In Northern Ireland, unlike in Great Britain, abortion is only legal if the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy poses a serious, permanent or long-term risk to her health and well-being. In practice, there are almost no abortions. In 2016, a UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women inquiry on access to abortion in Northern Ireland concluded that the rights of women in Northern Ireland were being violated, and argued that … Continued
by DN Duffy, C Pierson, P Best BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health 4 September 2018 Web searches in mid-2016 using four search terms from the perspective of someone seeking abortion services found 619 web pages, 83 of which related to accessing services – 22 pages from Ireland, 31 from Northern Ireland, and 30 from England. Only 31 were judged good or excellent. The relevance of information retrieved varied. Almost half of all results in … Continued
“I was saying at work yesterday, it’s a bit like when the Berlin Wall came down – just 8 months ago, none of the main parties on the island of Ireland supported abortion rights. Now, the majority do and the rest are trying to catch up.” Goretti Horgan, Northern Ireland Alliance for Choice Following on from the incredible energy generated by the referendum win in Ireland, Labour member of the UK parliament Stella Creasy tabled … Continued
In October 2017, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer wrote to all health boards to say that misoprostol can be used by women outside of a clinical setting after use of mifepristone for early abortion. The change brings Scotland in line with other countries such as Sweden, France and the USA. In Wales, it is still illegal to do so, meaning that mifepristone and misoprostol 1-2 days later still both have to be taken in the clinic … Continued
The Northern Ireland Alliance for Choice has welcomed the report of the CEDAW Inquiry, published on 23 February 2018, which was launched following a submission to CEDAW in 2015 by three Northern Irish groups – the Family Planning Association, Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform, and Alliance for Choice. The submission argued that in NI: “assisting with or procuring an abortion is criminalised, punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and the availability of abortion … Continued
With more than 700,000 members in over 40 affiliated unions, the trade union movement is Ireland’s largest civic society body. Over half our membership is women for whom highly repressive abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are an impediment to full equality: without the right to make decisions about their own bodies, women are not truly equal.
We – Unite the Union, Unison, Mandate Trade Union, the CWU Ireland and the GMB – initiated and funded this unique cross-union, all-island survey to explore how such restricted access to abortion affects our working members.
by Tamara Hervey, Sally Sheldon Northern Ireland Law Quarterly, Spring 2017;68(1):1-33 Open access Abstract The uneasy legal and political settlement regarding abortion in Northern Ireland has long relied on the outsourcing of aspects of reproductive health care. While local health services offer only highly restricted access to termination procedures, women travel to access abortion services elsewhere. However, technological changes, in particular the development of abortifacient medicines, are revolutionising this aspect of reproductive healthcare. Rather … Continued
The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) handed out prestigious Public Affairs Awards to campaigns nominated for their skill and impact in the world of public lobbying. The only nominee (and thus guaranteed winner) for the “best campaign in Northern Ireland” was a group calling itself Both Lives Matter, which this report explains is in favour of “the continued denial of women’s reproductive healthcare… and human rights… and is handing out a mask of respectability … Continued
On 24 October, the UK Supreme Court began a three-day hearing on an application from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, which argues that criminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland in the case of rape, incest and serious fetal abnormality, is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This was raised by several individual cases taken by the Commission to court for redress. Britain’s 1967 Abortion Act has never been extended … Continued
One fifth of workers have had “direct experience of abortion”, according to a survey conducted by researchers at Ulster University. The study, in which more than 3,000 union members in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland participated, highlights workplace issues raised by the prohibition on abortion. These include costs, time off work, stress and in some cases emotional trauma associated with the stigma and isolation, the authors state. Conducted on behalf of five … Continued