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

Read more

Northern Ireland abortion: MPs pass bill demanding terminations legalised

Northern Ireland abortion: MPs pass bill demanding terminations legalised
Ministers including Penny Mordaunt back calls for change, raising prospect of major Cabinet row

Benjamin Kentish
Oct 23, 2018

MPs have voted in favour of legalising abortion in Northern Ireland after a number of Tory ministers broke ranks to back demands for change, creating a potential headache for Theresa May.

The House of Commons voted by 208 votes to 123 in favour of a bill introduced by Labour MP Diana Johnson that seeks to scrap 157-year-old laws that make the practice illegal.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/abortion-northern-ireland-legalisation-mps-vote-bill-repeal-assembly-diana-johnson-a8597541.html

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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/

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more