A huge crowd of people rallied outside Belfast's Public Prosecution Service on Thursday evening protesting the prosecution of a Northern Irish woman who bought abortion pills online when she was a teenager. The "Not a Criminal" protest, organised by abortion rights group Alliance for Choice and Belfast Feminist Network and supported by Amnesty International Northern Ireland, comes after the 21-year-old woman was handed a suspended prison sentence for breaking Northern Ireland's anti-abortion law. It also comes after a second woman appeared in court this week, charged with buying abortion pills for her daughter who was a minor at the time. One of hundreds of abortion rights campaigners who gathered in Belfast on Thursday night. Women in England, Scotland and Wales have access to free, safe, legal abortions, but 1967's Abortion Act, which makes abortion legal in Britain, does not extend to Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
LEINSTER, IRELAND – A drone carrying abortion pills was flown into Northern Ireland on Tuesday by groups protesting the stringent anti-abortion regimes operating on both sides of the Irish border. The drone crossed from the Republic of Ireland near the village of Omeath over a narrow stretch of water that separates both states on the island. "Abortion is criminalized in both Northern Ireland and the Republic," Rita Harrold, from the abortion rights group Rosa, said in a statement. "We sent the pills across the border today as an act of solidarity with women in Northern Ireland who are currently facing prosecutions," she said. Although Northern Ireland is under British rule, its abortion laws are determined by the local Parliament, which has refused to extend the relatively liberal abortion rights in place across the rest of the United Kingdom.
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND – Abortion and same-sex marriage are set to become legal in Northern Ireland, after a group of local lawmakers failed Monday in a last-minute bid to thwart the London-ordered liberalization of the laws. Abortion is currently illegal in the British-ruled province -- except when the mother's life is in danger -- but will be decriminalized at midnight (23 GMT) on Monday, with service providers to be allowed to operate next year. Meanwhile, the British government is also currently drawing up new regulations to permit gay marriages and same-sex civil partnerships in Northern Ireland. It passed the legislation changing the laws in Westminster in July to bring the province, where devolved government has been suspended since early 2017, into line with the rest of the U.K. Abortion and same-sex marriage are legal in England, Wales and Scotland. Dozens of Northern Irish Assembly members briefly returned to their suspended parliament for the first time in nearly three years on Monday, largely in protest at the looming changes.
Today, we use the internet to find everything – new restaurants and bars, the closest movie theater, and the most efficient route to our friends' houses. Finding health information and researching health care providers is no different, and that includes finding the closest provider for abortion care. But unlike many other health care services, where a Google search will produce a multitude of local options, people logging on to try to find an abortion provider are met with a harsh reality: In order to reach the closest abortion clinic, they may need to travel hundreds of miles. SEE ALSO: John Oliver exposes how Crisis Pregnancy Centers deceive women and it's pretty horrifying New research released last week revealed just what this user experience is like. Through systematic searches, we learned what the average person would find if they "Googled" "abortion clinic near me" in every state and major city in the United States, and the results were daunting.
Tracking abortion legislation in 2019 is like timing a swim meet where all the competitors have just exchanged their baggy board shorts for Speedos. Records are being broken left and right, with a growing number of states competing to install the most restrictive law in the country. And it's all moving much faster than anyone watching from the stands expected. Since the beginning of the year, 14 states have passed, introduced, or moved forward legislation that would ban abortions performed after about six weeks of pregnancy. Abortion bans this extreme--many people don't even know they're pregnant at such an early stage--are both recent and rare.