Briefing about NI Barriers to Accessing Abortion Services launched by Amnesty #MyBodyMyRights

The law governing abortion in Northern Ireland is one of the most restrictive in Europe both in law and in practice … It also carries the harshest criminal penalty in abortion regulation in Europe – life imprisonment for the women undergoing the abortion and for anyone assisting her. A snippet from the executive summary of an Amnesty briefing report launched this morning that looks at Northern Ireland Barriers To Accessing Abortion Services. (Belfast Bar Man mentioned the launch in his …

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Feminism versus Bernadette Smyth?

What does it mean to be a feminist? Not easy to define, by any means. How about a feminist in NI today? Even more complex. The women’s movement in Northern Ireland has hit some pretty difficult stumbling blocks over the last four or five decades. The divergence on the treatment of female republican prisoners and their subsequent protests in Armagh Gaol was one such stumbling block in the 1970s / 1980s. The awarding of a Nobel Prize to two NI women in 1976 was, on the other …

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Politicians must become Pro-Woman to stop further horrors

I’m not pro-choice. Nor am I pro-life. I reject both of those labels because they’ve been used in such a pejorative way for so long that they have come to denote extreme views on both sides of the debate around the rights of women and the rights of unborn children that to identify as one automatically makes you a target of hatred and abuse from the other. The recent tribulations of Dawn Purvis, Director of the Marie Stopes clinic in …

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On abortion: Why it should be a woman’s decision…

‘Throughout the whole Greco-Roman civilisation abortion was permitted by law. It was Christianity which revolutionised moral ideas in this matter by endowing the embryo with a soul; for then abortion became a crime against the foetus itself’. – Simone De Beauvoir, The Second Sex. There is one reason only a woman should have the legal right to abortion and it is not because of rape, incest, foetal abnormality or threat of suicide; but simply because she chooses to. The above are reasons …

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