How did Northern Ireland lawmakers carve out an anti-abortion ‘ghetto’ within the UK?
Northern Ireland remains a blind spot for equality for women and members of the LGBTIQ community. Will Ireland’s abortion referendum change this?
11 June 2018
More than two weeks have passed since Ireland’s historic abortion referendum was won by a groundswell of grassroots feminist activism. A large majority (66.4%) voted to repeal the country’s eighth constitutional amendment, opening the door to proposed legislation to allow abortions up to 12 weeks.
Huge numbers of repeal campaigners and voters were young women – with a staggering 94% increase in the turnout of women aged 18-24, compared to the 2016 general election. The result reflected a frank rejection of decades of misogyny and the suffocating grip of church and state on women’s rights.
Stella Creasy’s abortion law campaign showed practical politics at its best
Courteous, attentive and largely free of partisan posturing, the debate on Northern Ireland’s law was a triumph of cross-party collaboration
Sun 10 Jun 2018
The most striking moment in politics last week was not David Davis’s fifth (unfulfilled) threat to resign. Nor was it Boris Johnson’s latest (unpunished) violation of collective responsibility. It wasn’t even the spectacle of hours of intense cabinet psychodrama finally resulting in a customs proposal that was instantly shot down by the EU’s chief negotiator. In Brexitland, a lot happens – but very little changes.
No, the week’s most interesting political event came late on Monday, when the Speaker, John Bercow, asked if he had “the leave of the House” to grant Labour backbencher Stella Creasy an emergency debate on Northern Irish abortion law. In silence, the vast majority of the MPs present in the Commons stood up – and the debate was granted. Supporters of the motion included the new minister for women, Penny Mordaunt, and Karen Bradley, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland.
Emotional abortion debate draws gasps in House of Commons
DUP hardline reinforced with claim abortion sometimes used as form of contraception
June 6, 2018
Sammy Wilson could not have known that he would be called to speak immediately after Conservative MP Heidi Allen had brought a hush to the House of Commons when she spoke of her own experience of abortion.
“Because I have been there, I am making it my business,” she said about the call to extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland.
NI abortion law should be changed at Stormont, Sinn Féin says
Michelle O’Neill open to Intergovernmental Conference tackling issue in absence of powersharing
June 5, 2018
Amanda Ferguson Belfast
Legislative change on abortion in Northern Ireland should be brought about by the Stormont Assembly or through the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference, Sinn Fén vice president Michelle O’Neill has said.
She was speaking after a three-hour debate in the House of Commons on a proposal to repeal two sections of the 1861 Offences against the Person Act (OAPA) which criminalise abortion in the North.