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.
Resist attacks on abortion rights, fight for full access to abortion services on the NHS across Northern Ireland
Writing at the beginning of April about the legal changes on the issue of abortion, we warned “the indications are that Stormont politicians, instead of making basic healthcare more easily accessible, are pushing back against the recent changes.” Unfortunately, this was confirmed earlier this week, when a majority of MLAs voted in favour of the DUP motion to reject the “imposition of abortion legislation” from Westminster.
Abortion rights: No roll back on decriminalisation! Access on the NHS in NI for all who need it NOW!
The decriminalisation of abortion has been won through struggle, not simply handed down by benevolent MPs. The politicians were forced into action after a light was shone on the denial of reproductive rights in the North. It was the actions of pro-choice activists that were key to making this happen.
Over three-quarters of MPs in the House of Commons have voted to extend abortion rights and equal marriage here via amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill. If made into law, the amendments would remove the North from the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, decriminalising abortion, in the event that Stormont does not resume by 22 October.
The archaic laws on abortion in Northern Ireland have been found to breach the European Convention on Human Rights.