy is calling on women in England and Wales to help women in Northern Ireland access NHS-funded abortion by writing to their MPs in support of an amendment to the Queen's Speech.

Abortion is currently illegal in almost all circumstances in Northern Ireland, where the Abortion Act 1967 – the law which allows access to abortion in the rest of the UK – was never applied.

Continued at source: Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/laurasilver/this-mp-has-called-for-british-women-to-be-allies-to

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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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