Westminster ‘may intervene’ over abortion services

20 January, 2021

Westminster may intervene over the provision of abortion services in the north, the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has said.

Abortion up to 12 weeks into pregnancy has been legal in the north since last year.

MPs voted for a change in the law in 2019, during the hiatus at Stormont.

Continued: https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2021/01/20/news/westminster-may-intervene-over-abortion-services-2191894/

Abortion: Westminster warns it is ready to intervene again over full access in NI

The London government has warned that it may intervene directly if abortions are not made more freely available in Northern Ireland soon.

By Adam Kula
Wednesday, 20th January 2021

Robin Walker MP, the minister for state for Northern Ireland, made the comments in the House of Commons as he was quizzed about the current law in the Province.

The whole issue dates back to summer 2019.

At that time MPs in Westminster passed a law which said if the Northern Irish devolved government was not restored by late October, then the London government would act to change the law on terminations, bypassing the NI Assembly altogether – a move which outraged anti-abortion groups.

Continued: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/politics/abortion-westminster-warns-it-ready-intervene-again-over-full-access-ni-3107077

Scotland – Abortion rules revolutionised by Covid-19 must stay

Jillian Merchant
Monday December 21 2020

At the start of the pandemic the Scottish government, at the urging of medical practitioners and activists, issued guidance allowing early medical abortion at home to prevent unnecessary risk to women and clinicians.

This enabled women in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to attend medical appointments by telephone or video call before, where clinically appropriate, being sent the two abortion pills to take at home. This is now subject to a public consultation on making the change permanent.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-rules-revolutionised-by-covid-19-must-stay-t0x6fgnkc

7% of US women attempt self-managed abortions, study suggests

Alexandra Thompson
Fri, 18 December 2020

Around 7% of women in the US attempt a “self-managed abortion” at some point in their life, research suggests.

“Increasing evidence” has highlighted the extent of expecting mothers who try to terminate their pregnancy “outside the formal healthcare system”.

Continued: https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/7-us-women-attempt-self-abortion-160005797.html

How the pandemic revolutionised abortion access in the UK

Since patients have been allowed to take pills at home to terminate pregnancies, major medical complications have dropped by two-thirds.

15 DECEMBER 2020

When national lockdown was imposed at the end of March, and in-person access to healthcare was limited, the government initially flip-flopped over temporary changes to abortion laws.

Yet from the beginning of April, it approved measures to allow patients within the first ten weeks of pregnancy to take abortion pills at home after a telephone call or e-consultation with a clinician. Previously, these would have been face-to-face appointments.

Continued: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/health/2020/12/how-pandemic-revolutionised-abortion-access-uk

Two-child benefit cap influencing women’s decisions on abortion, says BPAS

Charity says policy was important factor in many deciding to terminate pregnancies during the pandemic

Patrick Butler Social policy editor
Thu 3 Dec 2020

The controversial “two-child limit” restricting the amount that larger families can receive in social security benefits was a key factor in many women’s decisions to terminate their pregnancy during the pandemic, according to a leading abortion charity.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) said over half of the women it surveyed who had an abortion during the pandemic, and who were aware of the two-child limit and likely to be affected by it, said the policy was “important in their decision-making around whether or not to continue the pregnancy.”

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/dec/03/two-child-limit-on-benefits-a-key-factor-in-many-abortion-decisions-says-charity

British pro-life group propagates viral misinformation about New Zealand’s abortion laws

AFP New Zealand, Taylor Thompson Fuller
Published on Monday 30 November 2020

A video posted by a British pro-life group on Facebook that contains multiple misleading claims about New Zealand’s abortion laws has been viewed tens of thousands of times. The video includes a false suggestion that abortion in New Zealand is “available on-demand, for any reason, up to birth”. Similar claims were published in multiple other anti-abortion posts shared in the United States.

The video was published by Right To Life UK here on Facebook on October 14, where it has been viewed more than 120,000 times.

Continued: https://factcheck.afp.com/british-pro-life-group-propagates-viral-misinformation-about-new-zealands-abortion-laws

Abortion provider changes name over controversial figure’s views on eugenics

By Bianka Farmakis
Nov 16, 2020

A leading global abortion provider has changed it's name in the UK in an effort to distance itself from Marie Stopes, claiming her views on eugenics are in "stark contrast" to the charity's values.

The provider, Marie Stopes International, will be known as MSI Reproductive Choices, severing its connection to the woman who paved the way for family planning.

While the move will occur Tuesday in the UK, the name change will ripple across the 37 countries the charity is located in world wide.

Continued: https://honey.nine.com.au/latest/marie-stopes-abortion-clinic-changes-name-over-eugenics-views/9255ba40-4a84-42a8-9651-6ce6c1831b37

Edinburgh students launch campaign to ban protesters outside abortion clinics

Edinburgh University students have launched a new campaign to ban protesters gathering outside city abortion clinics.

By Jolene Campbell
Monday, 16th November 2020

The campaign ‘Back Off Chalmers’ is calling for buffer zones to be set up to stop pro-life groups targeting women who going for treatment at the Chalmers Sexual Health Centre.

After services start up again after lockdown, campaigners say visitors to the Centre have been targeted by groups who pray outside the clinics, give out leaflets and approach women entering the clinic. Students who have set up the new anti-harassment campaign say the protests intimidates women.

Continued: https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/health/edinburgh-students-launch-campaign-ban-protesters-outside-abortion-clinics-3036422

It can feel uncomfortable to keep telling our abortion stories – but it is still essential

Many experiences are like mine: unexceptional, not ‘deserving’ or ‘worthy’. The more of those testimonies we hear, the stronger we are in our fight to protect women’s rights

Emma Beddington
Mon 16 Nov 2020

One of the last things I did before lockdown was attend a rally supporting the protests against Poland’s constitutional court ruling that introduced a near-total ban on abortion. Hardening the country’s already terrifyingly restrictive current law, it would, if enforced, remove one of the few narrow exceptions still permitted: termination in the event of congenital birth defects.

The scale of protests in Poland has been extraordinary – and hopeful. With up to 100,000 people gathering nightly in Warsaw, they seem to have forced a pause in implementation of this appalling ruling. My damp, local version was less impressive – there were fewer than 100 of us (including dogs and babies), carefully distanced, in cagoules and masks – but no less moving, hearing young Polish women and men stand up and denounce a sclerotic, repressive ancien regime I’m desperate to see them sweep away.

Continued:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/16/it-can-feel-uncomfortable-to-keep-telling-our-abortion-stories-but-it-is-still-essential