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Anorak | A movement towards free abortions on the NHS for Northern Irish women

A movement towards free abortions on the NHS for Northern Irish women

by | 20th, June 2017

Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP Scottish government will look at providing free abortions for Northern Ireland women on the NHS. Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, is reported in the Belfast Telegraph as having discussed the plan with the country’s Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood.

Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland under the terms of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act. A woman is a criminal for having an abortion unless the State decides her physical or mental health is at serious risk. Anyone carrying out an abortion in Northern Ireland faces being jailed for life.

Who owns your body? The Northern Irish government exerts more control over women’s reproductive organs than women themselves do. And it’s the same in the Irish republic.

The choice for women seeking an abortion in Ireland is stark: an illegal abortion and prison – and if something goes wrong with the abortion, where do you turn for help if those pills you bought online turn out to be dangerous?; or a flight to Great Britain and lies.

Here’s one example of how woman suffer. In 2016, a Belfast woman was given a suspended one-year sentence for a self-induced abortion. She told her housemates that she tried to travel to England for an abortion but could not afford it. So she bought some pills over the web to induce a miscarriage. Her housemates were “taken back by the seemingly blase attitude” and called the police. Police raided her home and discovered a male foetus inside a black bag in a household bin. They arrested the woman. She was 19.

Figures from the Department of Health in England revealed last week that 724 women from Northern Ireland made the journey to England or Wales for abortions…

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that some Northern Ireland women were already gaining free abortions in Scotland by naming the address of a Scottish friend as their home.

Medics are alleged to turn a blind eye to the fact the women are not living in Scotland.

It’s awful. Abortion should be removed from the criminal law. The State has no business ruling over what a woman can do with her womb.

 



Posted: 20th, June 2017 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink