Doctors accused of blocking abortions in Northern Ireland despite legalisation
Patients forced to buy pills online or go overseas for terminations
Published on Sat 13 Jun 2020
Women seeking abortions in Northern Ireland are still struggling to access services. Although abortion was legalised more than two months ago, claims persist that healthcare professionals are refusing to treat patients.
A leading reproductive rights group and a doctors’ organisation say that GPs are refusing to refer pregnant women to hospital services so they can access the tablets needed to undergo a medical abortion. They are also aware of midwives and nurses refusing to care for patients before and after the procedure.
Like Everything Else, Abortion Needs To Change After This
16 April 2020
Was the Health Secretary Matt Hancock gaslighting women in Britain when he allowed draft legislation permitting at-home abortions during the pandemic we’re currently living through to be published and unpublished? We will never know.
In the end, because of a cacophonous campaign from abortion experts at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and Marie Stopes, the government did a u-turn and confirmed that, for as long as this crisis rages on, women will be able to take abortion medication in the safety and comfort of their own home after a telephone consultation with a doctor (also known as telemedicine).
Amid COVID-19 pandemic, a landmark week for abortion care access in Northern Ireland
April 11, 2020
Belfast — After a chaotic week that saw outcry from pro-choice campaigners and abortion providers on both sides of the Irish Sea, Northern Ireland moved to ensure abortion services will be available during the pandemic. In a statement issued to the media on Thursday, April 9, the region’s Department of Health said medical professionals were now permitted to “terminate pregnancies lawfully.” The statement also claimed that the rollout of abortion services, which were meant to have been legally available beginning March 31, had been impacted by the pandemic and “the urgent need to focus resources on preparing the health and social care system for the surge in cases.”
The government’s decision comes after a tumultuous two weeks in which abortion services were supposed to be operational yet remained inaccessible through Northern Ireland’s health service.
New abortion laws for Northern Ireland comes into force
The new regulations will allow terminations in Northern Ireland for the first 12 weeks
By Shaun Keenan
31 MAR 2020
Newly published regulations on abortion services in Northern Ireland will come into force on Tuesday. MPs in Westminster passed the changes to abortion last year in the absence of a power sharing assembly at Stormont.
The new regulations will allow terminations in Northern Ireland on request for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to 24 weeks in cases of a risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or girl.
'I’m not a criminal any longer’: Women's relief as abortion law changes in Northern Ireland
By Lauren Chadwick & Orlando Crowcroft
As Northern Ireland decriminalised abortion on Monday at midnight, pro-choice campaigners marked a new era of openness and freedom in the British province.
Until this week, Northern Ireland had prohibited abortion in all cases except when a mother’s life was at risk, with women and doctors facing sentences up to life in prison under an 1861 law.
Abortion: What does the change in the law mean for NI women?
By Hannah Gay, BBC News NI
Oct 22, 2019
A new chapter has been written in the political and social history of Northern Ireland, centred on one of the most sensitive issues and one which continues to divide opinion.
As the clock passed midnight and Monday became Tuesday, abortion was decriminalised in line with Westminster legislation, which said the law would change unless Northern Ireland's devolved government was restored by 21 October.
Why An Abortion Was The Right Choice For Me: 5 Women Share Their Story
Vogue speaks to five women around the world – from Northern Ireland to Bolivia – who share their deeply personal experiences of abortion, and explain why they believe the choice is a fundamental human right.
By Emily Chan
Friday 5 July 2019
When Alabama passed its anti-abortion law in May – 46 years after abortion was first legalised in the US, in 1973 – it sparked international outcry. The ban, which prevents abortion in nearly all cases, led to thousands of women sharing their abortion experiences on social media, using #YouKnowMe, a campaign launched by American actress Busy Philipps. “One in four women will have an abortion before age 45,” said Philipps on her late-night show. “Maybe you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t know a woman who would have an abortion.’ Well, you know me.”
As Philipps highlights, this is a subject relevant to us all; regardless of age, geography or socio-economic context. Crucially, a woman's fundamental right to choose is under attack, as pockets of political discourse seek to control women’s bodies and reproductive rights.
What's it like to live in a place where abortion is a crime? Women in Northern Ireland know
By Haley Ott, Allison Ingersoll
May 29, 2019, CBS News
Belfast, Northern Ireland — Women in Northern Ireland live under abortion laws very similar to those recently passed in Alabama. They're offering a snapshot for Americans of what life is like in a place where abortion is a crime.
"We have to be really careful about how we communicate with each other and how we work," pro-abortion rights activist Emma Campbell told CBS News.