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.