TAKE A STAND AGAINST THE EROSION OF ABORTION RIGHTS IN THE UK

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As you may have heard, one of the first things on the agenda of the unholy Tory-DUP alliance, may well be an attack on abortion rights. This is chilling news: even if it is a reduction of time limit, this opens the door to further chipping away abortion rights.

In Northern Ireland, abortion is still illegal. Women are convicted for self-administering medical abortions–which they have to do because they have no legal access to services. They must travel to England at a cost of thousands of pounds for an abortion–and they do. Homes are raided by police in case women have abortion pills, with raids even occurring on International Women’s Day!

This is what the DUP want for everyone with a uterus in the rest of the UK, and they are now in a position to try to make this happen.

And so, we need to get mobilising now to ensure that our abortion rights are not in any way reduced. In fact, as an additional finger to the DUP, we could use the opportunity of a vote on abortion rights to further strengthen what exists in the country as a whole.

We urge you to write to your MP, voicing your outrage and concern using our template below.


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    A BACKGROUND ON ABORTION LAW IN THE UK

    There are two particular legal quirks which make abortion rights in Northern Ireland almost non-existent, and also very fragile in the rest of the UK. In the whole of the UK, abortion is illegal under the Offences Against the Person Act (1861). Yes, I did mean to type “the whole of the UK”. Abortion is technically illegal on every part of this rainy fascism archipelago, under a law that is over a century and a half old. In England, Scotland and Wales, the Abortion Act (1967) sets out specific circumstances under which abortions will not be prosecuted. This means that as long as an abortion is playing by the rules from the 1967 Act, it’s still a criminal offence, but not going to mean you or your doctor will be prosecuted for it.

    In Northern Ireland, the Abortion Act (1967) does not apply, most abortions are still a criminal offence which you and your doctor can still be prosecuted for, and could be imprisoned for. The Northern Ireland situation is particularly horrific. Labour’s manifesto promised to make the Abortion Act apply in the country. 

    This is a good place to start, but the criminal situation of abortion in the whole of the UK is in itself dangerous, particularly if there are anti-abortion womb-botherers pulling the strings of government.

     

    So, if the DUP want a vote on abortion rights, there’s no time like the present to begin organising for fairer, safer abortion rights for anyone with a uterus in the whole of the UK. It’s time to talk about two key issues, make these problems visible. It’s also a good time to our MPs to table these as amendments if this vote does indeed come to pass:


    WRITE TO YOUR MP

    Subject: Protect abortion rights in the UK

    Dear [MP name]

    As you may be aware, part of the deal between the DUP and the Conservatives could include a vote on the abortion time limit. Should such a vote occur, I strongly urge you to vote against it. I believe that a vote to reduce the time limit on abortions would open the door to further restrictions on abortion rights. Furthermore, less than 2% of abortions carried out occur after 20 weeks of gestation, and many of those that do occur because some abnormalities can only be detected at 20 weeks. It is therefore vital that access to this medical procedure is still available for anyone who needs it.

    Should a vote on abortion rights occur, I further urge you to table certain amendments addressing key abortion rights issues.

    1. Applying the Abortion Act (1967) to Northern Ireland, in order to give those living in NI access to the same abortion rights as in the rest of the UK, rather than being forced to travel to England at great expense, or having to take criminal action. This discrepancy is unfair, and has been addressed in the 2017 Labour manifesto an inequality to be righted.

    2. Decriminalise abortion in the whole of the UK. The Abortion Act (1967) does not legalise abortion, merely set out circumstances where abortions will not be prosecuted.

    Please use your position to protect the limited abortion rights that we have, and extend them to further protect constituents like me, at risk of falling pregnant and wishing to end the pregnancy.

    Sincerely,

    [Your name]
    [Your address]

    text provided by stavvers

    Free free to personalise the above, detailing why the issue matters to you, personally, as their constituent. If your MP writes back to you telling you that actually they don’t mind these inequalities, then here’s a few template letters for your reply.

    We also need to support activists in Ireland and Northern Ireland alike, like the Repeal the 8th campaignAlliance for Choice,  Belfast Feminist Network, as well as support groups such as Abortion Support Network, who provide support for travelling to England for abortions–if you’re in NI or Ireland and need an abortion, they can help you.

     

    We weren’t expecting to have to fight this battle again, so quickly. But we're ready, and we stand with Northern Ireland and Ireland, and we resist any attack on our uteruses.

     

    SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD AND SEND IT

    Before you send your note, take a photo or screenshot of it share it with social media using the #DUPCoalition tag or #ProChoice  tags.

    Postcards and letters intended for Theresa May can be sent to:

    Mrs. Theresa May
    10 Downing Street,
    SW1A 2AA

    or email her HERE

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