NORTHERN IRELAND – 62,000 people signed a petition supporting legal abortion in Northern Ireland

On 26 February 2019, 28 women walked over Westminster Bridge to the UK Parliament in solidarity with the 28 women who every week have to fly from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK for an abortion. The women included actors Siobhan McSweeney and Nicola Coughlan, stars of the hit television show Derry Girls. The march called for the extension of abortion rights to Northern Ireland. Their suitcases contained sheets of paper with the … Continued

NORTHERN IRELAND: SOLIDARITY REQUEST & bid to change law on human rights grounds

On 1 February, the NI Alliance for Choice launched the teaser to a powerful and moving music video with Isobel Anderson, a popular Belfast-based singer and musician. If they can raise £5,000 by 2 March, they will be able to make the full 5-minute music video of her singing a song about a personal abortion experience live that evening at a special event in Belfast. Please make a donation: https://localgiving.org/appeal/imalife/ The song, _4284_ / I’m … Continued

CANADA / IRELAND / NORTHERN IRELAND – Crossing Troubled Waters

This book examines and compares the stories of abortion access in Prince Edward Island, Canada, Northern Ireland and Ireland. It is co-edited by Dr Colleen MacQuarrie, Fiona Bloomer, Claire Pierson, and Shannon Stettner. It was launched on 19 November at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). The book considers, for each island, the nature of the discourse of abortion on the island, the impact that restrictions have had, ongoing efforts to improve access, and … Continued

NORTHERN IRELAND – UK Women and Equalities Committee launches inquiry into abortion law

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

ENGLAND / NORTHERN IRELAND / IRELAND – A formative evaluation of online information to support abortion access in England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

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

NORTHERN IRELAND – The domino effect starts here

“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

WALES & NORTHERN IRELAND – Women should be able to take abortion pills at home, says Jenny Rathbone, Welsh Assembly Member

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

NORTHERN IRELAND / UK – CEDAW find that the UK violates the rights of women in Northern Ireland by unduly restricting access to abortion

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

NORTH & SOUTH OF IRELAND – Abortion as a Workplace Issue: A Trade Union Survey North & South of Ireland

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.

NORTHERN IRELAND – Abortion by telemedicine in Northern Ireland: patients and professional rights across borders

  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

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