Abortion is legal in mainland UK with the consent of two doctors.
Abortion is not legal in Northern Ireland – the 1967 Act which made abortion legal did not cover Northern Ireland, and changes in the law (and changes in the political independence of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom) mean that abortion is likely to remain illegal in Northern Ireland for the foreseeable future: the politicians in the Stormont Assembly have, whether Protestant or Catholic, a united front when it comes to acknowledging that women’s rights are human rights.
So, women living in Northern Ireland who need an abortion do the same as women living in the Republic of Ireland do: they make the trip to the mainland, London or Liverpool or Glasgow, have their abortion, and travel back – a quick, relatively cheap trip, if travel and accommodation costs were all. A normal uncomplicated early abortion can take place within two days, and must, when a woman is compelled to travel to get one.
A woman from Northern Ireland is a UK citizen. She pays the same taxes for the NHS as she would if she were living anywhere else in the UK. But when she needs an abortion, she cannot get one on the NHS, as she could if she lived anywhere else in the UK. She is required to go private – to find somehow £1500 or more,, on top of what it costs her to travel to the mainland and stay overnight.
It is unjust that women living in Northern Ireland are not allowed to make use of the NHS to have an abortion. It is not fair, it is not right, and it should be changed.
If you are a UK citizen, please sign the petition to the Prime Minister to let him know that women in Northern Ireland deserve the same access to full NHS services as women anywhere else in the UK.