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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Most of Northern Ireland strongly backs abortion law reform, survey finds

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Most of Northern Ireland strongly backs abortion law reform, survey finds

Three in four people back legal abortions for women pregnant through rape or incest and in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent

Friday 16 June 2017

A large majority of Northern Ireland’s population are in favour of reforming the region’s strict anti-abortion laws and back legal terminations for women made pregnant through sexual violence, a new survey has found.

Nearly 80% of the public in the region believe abortion should be legal when a woman has become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, according to the latest Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/16/northern-ireland-strongly-backs-abortion-law-reform-survey

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U.S.: Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions

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Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
By Katie Klabusich, Truthout | News Analysis

In just the first three months of this year, 431 abortion restrictions were introduced at the state level. Plus, 2017 has seen the confirmation of anti-choice Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule (an international policy that prohibits nongovernmental organizations across the globe that receive US family planning funds from advocating for or even discussing abortion). Add in the 338 state-level restrictions passed between 2010-2016, and it is increasingly clear that abortion access -- at least in the short term -- is slipping away in this country.

Continued: Truthout: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40814-ending-the-stigma-and-prosecution-of-self-administered-abortions

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El Salvador: What happens when abortion is illegal in all circumstances

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What happens when abortion is illegal in all circumstances

Jeannette Urquilla
May 30, 2017

El Salvador has one of the worst records on reproductive rights in the world. Since 1998, Article 133 of the Penal Code has made abortion illegal in all circumstances, without exception, punishable by up to eight years in prison. Sentences of up to 30 years have been handed down when a judge determined that “homicide” rather than abortion had occurred. The Alliance for Women’s Health and Life has reported that 147 El Salvadorian women were charged with crimes relating to abortion between 2000 and 2014.

Because our laws are so draconian, so tilted in favor of the rights of fetuses over those of living women, pregnant women experiencing difficulties may not feel safe in El Salvador’s hospitals. We’ve all heard about Maria Teresa Rivera, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison after she miscarried. (She was released after serving four.) We are terrified of having medical problems during pregnancy as there is an underlying presumption of guilt. So women often suffer in silence, which causes further complications.

Continued at source: LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-urquilla-el-salvador-abortion-20170530-story.html

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The Law, Trials and Imprisonment for Abortion in Mexico

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The Law, Trials and Imprisonment for Abortion in Mexico
2 May 2017
A comprehensive summary of abortion law and punishment in Mexico
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by Hannah Pearson

“Confess, you have committed the worst sin in the world” (abortion-news.info, 2016)

When Patricia Mendez, a 21-year-old university student from Veracruz state, miscarried in March 2015, police were called into the hospital ward to watch as she writhed in pain and expelled a dead 20-week fetus. “I was naked, with just the robe they give you, and I had all of them around as I miscarried”, Patricia recounted. “I was in a lot of pain, but nobody did anything. They just said ‘Confess, you have committed the worst sin the world’”. “They treated me worse than an animal. I felt as if I could have died there and nobody would have done anything”, Patricia said of her treatment as she miscarried. [1] Patricia was then made to sign some papers, while a nurse held the fetus to her face and said "Kiss him. You have killed him". Patricia’s ex-boyfriend’s family held a funeral for the fetus, which they forced her to attend.

Continued at link: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-the-law-trials-and-imprisonment-for-abortion-in-kenya-28-april-739597?e=3fa4c971b0

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‘Kiss me, Frank, I’m going’: A century ago, abortion was on trial in Canada’s capital

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'Kiss me, Frank, I'm going': A century ago, abortion was on trial in Canada's capital

Megan Gillis, Postmedia
Published on: April 29, 2017

On any given day outside Ottawa’s best-known abortion clinic, protesters carry placards bearing pictures of bloody and dismembered fetuses. But in the Ottawa of 100 years ago, abortion was killing and maiming women. It was a desperate gamble that many were nonetheless willing to take, Megan Gillis writes.

Pregnant and single, the 24-year-old waitress at a Sparks Street lunch counter said she’d drown herself in the Rideau Canal if Annie Balcomb didn’t agree to help her.

Emily Cornick got her abortion but died anyway, weeping to her sister as she succumbed to peritonitis, “I’m going to die. I am sorry I came here. Oh, what will Mother say?”

Continued at source: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/kiss-me-frank-im-going-a-century-ago-abortion-was-on-trial-here-in-ottawa

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UK: Labour MP hoping to ditch ‘Victorian’ abortion laws

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Labour MP hoping to ditch 'Victorian' abortion laws
12 March 2017

Abortion should be decriminalised up to 24 weeks in order to prevent vulnerable women from being given life sentences for seeking terminations, an MP has said.

Former shadow health minister Diana Johnson says she wants to remove "Victorian" abortion laws which contain criminal sanctions for doctors and women if they do not meet certain requirements.

Continued at source: ITV News: http://www.itv.com/news/2017-03-12/labour-mp-hoping-to-ditch-victorian-abortion-laws/

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Northern Ireland: Abortion pills ordered online seized by PSNI

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Abortion pills ordered online seized by PSNI
Ellen Coyne

March 12 2017, The Sunday Times

Authorities in Northern Ireland have launched a crackdown on abortion pills being ordered online.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) raided two addresses in Belfast, and had a warrant to confiscate the phone and laptop of a person at one of the premises.

Continued at source: The Times: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-pills-ordered-online-seized-by-psni-6g2t0zq58?shareToken=fb6cc6e18b0476d76814038cbfe53b11

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Northern Ireland: Alliance for Choice video on police crackdown on abortion pills

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Alliance for Choice, March 12, 2017

ALL political parties in Northern Ireland expressed will to decriminalise women seeking abortion in the recent election period and yet the PSNI and PPS continue to pursue and prosecute people seeking abortion or people helping others to seek abortion. This has been reinforced by raids by the PSNI which have taken place over the past week, which this latest video addresses.

If you are outraged by this situation, share far and wide and contact your newly elected MLAs and your constituency MP to demand support for the vote on the Westminster bill on Monday 13th March to #trustwomen.

Video: https://m.facebook.com/video_redirect/?src=https%3A%2F%2Fvideo-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fv%2Ft42.1790-2%2F17209742_1021714484628699_349743022319075328_n.mp4%3Fefg%3DeyJ2ZW5jb2RlX3RhZyI6InN2ZV9zZCJ9%26oh%3D766384fb5e0d049d0336de85777f5c5c%26oe%3D58C5A6F5&source=misc&id=1007721389361986&nowarning=0&refid=52&__tn__=F

Source: Alliance for Choice: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1007721389361986&id=683223451811783&_rdr

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Scotland: Warning over increased use of illegal abortion pills

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Warning over increased use of illegal abortion pills

by JANE KIRBY
February 14, 2017

Desperate women are thought to be turning to illegal abortion pills in rising numbers, a charity has warned. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said women were risking prosecution by using the pills to induce an abortion, but most were unaware of the risk.

Bpas, which provides abortions at its clinics across the country, obtained data from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which shows 645 abortion pills were seized in 2015 and 2016 on their way to addresses in Scotland, England and Wales.

Continued at source: The Scotsman: http://www.scotsman.com/news/warning-over-increased-use-of-illegal-abortion-pills-1-4366187

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