It's been a long road to Ireland's abortion referendum - so what will happen now?
Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of Bpas
30 January 2018
I became a pro-choice advocate 30 years ago, when I met a girl of my age who had been sent to a young mothers’ home in England before her pregnancy was visible. She had been told to stay there until she ‘looked normal again’ so no one would know her family’s shame.
So, when I heard that the Irish Prime Minister has confirmed a referendum that could change the country's laws that all but ban abortion and enable women's access to terminations, I thought - at last.
Tue Nov 1, 2016 | 8:06pm EDT, Reuters
Women's rights groups are to ask the British Supreme Court on Wednesday to compel the government to fund abortions for Northern Ireland residents traveling to England to avoid some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.
While the National Health Service routinely provides free abortions to women in most of the United Kingdom, abortion is only permitted in the British province of Northern Ireland when a woman’s life is at risk or if there is a risk of permanent and serious damage to her mental or physical health.
Last year just 16 abortions were carried out in Northern Ireland but women's rights groups estimate that around 1,000 women travel to Britain each year for terminations, which they must finance themselves along with travel and other costs.
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