Women and girls* in Northern Ireland are being put at risk due to a complete lack of abortion services.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on travel, women in the rest of the UK are now allowed to self-manage abortions at home using approved medication.

Email the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland demanding women in Northern Ireland are given the same access to this basic healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic.

Northern Ireland: Women and girls must be allowed home abortions during the coronavirus pandemic

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In recent weeks abortion rules in Scotland, England and Wales have been relaxed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing women and girls to self-manage abortions at home by using approved abortion pills.

But women in Northern Ireland have once again been left behind, as their government has failed to make the same changes.

Unsafe to travel during coronavirus

As of March 31 new regulations were brought in to lift the ban on abortion in Northern Ireland. However, because these rules are so new none of the services are in place yet, meaning women and girls are left without access to abortion services.

Their only option is as it’s been for years – to make the long journey to the rest of the UK – but this has been made nearly impossible due to flights being cancelled, leaving some having to make a long trip by ferry. For others, in vulnerable situations such as domestic abuse or those without confirmed immigration status, travel has never been an option.

Due to the pandemic it is simply not safe to travel and the government's own advice is to stay at home.

Women in Northern Ireland must be allowed to self-manage abortions

The current situation is unfair, dangerous and needlessly putting women and girls at risk. With no alternative, we’re worried that this situation will lead to many attempting unsafe abortions. 

All women in the UK must be allowed to safely self-manage abortions at home, there must be no differential treatment.

As the Northern Ireland Executive has failed to provide medical care by phone, the UK government must urgently step in and ensure they have the same rights and protections as every other part of the UK whilst travel is limited during this coronavirus pandemic.

Women and girls are in real danger and we must fix this as soon as possible. You can help by emailing the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland today.
 

* This statement refers to women and girls, as the majority of individuals who are needing abortion care identify as such, but it equally applies to all individuals who may become pregnant and need abortion care or other sexual and reproductive health care.