Theresa May urged to reform ‘cruel and barbaric’ abortion law in Northern Ireland

Theresa May urged to reform ‘cruel and barbaric’ abortion law in Northern Ireland

David Young
September 29 2018

A Conservative MP has urged the British prime minister to reform abortion law in Northern Ireland as a colleague branded the present regime barbaric, cruel and callous.

Huw Merriman said it was the “right time” for Theresa May to let Westminster vote on the restrictive laws on terminations in the region. Anna Soubry, another Tory MP, echoed the call, saying the near-blanket ban on abortion was unacceptable in the modern age.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/theresa-may-urged-to-reform-cruel-and-barbaric-abortion-law-in-northern-ireland-cwd3svvxh

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N. Ireland- DUP calls for its voice to be heard in Westminster abortion inquiry

DUP calls for its voice to be heard in Westminster abortion inquiry

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
September 25 2018

The DUP has expressed reservations about a Westminster inquiry into Northern Ireland’s abortion ban, and appealed for all views to be represented.

The staunchly anti-abortion party, which is supporting the prime minister Theresa May’s Conservative minority government, has also claimed that some UK politicians have used the issue to try to embarrass the British government.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dup-calls-for-its-voice-to-be-heard-in-westminster-abortion-inquiry-qdthpbbmx

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Belfast court to hear landmark challenge over abortion rights

Belfast court to hear landmark challenge over abortion rights
Northern Ireland woman takes on decision to prosecute her for supplying pills to daughter

Rory Carroll Ireland correspondent
Thu 20 Sep 2018

A woman is challenging a decision to prosecute her for obtaining abortion pills for her pregnant underage daughter in a potential landmark case for abortion rights in Northern Ireland.

She will seek to overturn a decision by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland to subject her to a criminal trial and the prospect of five years in prison for supplying the pills in 2013 to her then 15-year-old daughter, who terminated the pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/20/northern-ireland-woman-challenges-prosecution-buying-abortion-pills

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UK – Liberal Democrat Conference votes to liberalise abortion laws

Liberal Democrat Conference votes to liberalise abortion laws

September 17th, 2018

The Liberal Democrats have passed a motion at the party’s autumn conference in Brighton to support the removal of consensual abortion from criminal law, and instead have it governed through medical regulation like all other healthcare procedures. This would mean that women in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland who procure an abortion outside of the exceptional grounds allowed by the Abortion Act 1967 would not face criminal prosecution. Humanists UK, which campaigns for the realisation of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, welcomes the decision of the Liberal Democrat Party members to adopt this policy.

Continued: https://humanism.org.uk/2018/09/17/liberal-democrat-conference-votes-to-liberalise-abortion-laws/

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UK: abortion pill progress for English women whilst Northern Irish women ‘further isolated’

UK: abortion pill progress for English women whilst Northern Irish women 'further isolated'

25 Aug 2018

Responding to news of new government plans to allow women in England to take an early abortion pill at home, Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International UK’s Northern Ireland campaigns manager, said:

“Whilst the UK Government is making progress for women in England, it’s further isolating women in Northern Ireland who are again being left behind - still subjected to archaic and discriminatory abortion laws.

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/uk-abortion-pill-progress-english-women-whilst-northern-irish-women-further-isolated

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Allowing English women to take the abortion pill at home is good news – and now we’re coming for you, Northern Ireland

Allowing English women to take the abortion pill at home is good news – and now we're coming for you, Northern Ireland

Harriet Marsden
25 August 2018

As landmark women’s health text Our Bodies, Ourselves put it in 1970, abortion is “our right ... as women to control our own bodies. The existence of any abortion laws (however ‘liberal’) denies this right.”

Those rights are advancing in some parts of the UK, and stalling in others. The latest development is that women in England will soon be able to take an abortion pill at home: a small but significant step forward that many welcome. Yet in Northern Ireland, women still face draconian laws and life in prison for daring to access their reproductive rights.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-pill-at-home-northern-ireland-pregnancy-a8507811.html

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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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Prime Minister & Trump urged to discuss sexual healthcare by RCOG & FSRH

Prime Minister & Trump urged to discuss sexual healthcare by RCOG & FSRH

By Hannah Alderton
July 13, 2018

Presidents of key organisations supporting the rights of women and girls across the world are calling on Theresa May to raise the crucial issue of sexual and reproductive health with the US President Donald Trump during their bilateral talks.

In a joint letter, Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and Dr Asha Kasliwal, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), write:

Continued: https://www.pharmafield.co.uk/pharma_news/rcog-fsrh-prime-minister-sexual-healthcare-trump/

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Trump visit to the UK: How about working together on women’s rights?

Trump visit to the UK: How about working together on women’s rights?
by Katherine Nightingale
12th Jul 2018

When Theresa May welcomes Trump this week it seems like she won’t be short of conversation: there’s the World Cup, Brexit, and NATO before we even start. But with hundreds of thousands of people from all over the UK coming to join the Women’s March this Friday, a clear message is that women’s rights should be on the agenda.

Chances are, time will be short. So if that means there is only one issue Theresa May can champion with Donald Trump, we think it should be to look together at how the UK and US governments could support sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for women and families worldwide, especially in emergencies. So whilst some might think there is no common ground, here is my take on the key messages:

Continued: https://insights.careinternational.org.uk/development-blog/trump-visit-to-the-uk-how-about-working-together-on-women-s-rights

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Criminalised abortion in UK obstructs reflective choice and best care

Criminalised abortion in UK obstructs reflective choice and best care

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2928
Published 09 July 2018
Sandy Goldbeck-Wood, Abigail Aiken, David Horwell, Oskari Heikinheimo, Ganesh Acharya, editorial board of BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health

Theresa May could seize this opportunity for evidence based reform

The recent decisions to liberalise abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man1 have put pressure on the British prime minister, Theresa May, to consider decriminalising abortion in the UK. Although she believes “that a woman should be able to access safe, legal abortion,”2 she has not yet acted to initiate amendment of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act—perhaps in fear of Northern Ireland's anti-abortion Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on which her minority government depends.

Continued: https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k2928

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