Abortion has come grudgingly to Northern Ireland in the wake of coronavirus

Abortion has come grudgingly to Northern Ireland in the wake of coronavirus
Women are still a pawn in the political game at Stormont and our rights continue to lag far behind the rest of the UK

Anna Cafolla
Mon 13 Apr 2020

Abortion law reform was officially meant to arrive in Northern Ireland on 1 April – having been previously voted on and passed through Westminster when Stormont was still languishing on its hill, all the way back in what might now feel like another astral dimension, October 2019.

In a chaotic timeline of events, Northern Ireland’s health department missed its original April deadline for providing regulations that offer solid access to abortion care. The coronavirus crisis, the ensuing lockdown and widespread pressure on health services were blamed for the delay. But with heel-dragging and wilful ignorance becoming synonymous with Northern Ireland’s leading parties, campaigners and clinicians criticised anti-choice sentiment for slowing down the implementation of abortion services. DUP and UUP assembly members had still been resisting change.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/13/abortion-northern-ireland-coronavirus-women-stormont-rights

‘Shrouded in shame’: the young women on either side of Ireland’s abortion debate

'Shrouded in shame': the young women on either side of Ireland's abortion debate
Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists are gearing up for a hard-fought referendum in which the youth vote could prove key

Ammar Kalia
Tue 30 Jan 2018

An average of 11 women travel each day from the island of Ireland to have an abortion in England and Wales, according to the most recent Department of Health data. That adds up to more than 200,000 journeys since 1983, when the passing of the Eighth Amendment underlined the ban on abortions in the republic.

In Northern Ireland, the potential punishment for contravening the ban is even more severe. “It’s much more difficult even to have a conversation about abortion in Belfast,” says Jess Brien, a 25-year-old pro-choice campaigner who lives in Northern Ireland’s capital, “because the maximum sentence for having one here is life imprisonment.”

continued: https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/jan/30/ireland-abortion-referendum-debate-young-women