N. Ireland – Ex-IRA chief leads anti-abortion protest at Sinn Féin office evoking memory of Bobby Sands

'Voters need to know Sinn Féin is now pro-abortion and the party has utterly betrayed the legacy, vision and hopes of brave people like Bobby Sands'

Hugh Jordan
April 17 2022

It’s safe to say it wasn’t the type of protest Sinn Féin expected to find outside their constituency office in Coalisland this week – a group of people on their knees saying the Rosary.

And leading them was a former IRA commander who spearheaded the terror group’s war in the staunchly republican district.

Continued: https://www.sundayworld.com/news/irish-news/ex-ira-chief-leads-anti-abortion-protest-at-sinn-fein-office-evoking-memory-of-bobby-sands-41561888.html

UK government preparing to override Northern Ireland on abortion services

Northern Irish executive has not commissioned any services since terminations became legal in 2019

Alexandra Topping, The Guardian
Thu 24 Mar 2022

The UK government is taking legal steps to override the Northern Ireland executive and directly instruct the nation’s health trusts to provide abortion services, saying it will “take the necessary powers” to directly commission services if urgent progress is not made.

The secretary for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, set out the UK government’s legislative options in strong language on Thursday, after it became “increasingly clear” that the Northern Ireland Department of Health (NI DoH) will miss the end of March deadline to fully commission abortion services in the country.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/mar/24/uk-government-to-override-northern-ireland-on-abortion-services

NI secretary can direct establishment of abortion services, judge rules

Anti-abortion group claimed only elected representatives in North should decide on issue

Tue, Feb 8, 2022,
Alan Erwin

The Northern Ireland secretary has the legal authority to direct the establishment of abortion services in the region, a judge as ruled at Belfast High Court.

Mr Justice Colton rejected a challenge by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) to Brandon Lewis’ powers to impose a deadline on Stormont for putting in place a centralised system.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/ni-secretary-can-direct-establishment-of-abortion-services-judge-rules-1.4796919

N. Ireland – Enforcement of abortion clinic safe access zones ‘must balance competing rights’

Chief Superintendent Melanie Jones spoke to Stormont’s Health Committee on the proposed new legislation.

By Rebecca Black
Jan 11, 2022

A senior police officer has said that competing human rights must be balanced in the enforcement of proposed safe access zones around abortion clinics in Northern Ireland

Green Party MLA Clare Bailey proposed the legislation, describing a “campaign of harassment and intimidation” outside facilities by anti-abortion campaigners as having “escalated” in recent months.

Continued: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/stormont-green-party-ireland-canada-australia-b976137.html

Abortion: DUP bill to stop terminations for non-fatal disabilities rejected

By Jayne McCormack, BBC News NI political correspondent
Dec 14, 2021

A DUP bill to prevent abortions in Northern Ireland in cases of non-fatal disabilities has effectively fallen after a tight vote at Stormont.

Assembly members (MLAs) voted by 45 to 42 to reject the principles of the bill after its consideration stage debate.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-59660274

Sinn Féin welcomes call for progress on Northern Ireland abortion services

DUP and Ulster Unionist opposition to 2019 legislation is ‘shameful and disgraceful’, says Michelle O’Neill

Lisa O'Carroll
Thu 28 Oct 2021

Sinn Féin has welcomed a demand by the British government for progress on the introduction of abortion services in Northern Ireland, as the party denounced Democratic Unionist opposition to the provisions as “shameful and disgraceful”.

Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister, Michelle O’Neill, accused the DUP and the Ulster Unionist party of trying to reverse legislation imposed by Westminster in 2019, which provided for terminations in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/oct/28/sinn-fein-welcomes-mps-call-for-progress-on-northern-ireland-abortion-services

Northern Ireland Office may directly instruct trusts to offer abortion services

Exclusive: Brandon Lewis warns he will soon have ‘no alternative but to take further steps’ to ensure services are provided

Jessica Elgot Chief political correspondent
Wed 27 Oct 2021

Brandon Lewis could override the Northern Ireland executive and directly instruct the nation’s health trusts to provide abortion services, warning leaders in a leaked letter that the continued delay is unacceptable conduct in public office.

The Northern Ireland secretary wrote to the first minister, Paul Givan, and his deputy, Michelle O’Neill, warning he would soon “have no alternative but to take further steps to ensure that women and girls have access to abortion services as decided by parliament, and to which they have a right”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/oct/27/northern-ireland-office-may-directly-instruct-trusts-to-offer-abortion-services

NI Secretary fails to comply with duties over abortion law

By Michael Fitzpatrick, BBC News NI
October 14, 2021

A High Court judge has ruled the secretary of state for Northern Ireland has failed to comply with his duty to provide abortion services to women in Northern Ireland "expeditiously."

However Mr Justice Colton declined to compel Brandon Lewis to make abortion services available. He also dismissed claims against the Department of Health and the Executive Committee.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-58910720

N. Ireland – Abortion: Stormont has ‘no duty’ to follow Westminster order

By Jayne McCormack, BBC News NI political correspondent
Oct 4, 2021

Stormont departments have "no duty" to follow a government direction to set up abortion services in NI, the High Court in Belfast has heard.

The remarks were made by John Larkin QC during the start of a second legal challenge over abortion laws.

In July, political disagreement in the executive led the government to impose a deadline to establish services by next March.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-58765851

Abortion protests take place in Belfast amid deepening political row

Pro-choice councillor says any move to block rollout of services is ‘against democracy’

July 31, 2021

Pro-choice and anti-abortion campaigners have held separate protests in Belfast amid the deepening political row over the commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland.

The small-scale demonstrations in the city centre came after DUP First Minister Paul Givan threatened to block the British government’s move to formally direct Stormont to fully roll out abortion services in the region.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/abortion-protests-take-place-in-belfast-amid-deepening-political-row-1.4636154