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To remind you about NI

(159 Posts)
NowforNI Thu 16-May-19 18:36:29

There’s been a lot of discussion (and condemnation) on these threads about abortion laws in Alabama.

We still don’t have safe, legal abortion in all of the UK. 28 women a week have to travel from Northern Ireland to the mainland because they do not have access to the same medical services as women in the rest of the UK, despite paying for the NHS through taxation.

Women’s reproductive rights and autonomy over their own bodies are worth fighting for - please consider emailing your MP to keep this on the agenda.

Thank you!

PS I’m not formally linked to the Now for NI campaign, I just think it’s bloody important

Irulez Mon 20-May-19 14:10:22

You need to bear in mind that Irish people have been exposed to extreme Pro-life graphic propaganda for decades. I remember I was about 12, and my mother gave me an article (printed) called The Silent Scream. That article haunts me to this day. Thank God I've never had to have an abortion, as in the end, I had my baby, but you need to be removed from a society with all that shame and guilt and 'murder' sentiment that is out there. I feel calmer somehow now that it's allowed in Ireland. It feels that it's not such a bad sin. I actually went off sex for years out of fear of pregnancy, as I felt abortion wouldn't be an option for me. Now I feel relieved somehow, that it is actually an option. I can't take oral contraceptives due to history of PE.

Irulez Mon 20-May-19 14:01:17

Well if Irish women wish to access outside the Irish parameters, maybe they still go to England, but I do agree with the parameters set.

I actually had to debate this with my sister at the time as she was going to vote No (she had a vote, I don't), as she didn't agree with abortion up to 12 weeks. I explained to her you could be two missed periods if you're irregular (I am) before you copped. For e.g. I had no period for 2 years so thought I was infertile.

So you could be maybe 8 weeks before you knew or did a pregnancy test. Then it might take you a week to make a decision, maybe another week to make an appointment, then a 3 day period before it could be actioned, so you could well be 10-11 weeks before you could even access it. She wanted it to be limited to before 8 weeks or something. She eventually voted Yes, but it took a lot of explaining the practicalities, the timelines, the emotions involved etc., before she agreed to vote Yes. As far as I know, she's never had a crisis pregnancy. I have though. What did my mother advise? Take a hot bath and you'll miscarry. What did my mother vote? No. Lol.

FinallyHere Mon 20-May-19 12:55:31

Which is why help is still extended to women living in Ireland ...

Irulez Mon 20-May-19 12:53:18

Thanks @FinallyHere

Website doesn't seem up to date from a cursory glance as they mention still giving assistance to people in Ireland.

From reading how to access abortion in Ireland, I think you need to be resident there from what I could gather as it's at GP up to 9 weeks and at a clinic from 9-12 weeks. Outside of 12 weeks in the cases of foetal abnormalities and some other cases, again I presume it's through a clinic. So I doubt NI residents could access abortion in Ireland (yet anyway - we're barely there ourselves!).

FinallyHere Mon 20-May-19 11:46:19

Sorry to high jack the thread,

I feel it is at least tangentially relevant to 'let's not forget NI'

@Irulez There is lots to read on the site if you would like to inform yourself of how these things work in practice.

Irulez Mon 20-May-19 10:48:36

And she's the reason (or part of it) that they can't get the Brexit withdrawal agreement through too if I'm not mistaken?

It all beggars belief really!

It must have been a little tough for the women of NI watching their friends across the border finally be allowed the freedom to choose in the Republic. Can they travel across the border into Ireland to have it? I know legislation is only a few months in place in Ireland, so still in its teething stages there, but would it work out cheaper for NI women if there is an agreement in place or the option for them? I have no idea whether that's even possible yet.

FinallyHere Mon 20-May-19 09:13:46


* And this woman is still in politics? *

No only still in politics, in a confidence and supply agreement which props up the current government in Westminster, so could be described as holding the balance of power in the UK.

It's not only in NI that politics is peculiar

FinallyHere Mon 20-May-19 09:10:18

One thing anyone can do, is to support this charity, who provide very practical help

Irulez Sun 19-May-19 22:45:36

I think the politics of NI is peculiar and there's nothing anyone can do.

Irulez Sun 19-May-19 22:44:19

Just read your link, thanks

"This arrangement has largely weathered a decade of politics, but in November 2016 a scandal emerged surrounding a Renewable Heat Incentive (also referred to as the RHI scandal or ‘Cash for Ash’), signed off by First Minister Arlene Foster in 2012. Its mismanagement had cost the Northern Ireland Executive £480m.

