Northern Ireland Is About to Reform Its Abortion Law – Now What?
If its government doesn't reconvene by October 21st, its draconian law will be tossed out the window. Activists are counting down the days.
by Mary McGill
18 October 2019
With just a few days to go until October 21st, it is almost certain that Northern Ireland’s draconian law against abortion will be reformed. The political situation in Northern Ireland is complex. The region’s devolved government has been suspended for over two years. For campaigners fighting for equal rights issues like abortion, this stalemate has been frustrating.
That is, until July of this year, when Westminster issued a ruling paving the way for the liberalisation of the region’s abortion legislation, provided Northern Ireland’s government does not reconvene before October 21st. Although there are fears that Boris Johnson will use abortion in Northern Ireland as a bargaining tactic in Brexit negotiations, at this late stage reform is unlikely to be derailed
Northern Ireland abortion restrictions breach UK’s human rights law, Belfast High Court rules
‘I’m feeling super relieved and happy,’ says Sarah Ewart, who was forced to travel to England to terminate her pregnancy
Maya Oppenheim, Women's Correspondent
Oct 3, 2019
Northern Ireland’s strict abortion law which bans the procedure even in cases of rape or incest infringes Britain’s human rights obligations, the High Court in Belfast has ruled.
The case was brought by Sarah Ewart, who was forced to travel to England for an abortion after being told there was no way her unborn child would survive.
Poland has some of the strictest abortion laws. This German NGO has a solution
Group members offer up their couches, help with translating and accompany the women to hospital, writes Dylan Brethour
Sep 8, 2019
Across the globe, the rise of right-wing parties has stirred up the fight over abortion.
In Poland, which has some of the most restrictive laws in Europe, women can only get an abortion in cases of rape or incest, when the pregnancy poses a serious threat to a woman’s health, or when there is a severe foetal abnormality.
The Last Places in Europe Where It’s Illegal to Get an Abortion
European microstates are some of the richest countries on the continent, but human rights, including abortion, are curtailed.
by Sarah Souli; illustrated by Cathryn Virginia
Aug 19 2019
Lara hadn’t wanted to see the baby.
It wasn’t supposed to be hers, anyway; when she accidentally got pregnant at 18, she had decided the child would be raised by her aunt while she went off to university. The first few months of the pregnancy were normal: doctor’s visits, ultrasounds, the abrupt abandonment of cigarettes and beer. Then, around five months into her gestation, the pain and bleeding started. At the emergency room, a surprising diagnostic—fatally missed by her primary gynecologist—was announced. The baby was lacking two nerve bundles in its neck. A few days later, a second test with Lara’s gynecologist revealed a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The baby, doctors briskly explained to Lara, would be born “a vegetable.”
The Road to Abortion Is Paved With Bad Bus Routes
July 1, 2019
According to the Guttmacher Institute, roughly 75 percent of those who get abortions are poor or low-income — not necessarily a surprise, given the lack of access to affordable preventative health care and contraception. Unlike most medical procedures, the majority of states don’t cover terminating a pregnancy through Medicaid (with very narrow exceptions), leaving patients to pay for the procedure out of pocket. But for low-income patients — especially in rural areas across the country — finding the funds to pay for an abortion out of pocket is quite literally only half the battle.
The other half? Paying to get to the procedure itself — a task that can cost hundreds of dollars on its own and eat up hours, if not days, of travel time in states that lack usable local public transit systems or mass transportation between rural and urban areas.
What to Consider If You Have to Travel for an Abortion
It’s a lot to think about. Here’s where to start.
June 21, 2019
By Carolyn L. Todd
Getting an abortion is a safe and legal procedure in this country, but it’s becoming harder and harder to access one. If you’re reading this, you’re probably very aware of the many obstacles that can stand in the way of someone getting an abortion. And those barriers just keep piling up.
At least 378 abortion restrictions were introduced in the first half of 2019 alone, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The intention behind these restrictions is clear: to effectively ban abortion by outlawing the procedures after six weeks of gestation (the time since your last period), which is usually before most people even find out they’re pregnant. Lawmakers in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Louisiana, and Missouri voted in favor of such six-week bans. Alabama intends to outlaw abortion unless the life or health of the pregnant person is endangered.
‘There is a problem here’: advocates sound alarm over abortion access in Canada
By Heather Yourex-West
June 21, 2019
WATCH: In Canada, abortions are legal but access can be difficult. As Heather Yourex-West explains, it can depend on where you live and how deep your pockets are.
It’s been a few years since a woman — whom we’ll call Joanna — made a 450 km journey across Canada for an abortion. Joanna asked to remain anonymous because she doesn’t feel safe speaking publicly about her abortion, but her ordeal, she believes, is something that needs to be shared.
Joanna was living in Fort McMurray, Alta., when she first learned she was pregnant. Right away, she says she knew she wasn’t prepared to carry the pregnancy to term.
Abortion is legal in Guam. But the closest provider is a long flight away
By Jay Croft and Chris Boyette, CNN
Fri June 7, 2019
(CNN)As states move to restrict abortion and access to it, women in the US territory of Guam already face a greater burden than crossing state lines for the procedure.
They must fly a long way, with Hawaii -- more than seven hours away by plane -- the closest US destination where they can get the Constitutionally protected medical service.
A 12-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated in Guam can't have an abortion because there are no providers in the US territory
Jun. 6, 2019
A 12-year-old girl in the US territory of Guam who was allegedly raped and impregnated will have no choice but to give birth to the child — due to lack of abortion providers on the island.
Bureau of Women's Affairs Director Jayne Flores shared the girl's story with The Pacific Daily News. "It breaks my heart that the 12-year-old girl who got raped... has to have a baby," Flores said, adding that the man was recently charged in court. "It breaks my heart that that girl will have to go through with her pregnancy because there's no one on island that will help her."
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.