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.
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.
Westminster continues to refuse to act in the face of growing pressure, particularly since the historic victory of the ‘repeal’ referendum in the South last year. Amendments and bills that have been brought on this issue have been continuously delayed.