Sinn Féin called for Ms Foster to stand aside from her position to allow for an independent inquiry into the scandal, but she refused.

Having served as Deputy First Minister for ten years, Mr McGuinness then resigned in January 2017 and Sinn Féin announced they would not be replacing him. This stripped Ms Foster of her title as First Minister and collapsed the executive."

And this woman is still in politics?


MuddlingMackem Sun 19-May-19 22:36:39

I signed the template letter to my MP, but a PP mentioned there is a law from the 1800s which, if repealled, would automatically give abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland. Perhaps the strategy needs to be changed to repeal that law for England and Wales(?) if that's the one making it illegal to have an abortion without it being signed off by two doctors, focus on England and Wales and slide it through that it covers NI as well. If I've understood the premise of the law correctly.

I'm just thinking that given ROI's successful Repeal the 8th campaign, a campaign in this country to repeal an old law, rather than to create a new one, might get more traction. But I may be talking rubbish.

MRex Sun 19-May-19 22:29:05

@Irulez - because the DUP and Sinn Fein can't cooperate; here's a relatively recent article:

MRex Sun 19-May-19 22:22:27

I don't see how there could be a legal test case, because it would take too long to get to court, nobody would want to wait any more than they would want the publicity. Unless they wait for the NI Savita Halappanavar, leave a woman to die before they give NI women equal rights to the rest of the UK.

Irulez Sun 19-May-19 22:21:12

Ok, so what is stopping them having a government in place?

MRex Sun 19-May-19 22:11:41

Nope. This is what he said in full...

Thank you for getting in touch and for sharing your thoughts on abortion legislation with me. I very much note your comments, and strongly agree that women should retain the right to chose.

FYI only, I have copied below the most recent information issued by the Northern Ireland Office about abortion:

'Abortion remains a highly sensitive issue, regardless of where your view lies and one where it is important that the matter is considered with due care and sensitivity.
The Government believes that any future reform in Northern Ireland must be debated and decided by the people of Northern Ireland and their locally-elected politicians. This has been the position of successive Governments, both Conservative and Labour. The Government will keep its position under review in light of the UK Government's legal obligations, and in light of any relevant emerging legal judgments, as appropriate.
Restoring the Executive remains the Secretary of State's key priority and she has said that she will continue to work closely with Northern Ireland's political parties to restore strong, inclusive devolved government at the earliest opportunity.'

Irulez Sun 19-May-19 22:05:40

@MRex Did your MP mention a means for it to be addressed by NI?

Irulez Sun 19-May-19 22:04:28

So what can we do?

MRex Sun 19-May-19 21:38:22

My MP sent me a (presumably prepared) response that was lengthy but basically said the government won't touch it as it has to be decided by NI only. I'm impressed that he replied within 6 hours, but it's sad that he obviously won't take it further.

LindsayDentonsCat Sun 19-May-19 21:32:58

Firstly, I'm not Northern Irish, so I don't know the answer to some of your questions, Irulez
I'm English and live in England. But I have written to my MP and encourage offers to do so. It's about time that the rest of us in the UK supported the Northern Irish population and educated ourselves.

There was no debate, the petition was rejected before it reached that stage.

Fwiw, I don't think going backwards is any more shocking than things having always been this way. A country which stones women for adultery is as much of a human rights issue as a country which legislates to do so tomorrow.

Irulez Sun 19-May-19 20:52:06

Do you have a link to an article about the debate in parliament?

Irulez Sun 19-May-19 20:50:43

Is there a majority in favour of it?

Irulez Sun 19-May-19 20:49:12

Do you think if there was a referendum that it might be voted through?

Who or what do you think is the greatest block to having abortion legalised?

SenecaFalls Sun 19-May-19 20:48:52

Going backwards on women's rights is more shocking than staying still.

Alabama and some other states have tried to go backwards, but these laws are unconstitutional and cannot be enforced at present. The concern is that, with more recent conservative justices appointed to the Supreme Court, it will validate some of them at some point in the future, but that is some years away.

Irulez Sun 19-May-19 20:43:14

So what should people do?

LindsayDentonsCat Sun 19-May-19 20:38:38

There has been, it was rejected, because Westminster are claiming it isn't their problem. Which should be true, if it wasn't for the impasse in Stormont.

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