MP fears being ‘ousted’ after voting against decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland

MP fears being ‘ousted’ after voting against decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland
‘It was a free vote, a conscience vote. I didn’t rebel or vote against the party whip. And yet now it’s virtually certain that abusive party activists will make sure I’m deselected and lose the job I love’

Maya Oppenheim, Women’s Correspondent
July 13, 2019

An MP for the Scottish National Party has raised concerns she will be deselected by the party after voting against the legalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland.

MPs resoundingly backed the right to abortion in the country in a historic vote earlier in the week. Northern Ireland currently has a ban on abortion in almost all cases – even rape or incest. Women seeking a termination can face life imprisonment.


UK – Tory leadership: Hunt rules out change to abortion law

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."


How Brexit Stopped Abortion Being Decriminalised In England And Wales

How Brexit Stopped Abortion Being Decriminalised In England And Wales

Brexit has caused countless issues like reproductive rights to be placed on the back burner as the government focuses on making sure we don’t fall off the economic cliff when we leave the EU

Liam Arnull
June 24, 2018

In England and Wales, along with the other nations of the UK, abortion remains a criminalised offence. Having evolved from Victorian laws, strict clauses are now in place to allow some abortion services (Northern Ireland is not covered by this law). But, if broken, life imprisonment can still be applied to people who have accessed/ helped facilitate an abortion outside the letter of the law. An offence still present to this very day.

This archaic setup has long been protested out of the right for people with child bearing ability to choose the destiny of their body. In 2017 this protest met part fruition for those living in England and Wales with the introduction of the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill to the Commons. The Bill set to remove the life imprisonment sentence for those that might have got caught up by the current system. Labour MP Diana Johnson commented that the current legislation holds “the harshest criminal penalty of any country in Europe, underpinned by a Victorian criminal law passed before women even had the right to vote, let alone sit in this place [The House of Commons]”.


Scotland offers free abortions to women from Northern Ireland

Scotland offers free abortions to women from Northern Ireland

6 November 2017
Women from Northern Ireland can now have free abortions through the NHS in Scotland.

Abortions are illegal in Northern Ireland except for cases where the woman's health is at risk.

That has led to women travelling to Great Britain, where they have had to pay for terminations.

New regulations allowing women from Northern Ireland to access abortion services in Scotland come into force on Monday.

Continued at source:

Free abortion offer for Northern Ireland women

Free abortion offer for Northern Ireland women
Helen Puttick, Scottish Health Correspondent

November 1 2017, The Times

Women from Northern Ireland will be able to have abortions in Scotland free of charge from next week after an attempt to block the move in Holyrood was dropped.

Pregnancy terminations are allowed in Northern Ireland only if the mother’s life is in danger or there is a serious risk to her physical or mental health.

Continued at source:

Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon’s new NHS abortion plans which will INFURIATE the DUP

Nicola Sturgeon's new NHS abortion plans which will INFURIATE the DUP

NICOLA Sturgeon plans to offer free abortions to women who travel to Scotland from Northern Ireland, in direct opposition to the Government's would-be political allies the DUP.

By Ross Logan
PUBLISHED: Sun, Jun 18, 2017

The First Minister is said to be concerned by a Supreme Court ruling last week which rejected an appeal for women in Northern Ireland to be allowed to terminate pregnancies safely and legally through NHS England.

Her ruling SNP party are now examining the implications of the legal case in Scotland, where the law is relaxed enough for doctors to be able to turn a "blind eye" to Northern Irish women seeking an abortion who give the address of a Scottish friend.

Continued at source: The Express:

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

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:

Scotland: 45,000-signature petition to change abortion laws handed in at Stormont

22 November 2016

A petition signed by 45,000 people calling for changes to the current abortion laws in Northern Ireland has been submitted to the Assembly.

A demonstration was held at the steps of Parliament Buildings on Tuesday before Green Party MLA Clare Bailey formally presented Amnesty International’s petition to the Speaker.

It comes just days after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that she would explore the possibility that women from Northern Ireland could access abortions free of charge through NHS Scotland.

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Scotland’s offer to give abortions to Northern Irish women shames Stormont

Patrick Corrigan
Theresa May must follow Nicola Sturgeon’s lead in exposing the intransigence of Northern Ireland politicians and the inequality of access to terminations

Monday 21 November 2016

Scotland and Northern Ireland are separated by just a few short miles of sea. But when it comes to access to abortion, they are divided by more than 150 years of history. While Scots women are able to access abortions on the same basis as their counterparts in England and Wales, Northern Irish women still face a near-total ban on the termination of pregnancy.

In 2014-15, only 16 women were able to have lawful abortions in Northern Ireland. By contrast, 833 Ulster women travelled to England or Wales and paid for terminations at private clinics. And despite being full and equal taxpayers, Northern Ireland-resident women have been barred from accessing free abortions in NHS hospitals in England, Wales and Scotland.

[continued at link]
Source: The Guardian

Scotland could offer Northern Irish women access to free abortions

Nicola Sturgeon says she will consider opening up NHS Scotland facilities to women who are denied right to termination under Stormont’s laws

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent, The Guardian

Thursday 17 November 2016

Nicola Sturgeon has told the Scottish parliament that the devolved government would explore the possibility of giving women from Northern Ireland access to abortions in Scotland’s health service free of charge.

Responding to a question from Green party MSP Patrick Harvie on Thursday, the first minister said: “I am happy to explore with the NHS what the situation is now in terms of the ability of women from Northern Ireland to access safe and legal abortion in NHS Scotland and whether any improvements can be made.

[continued at link]

Source: The Guardian