UK abortion law is outdated, not evidence based, and prevents best practice

Hayley Webb: UK abortion law is outdated, not evidence based, and prevents best practice

We must build on the momentum of this year to ensure that women across the UK can truly have governance over their own bodies

October 30, 2018

There is an air of hopeful anticipation within the abortion rights movement. So far, 2018 has brought much cause to celebrate. In March, the 50th anniversary of the implementation of the Abortion Act marked 50 years of safe provision in the UK. Then in May came the landslide vote in favour of repealing the eighth amendment in Ireland. A victory undoubtedly in part due to the collective voice of Irish doctors who came forward in their hundreds to stand up for women, sharing their powerful stories from the frontline and debunking the abundant harmful abortion myths. June and August brought approval for home use of Misoprostol in England and Wales, meaning that women will soon be able to take the second pill for early medical abortion in the comfort of their own homes. This came as a legal challenge to home use in Scotland, which had led the way in 2017, was successfully defended.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/10/30/hayley-webb-uk-abortion-law-is-outdated-not-evidence-based-and-prevents-best-practice/

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Abortion and same-sex marriage amendments added to Northern Ireland Bill

Abortion and same-sex marriage amendments added to Northern Ireland Bill
Plus move to appoint mediator to resolve power-sharing impasse

By Michael Shiels McNamee
October 29 2018

Amendments which would legalise abortion and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland have been added to a Bill currently making its way through Parliament.

The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill was introduced earlier this month by Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley.

Continued: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/abortion-and-samesex-marriage-amendments-added-to-northern-ireland-bill-37470764.html j

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MPs’ vote calls for explanation of Northern Ireland abortion law

MPs' vote calls for explanation of Northern Ireland abortion law
Westminster votes by 207 to 117 to force Karen Bradley to ‘issue guidance’ on continued enforcement of law

Dan Sabbagh
Wed 24 Oct 2018

A landmark amendment forcing Northern Ireland secretary, Karen Bradley, “to issue guidance” to explain how officials can continue to enforce the region’s draconian Victorian-era abortion law was passed by MPs.

MPs in Westminster voted by 207 to 117 to impose their will, a matter normally reserved for Stormont, arguing that the abortion ban was incompatible with human rights on an amendment proposed by Labour’s Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/24/commons-withdraws-amendment-to-legalise-abortion-in-northern-ireland

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UK – Diana Johnson interview: “We need a modern, fit-for-purpose abortion law”

Diana Johnson interview: “We need a modern, fit-for-purpose abortion law”

Sienna Rodgers
23rd October, 2018

Labour MP Diana Johnson will today introduce a ten-minute rule bill in the House of Commons that would see abortion decriminalised. Currently, the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 makes abortion illegal in the UK except when there is a risk to the life or health of the mother, and this legislation was only partly superseded by the Abortion Act 1967. Ahead of tabling the backbench bill, Johnson spoke to LabourList.

How did abortion become a key focus in your work as an MP?

Continued: https://labourlist.org/2018/10/diana-johnson-interview-we-need-a-modern-fit-for-purpose-abortion-law/

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Labour MPs in fresh bid to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland

Labour MPs in fresh bid to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland
Stella Creasy launches new attempt after government rebuffs move by colleague

Dan Sabbagh
Tue 23 Oct 2018

Eighty MPs have signed an amendment that aims to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland as part of a bill before the Commons on Wednesday designed to give civil servants in the region greater power in the absence of a functioning Stormont.

The amendment, put down by Labour’s Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn, would abolish the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, still applicable in Northern Ireland, which makes obtaining or helping somebody obtain an abortion a criminal offence.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/23/mps-support-new-amendment-to-override-stormont-northern-ireland-on-abortion

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Labour MPs to press May for Commons vote on Northern Ireland abortion ban

Labour MPs to press May for Commons vote on Northern Ireland abortion ban
Diana Johnson to table bill aimed at forcing government into allowing proper Commons vote

Dan Sabbagh
Sun 21 Oct 2018

Labour MPs will increase the pressure to end Northern Ireland’s highly restrictive Victorian-era abortion laws this week in a series of Commons votes designed to push the UK government into action.

Diana Johnson, the Hull North MP, will introduce a backbench bill on Tuesday calling for a repeal of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which criminalised any woman seeking an abortion with a theoretical maximum term of life imprisonment.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/21/northern-ireland-abortion-ban-commons-vote-labour-diana-johnson

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NI women may not be able to access abortion pills in England

NI women may not be able to access abortion pills in England

By Emma Vardy BBC News
13 September 2018

Women from Northern Ireland who travel to Britain to terminate a pregnancy may not be able to access abortion pills.

On average, 28 women a week travel from NI to England for a termination because, unlike the rest of the UK, the 1967 Abortion Act does not extend to NI.

England is to allow women to take early abortion pills at home, but patients may have to prove residency.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-45510345

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The New Way People In Northern Ireland Are Campaigning For Abortion Reform

The New Way People In Northern Ireland Are Campaigning For Abortion Reform

Nick Levine
1 September 2018

The dire need for abortion reform in Northern Ireland has become even more pressing since Ireland's historic vote to overturn its abortion ban in May. Pro-choice campaigners say women in Ulster are now treated as "second-class citizens" next to women in Ireland as well as women in the rest of the UK.

It's not difficult to grasp their point. While women in England will soon be able to take an abortion pill at home, and women in Scotland and Wales already can, women in Northern Ireland still face a life sentence for having an abortion.

Continued; https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2018/09/208853/pennypost-alliance-for-choice

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Can you really be jailed for abortion in Northern Ireland?

Can you really be jailed for abortion in Northern Ireland?

By Patrick Worrall
25 Jul 2018

The claim
“In Northern Ireland, if you are raped and you have become pregnant and you seek a termination, as a result you could face a longer prison sentence than the person who attacked you.” - Stella Creasy, 23 July 2018

The background
Campaigners are calling for the UK government to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.

Continued: https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-can-you-really-be-jailed-for-abortion-in-northern-ireland

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Rise in women travelling from Northern Ireland to England for abortions

Rise in women travelling from Northern Ireland to England for abortions
Campaigners say having different abortion laws on either side of Irish border breaches Good Friday agreement

James Tapper
Sat 21 Jul 2018

The number of women travelling from Northern Ireland to have an abortion in England has jumped dramatically since the government set up a special hotline in March.

A total of 342 women and girls – including at least one 12-year-old – went to England for a termination through the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) in the three months since March: a significant increase on the 190 women who travelled to use the same service in the previous nine months.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/21/women-travelling-from-northern-ireland-to-england-for-abortions

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