Victoria Johnston: How many more women must suffer before abortion laws are changed?
June 5, 2019
Abortion has hit the headlines again in the past few weeks after news emerged from the USA that the governors of the state of Alabama have signed a bill banning abortion in all circumstances and ruled that any doctor caught performing the procedure could face 99 years in prison.
This has resulted in much backlash from feminists and pro-choice activists across the world who are outraged at the adverse effect that this ban could have on women in Alabama, including many in Britain who have pledged support to help those in USA whilst turning a blind eye to what is currently happening in a smaller region of the UK, Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland abortion protest led by Derry Girls and cross-party MPs at Westminster
Karen Bradley must 'stop hiding behind the excuse of devolution' and decriminalise terminations, says Amnesty
Maya Oppenheim, Women's Correspondent @mayaoppenheim
Feb 26, 2019
Female MPs and the stars of the TV programme Derry Girls marched on Westminster to call for the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland has a ban on abortions in almost all cases – even rape or incest. Abortion is only permitted when there is a risk to the life of the mother, or a serious risk to her physical or mental health.
Theresa May is throwing Northern Irish women under the bus to protect her own weak majority
Co-Chair of Alliance for Choice Tuesday
29 Jan 2019
If you turn on the television or radio this week, you will likely hear men in suits discussing the future of Brexit. There will be business people, lorry drivers, farmers and fisherman debating the prospect of what might happen if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in two months time.
But as the clock ticks on towards 29 March and MPs scramble to stop a no-deal Brexit, there is a consequence that has received little media attention, and it could be one of the most serious yet.
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
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.
Northern Ireland abortion: MPs pass bill demanding terminations legalised
Ministers including Penny Mordaunt back calls for change, raising prospect of major Cabinet row
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.
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
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.
Theresa May urged to reform ‘cruel and barbaric’ abortion law in Northern Ireland
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.
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.
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.
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.