Campaigners Welcome Historic Day As Abortion Decriminalised In Northern Ireland


21st October 2019
For immediate release

Today is a landmark moment for reproductive rights in Northern Ireland, and for women and girls who have been living under one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. At midnight tonight, abortion will be decriminalised, and we will be one step closer to free, safe, legal and local abortion in Northern Ireland. Women and girls in Northern Ireland have been left behind for too long - and today marks a historic step in bringing this cruel injustice to an end.

In July 2019, the UK Parliament voted in favour of an amendment proposed by Stella Creasy MP and supported by pro-choice groups across the UK. Section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Bill 2019 passed by 332-99 votes in the House of Commons and 182-37 in the House of Lords. Section 9 states that decriminalisation of abortion would take effect if no Executive was formed in Northern Ireland by October 21st.


Pro-choice campaign calls 40,000 Irish expats home for abortion vote

Pro-choice campaign calls 40,000 Irish expats home for abortion vote
Citizens living abroad urged to return in bid to swing referendum and repeal termination ban

Harriet Sherwood
Sun 11 Mar 2018

Up to 40,000 Irish citizens living abroad are being urged to return home to cast crucial votes in a historic referendum in May that could overturn the country’s ban on abortion. A campaign, Home to Vote, is calling on the Irish diaspora in the UK, Europe, north America and elsewhere to book flights and ferries to Ireland to exercise their democratic right.

Three years ago thousands of Irish citizens returned home to vote on same-sex marriage legislation, boosting the remarkable two-thirds majority for changing the law. Campaigners now hope to repeat the feat.


‘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.”


These Luggage Tags Protest Ireland’s Abortion Ban & The Message Is Powerful

These Luggage Tags Protest Ireland’s Abortion Ban & The Message Is Powerful
ByMorgan Brinlee
Dec 23, 2017

The artsy "here's my luggage waiting to take a journey" photograph is, by now, a tried and true tradition for holiday travelers on Instagram or Twitter. But what if your luggage-in-transit snap could send a powerful political statement about women's reproductive rights? For many travelers en route to or from Ireland this holiday season, they can and they are. For its latest campaign, an abortion rights advocacy group is encouraging holiday travelers to use "Healthcare Not Airfare" luggage tags to make a statement about abortion rights in Ireland.

To raise awareness about the journey Irish women must make to obtain an abortion, the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign designed an eye-catching white luggage tag with a simple message: Healthcare not airfare.

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Irish People Flying Home For Christmas Are Sharing An Important Message About Abortion

Irish People Flying Home For Christmas Are Sharing An Important Message About Abortion

Luggage tags that read "healthcare not airfare" aim to highlight the fact that every year, thousands of women travel from Ireland and Northern Ireland to Britain to get abortions.
Posted on December 21, 2017
Laura Silver, BuzzFeed News Reporter

Irish people travelling home for Christmas are labelling their suitcases with "healthcare not airfare" luggage tags to highlight the number of women who travel to Britain for an abortion, which is illegal in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Many people have been sharing pictures of their luggage tags on social media using the hashtag "Choice4Xmas".

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Momentum grows among London-Irish abortion activists

Momentum grows among London-Irish abortion activists
Some work to help those travelling: ‘There isn’t a stereotypical Irish abortion seeker’

Dec 18, 2017
Shane Hickey in London

This year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in London marked a significant landmark for a group of Irish campaigners who gathered at Hyde Park Corner before starting to walk together. It was the first time that a pro-choice group had been allowed to march in the event.

Under the banner of the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, the group of mostly women held aloft placards with images of Countess Markievicz, St Brigid and Queen Maebh.

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