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What you can do to support changes in abortion laws in Northern Ireland


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Last week saw Ireland voting in a landslide majority to repeal the eighth amendment, starting the course for introducing abortion rights in the country.

This historic vote leaves Northern Ireland as the only place in the British Isles that does not offer abortion in any circumstances. Naturally, the vote in Ireland has drawn this issue to light and here are just a few things you can do to support our Northern Irish neighbours in getting the same rights to abortion as we have:

1. Contact your MP

MPs are there to serve us, so let's make them work for their money! If reproductive rights are important to you, then contact your MP and tell them that. They can put pressure on the government to enforce change, so it's well worth it to contact them and tell them that this is an issue which is important to you. MP Stella Creasy is attempting to add an amendment to the new Domestic Violence Bill which would bring Northern Irish abortion laws in line with the rest of the UK. Contacting your MP to show that you support this could help push that amendment through. 

2. Support the Abortion Support Network

The Abortion Support Network provides financial assistance and accommodation for women who need to travel from Northern Ireland, Ireland and The Isle of Man in order to obtain access to abortions. You can support them by donating, fundraising or volunteering.

3. Sign the Amnesty International UK petition

Amnesty International UK is campaigning to change Northern Ireland's abortion laws, as the current law does not fulfill international human rights standards. They have a petition that you can sign, calling for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to bring the Northern Ireland abortion law in line with international human rights standards.

4. Support Sexual Health Charity FPA

FPA campaigns on a variety of sexual health issues, including contraception and HIV awareness, as well as abortion rights in Northern Ireland. You can support them by donating, signing up for their fundraising and campaign emails or volunteering.

5. Support Solidarity With Repeal

Campaign group Solidarity With Repeal have been campaigning with the Repeal The 8th campaign in order to push through change in Ireland and are continuing to campaign to bring the same changes to Northern Ireland. They ran a big rally on Monday, calling for change in the laws in Northern Ireland and they have a Facebook page which you can follow to get news on any upcoming events.

6. Donate To British Pregnancy Advisory Service

BPAS, a charity which supports women seeking abortions in the UK, is currently running a campaign to help the women of Northern Ireland by raising money for subsidised services for struggling women who cannot afford to access abortion care in England. They also run a free 24 hour helpline for women in Northern Ireland who have used online abortion pills and campaign to change the law in Northern Ireland so women can access services at home. You can donate to them via Paypal, MoneyGiving or by sending a cheque to them.

7. Support Alliance For Choice

Alliance For Choice are a group of Pro-choice campaigners who are pushing for the legalisation of Northern Ireland's abortion laws. You can support them by donating via the Alliance for Choice website.

8. Support London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign

The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign worked tirelessly on the Repeal campaign in Ireland, but now are turning their attention to the women across the border. They have a mailing list that you can sign up to for information on how to help their campaign bring abortion rights across the border.

9. Support Abortion Rights Campaign

Abortion Rights is the national UK pro-choice campaign, supporting giving women across the UK access to abortion services, including in Northern Ireland. You can become a member and give annual or monthly donations to the campaign, or you can simply make a one time donation.

10. Spread awareness about Northern Ireland's abortion laws

Many people are not aware of the draconian laws that govern women's abortion rights in Northern Ireland, so this last one is easy; spread the word! The more people who know about and want to support changing the situation in Northern Ireland, the better!  

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