The I ❤ 1967 petition has surpassed 1,000 signatures!
The 1967 Abortion Act, which other regions of the UK rely on for guidance in relation to termination of pregnancy, was never extended or adopted in Northern Ireland. Abortion law is governed by the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 which criminalises any individual who induces their own abortion or any person who aids her – both, under the law, “shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be kept in penal servitude for life.”
The law in Northern Ireland has been widened by a number of judgements from the 1990s, allowing abortion when the mental or physical health of the individual is in ‘grave’ danger of ‘serious and permanent damage’. Abortion remains illegal when pregnancy occurs as a result of rape or in cases of foetal abnormality.
Abortion is not easily accessible through the NHS, even when an individual clearly has a legal right to one. For those who are pregnant as a result of rape, foetal abnormalities have been identified or for those who feel they simply cannot continue a pregnancy, there are limited choices – carry the pregnancy to term, travel to England for an expensive but legal abortion or to access illegal abortion pills. Over 1,000 people a year find the £800+ needed to travel to England and pay for a private abortion. We do not know how many induce their own abortions using other methods but we have every reason to believe it amounts to hundreds every year.
Read more: www.change.org
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