Accessing abortions for women in Northern Ireland has always been difficult due to the restrictive legal situation there. In fact each year hundreds are forced to travel to the UK mainland in order to access these services. The issue has always been divisive in Northern Ireland with political parties supporting opposing views on the existing legislation. It is possible that this all changes in 2018, and interested parties from outside the UK and Northern Ireland can keep up with developments on UK television using this site.
New statistics show that 13 pregnancies were discontinued at NHS hospitals in Northern Ireland in 2016/17 – that’s three fewer than the previous year. The Department of Health “released the ‘Termination of pregnancy statistics” also show that 12 were completed on girls who’re resident in Northern Ireland. Only one end was done on a girl from another country. When broken down by age, the vast most of the endings – seven – have been completed on girls aged 30 decades and over. In the mean time, one was completed on a girl aged between 25 and 29, and five were conducted on girls aged 24 and under.
Many campaigners are keen to change this situation which is not in step with the rest of Europe. It is however a subject that causes great disagreements between women’s rights groups and the very strong ‘pro life’ movement in Northern Ireland. There are scheduled to be some TV debates which are expected to be broadcast on the BBC and iPlayer which can be accessed here.
Seven of the abortions that took place in 2016/17 occurred from the Belfast Trust area. The Department of Health didn’t uncover where the other endings were conducted so as to safeguard patient confidentiality. Reacting to the figures, Green Party MLA Clare Bailey stated: It’s shocking that in 2016/17 only 13 girls were deemed appropriate to access reproductive health care in the home, while 724 girls from Northern Ireland were forced to travel to England and Wales. The numbers of girls needing to access abortion have remained around the 1, 000-a year mark, but they’re getting health has changed, with 1, 438 girls in NI buying abortion pills on-line from one provider in 2015.
I’ve constantly asked the Department of Health to urgently update their guidance to health practitioners to ensure that physicians no longer dread the danger of prosecution that was explained by the Criminal Investigation Service and to provide clear pathways of care for girls who can now access free abortions in the rest of the United Kingdom. I’m still awaiting a substantive reply from the department.” . The newest figures emerged as the News Letter reported that a role has been created inside the Northern Ireland Office to deal with problems around abortion and same sex marriage. A spokesperson for the NIO allegedly confirmed it was recruiting for the position, however, stated that it’d no plans to intervene in these regions of devolved competence”.
A NIO spokesperson later said although the articles aren’t created, but are present posts which are being stuffed following employees moves. The government does receive a considerable quantity of correspondence on an assortment of matters across devolved issues from a selection of interested parties, and also to whom it’s to respond, she said. The job description is illustrative of the kinds of sensitive problems which are raised. The post holder will also deal with an assortment of other topics including human rights and Brexit. There’s zero correlation between the recruitment of those staff and the current political process.”.