Amnesty calls on UK Government to prioritise abortion law reform

Call comes after Joint Oireachtas Committee in Republic of Ireland votes in support of repeal of the Eighth Amendment and expanded access to abortion

Amnesty International has today welcomed the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth amendment in Republic of Ireland vote to recommending the repeal of the Eighth amendment and to allow abortion on request in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy and the decriminalisation of abortion.

Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland Campaigns Manager for Amnesty International UK, said

"Today's vote is a significant step toward a human rights compliant framework on abortion in Ireland. No-one should underestimate the importance of this vote.

“Women across the island of Ireland have been denied bodily autonomy and had their reproductive healthcare exported for too long. It is, therefore, vital that women in Northern Ireland are not left behind.

“We call on the UK government to heed the progress made today and to commit, particularly in the absence of functioning devolution, to prioritise bringing Northern Ireland’s abortion laws in line with international human rights standards. This must include the decriminalisation of abortion.”

Ms Teggart added: “In June, the UK Government demonstrated its willingness to help women in Northern Ireland by providing free abortions in England. In doing so, it acknowledged the inequity that women and girls in this part of the UK face.

“The Government must now bring an end to women and girls in Northern Ireland having to board a plane to access abortion. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is journey enough.

“We must now see legislative change across the UK which places decision making on abortion firmly with each individual woman and girl. We will continue to campaign until this happens”.

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