Abortion Alliances Transcending Orange and Green

One of the first things I became involved in through the Belfast Feminist Network was a short play about abortion. It attempted to tell the stories of women’s experiences accessing abortions from Northern Ireland. At the time, around 2011, it was novel. We weren’t even telling real stories, per se, but writing them based on conversations with real women. We performed it a couple of times, and then the artistic conversations moved on to telling real women’s actual stories – … Read more

Alliance For Choice – #dropthecharges

In June 2015 a Belfast woman appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court facing charges of procuring a poison or other noxious substance. The defendant obtained two different medications, Misoprostol and Mifepristone, which are common drugs used to induce abortions. The World Health Organization added these drugs to their “Essential Medicines List” in 2005, a list defined by the WHO as “those drugs that satisfy the health care needs of the majority of the population; they should therefore be available at all times … Read more

Propagation of patriarchy and restriction of female bodily autonomy is the unifying bridge between Nationalism and Unionism in Northern Ireland.

In October 2013, Sarah Ewart braved the public gauntlet by speaking on the Stephen Nolan show of her experience as a pregnant woman carrying a foetus with fatal abnormalities. Few could find themselves unmoved by Ewart’s tragic story – made worse by archaic laws in Northern Ireland forcing her to travel to England to pay for abortion services. Speaking to an audience that included an individual who would soon be convicted of harassing Marie Stopes director Dawn Purvis, Ewart argued … Read more

Game of Thrones vs real life: 5 ways fact is worse than fiction

Guest blog by Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research, Amnesty International The long-awaited fifth season of Game of Thrones begins on Sunday 12 April. Filmed in Northern Ireland (and elsewhere) and broadcast in 170 countries, the show shocks viewers and generates controversy with graphic violence, especially against women. Yet many aspects of real life around the world today are worse than the mythical Game of Thrones world of Westeros. [spoiler alert: reveals plot lines up to the end of season 2!] … Read more

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 … Read more