Northern Ireland health chiefs accused over lack of abortion care

Patrick Corrigan, Lisa
January 06 2021

Health bosses have been accused of failing more than a third of a million
people amid claims an abortion service has been stopped.

Amnesty International said a failure by the Health Minister to commission
services and provide funding has forced the South Eastern Trust to cease the
provision of vital abortion care.


Pro-choice doctors call on ‘anti-abortion propaganda film’ to stop being shown in schools

Doctors for Choice argue that the film The Silent Scream is riddled with 'medical, scientific, and legal untruths'

9 November 2020
by Laura Calleja

Doctors for Choice have called for The Silent Scream, which they describe as an “anti-abortion propaganda film”, to stop being shown in schools.

The film was produced in the mid-1980s and is often shown in Maltese schools.

The NGO said the film continued to be used by pro-life groups to “dramatize abortion and portray it as an inhumane procedure that should be banned.”


The pandemic shows a better way to handle abortion

It is safe and efficient for early terminations to take place at home

Sep 19th 2020
The Economist

For most women deciding how or when to give birth, covid-19 has been a nightmare. Fertility treatments have paused, sexual-health clinics closed and partners been banned from delivery rooms. Yet the pandemic has brought one silver lining. It has shown a better way to carry out early-stage abortions.

Abortion is legal in most of the world, and relatively straightforward in most rich countries. But obstacles remain. They include compulsory waiting times and mandatory counselling. Perhaps the most common obstacle is that the first step in medical abortions (which involve drugs rather than surgery) must take place in clinics. Yet temporary measures set up during the pandemic suggest this is often unnecessary. These temporary measures should now become permanent.


UK – Abortions are for everyone – it’s time for fully inclusive services

The idea that abortion is always a clear choice is far too simplistic and minimises the experiences of lots of those seeking abortion care

Annabel Sowemimo
July 5, 2020

A conversation on how we think about abortion access and how inclusive our services are is long over due. For far too long, the abortion movement has championed access for all those that require abortion care but with little acknowledgement of the wider structures that govern our reproductive health.

While it is estimated that a quarter of all pregnancies end in abortion – the idea that abortion is always a clear choice is far too simplistic and minimises the experiences of lots of those seeking abortion care. Recent Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) data revealed that black women are more likely to report a consecutive abortion compared to their white and Asian counterparts.


Malta – Science should guide all our health policies… including abortion

Science should guide all our health policies... including abortion
Our total abortion ban is no less dangerous or unhinged (or even idiotic, for that matter) than Donald Trump’s notorious recommendation to ‘drink bleach’ as an antidote to COVID-19

Raphael Vassallo
5 May 2020

I guess it had to take a major global health emergency to make us finally understand what should really have been obvious all along. Yes, Dr Fearne: our national policies should be based on scientific advice... and not on popular opinion, electoral concerns, or (still less) the demands of powerful lobby groups.

It is, in fact, thanks to the health authorities’ science-based approach that Malta has so far been spared the nightmare scenarios we have seen unfolding almost everywhere else in the world. As Fearne himself put it last Friday: “We are in today’s positive situation because from the very beginning we abided by what science was telling us, and what the numbers were suggesting.”


How the pandemic forced long-overdue abortion law reform

How the pandemic forced long-overdue abortion law reform
Sensible policy changes may leave women wondering: why wasn’t it like this before?

by Phoebe Arslanagic-Wakefield
April 22, 2020

The current crisis places us in an extraordinary state of flux and society may never return to normal. Post-Covid-19, employers may struggle to talk employees back onto their commutes and into the office, certain industries may never recover, and the government’s generous financial support packages may be hard to row back. Indeed, the changes initiated are proving highly disruptive to norms, some which have evolved over time to become meaningless shibboleths.

One such reactionary norm is that, under English law, women seeking to abort an early pregnancy (prior to ten weeks) must take the first of the two pills necessary for the termination in an abortion clinic, and only the second pill may be taken in the comfort of their own homes. Women also need the approval of two doctors to access the medication—telephone consultations are not permitted.


Abortions ‘can now be carried out’ in Northern Ireland

Abortions 'can now be carried out' in Northern Ireland

By Jayne McCormack, BBC News NI Political Reporter
9 April 2020

Medical professionals in NI can now "terminate pregnancies lawfully", the Department of Health has said.

Last month, abortion laws changed to permit terminations up to 12 weeks, but this had not been put into practice.

Some of NI's health trusts had been told by the department not to proceed with temporary plans.


England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access

England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access
Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow

March 31, 2020
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales – and governments across Europe – should swiftly follow suit.

The welcome decision follows outrage and confusion last week after the government announced the change only to reverse it hours later.


UK – State control over women’s bodies is an unforeseen outcome of the coronavirus crisis

State control over women's bodies is an unforeseen outcome of the coronavirus crisis
A U-turn on women’s ability to access home abortions and the cancellation of IVF means they have less say over their fertility

Emma Barnett
Sun 29 Mar 2020

It’s been quite a week to have a womb in the UK.

First, pregnant women were suddenly categorised as vulnerable, and advised to stay home by the government. But then some of them were told to come back into work by their employers – including the riskiest of all, the NHS.


UK- Coronavirus: Department of Health says temporary changes to abortion law were ‘published in error’

Coronavirus: Department of Health says temporary changes to abortion law were ‘published in error’
'This was published in error,' a spokesperson told The Independent

Sophie Gallagher
Mar 23, 2020

The Department of Health says reported changes to the abortion law, that would allow women to take both pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, are not going ahead.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told The Independent: “This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulations.”