Women's Rights
Louise Hutchins, Abortion Rights Campaign
Louise Hutchins, Abortion Rights Campaign

I believe that women must have the right to choose and access safe, legal and free abortions throughout the United Kingdom. It is unjustifiable that the Abortion Act which covers England, Wales and Scotland has not yet been extended to Northern Ireland. This leaves women in Northern Ireland unable to access a basic service afforded to other women in the UK.

The Abortion Act 1967 was never extended to Northern Ireland, which means that women in Northern Ireland do not have the same access to abortion as women in the rest of the United Kingdom. The present situation, with women in Northern Ireland treated as second-class citizens is unjustifiable and has real and serious consequences: thousands of women are forced into motherhood, illegal abortion or debt each year because they do not have the same reproductive rights as women in other parts of the UK.

Hackney North’s MP Diane Abbot has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) 625 which calls on the Government to relieve this burden and provide funding for women in Northern Ireland to access NHS abortion services in Britain. I support this and hope you will ask your MP to support it too. I recently met with Louise Hutchins from the Abortion Rights campaign. I have met with Louise before and she is a livewire, full of energy. We regularly bump into each other at Women’s events. She told me all about the work the campaign has planned to give this bill every chance of passing. Abortion in Northern Ireland is unlawful in most circumstances – it is only lawful where there is a real and serious risk to the woman’s mental or physical health and the risk is permanent or long-term. Consequently most women from Northern Ireland have to travel to England to obtain a private abortion. Unlike other British women, they are not entitled to an abortion on the NHS. That is wrong and I hope Parliament will change it.
Abortion Rights are having a fundraiser Celebrating Obama’s scrapping of George Bush’s anti-abortion Global Gag Rule and International Women’s Day 2009. An evening of laughter and fun!
Friday 27th February 2009,doors open 8pm, show starts 8.30pm The Comedy Pub, 7 Oxendon Street, London SW1Y 4EE 
Tickets £10 including free raffle ticket. Please book online at Soho Comedy Club