Just one week after International Women’s Day, a bill seeking to restrict abortion access in cases of non-fatal fetal abnormality was backed by a majority of MLAs and passed its second stage. Paul Givan of the DUP put forward this bill, cynically using the guise of defending the rights of disabled people in order to cut across the right to choose. For anti-choice groups, undermining abortion access in these circumstances is the thin end of the wedge, aimed at opening up a broader assault on the right to choose.
We know that Sarah ‘did everything right’; she walked a busy route, she made a phone call and let people know where she was going and when she was going to be home. But that didn’t stop the violent attack that cost her life. Almost 80% of women killed by men in the UK were victims of their domestic partner and were killed in their own home. Safety measures would not have protected them.
In January 1919, after a failed uprising led by the newly-formed German Communist Party, Rosa Luxemburg refused to leave Berlin despite the real threats against her; she didn’t want to leave her fellow workers who were experiencing counter-revolutionary repression. The Freikorps (paramilitary units) were sent to remove the ‘head of the beast’ - the revolutionary masses - by executing their influential leaders, including Luxemburg.
March 8 is International Women’s Day, when across the world the struggle for women’s rights is stepped up. Further reports for 8M from different countries can be found on the ROSA site rosainternational.org
Women and pregnant people in Northern Ireland are again being forced to travel in order to access early medical abortion services. As of 5th January, the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust cancelled their services.
November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. For us socialist feminists, the fight for an end to violence against women must be an anti-capitalist fight.
The Socialist Party believes that there is a need to campaign to ensure decriminalisation of abortion translates into actual access for all who need it, free on the NHS in Northern Ireland.
Following last Thursday’s ruling of the Constitutional Court that abortion in the case of foetal defects is unconstitutional, protests and mass demonstrations have swept the country, gaining in numbers each day.
Changes to Northern Ireland's abortion regulations came into effect on 1st April. Following legislative changes by Westminster when Stormont was not functioning as a devolved government, terminations can now be carried out in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy without restriction. These changes are very welcome and are the result of years of campaigning by activists, including members of the Socialist Party and ROSA. While we celebrate this victory, we have to recognise we have not yet reached our aim of ensuring that pregnant people have full bodily autonomy, which includes being able to freely access abortion services through the NHS in Northern Ireland without restriction.