The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #173167   Message #4200064
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
30-Mar-24 - 05:55 AM
Thread Name: English pro-life album: Little Innocents (Garbutt)
Subject: RE: English pro-life album: Little Innocents (Garbutt)
Howard Jones; It should perhaps be pointed out that in the UK abortion is far less of a political issue than in the US.

Abortion is still very much a political issue in Northern Ireland, where the Unionist parties strongly oppose any liberal changes to abortion legislation. Amnesty International reports;

Nearly every single person Amnesty International spoke to for this report mentioned anti-abortion activists as a significant issue and barrier to accessing abortion services. Various forms of intimidation and threatening behaviour are displayed towards people seeking abortion, those providing abortion, and those supporting abortion rights in Northern Ireland. Methods of intimidation and threatening behaviour include verbal intimidation and physically threatening behaviour, trolling, and threats by text messages. Intimidation by anti-abortion activists outside clinics and hospitals has long been part of anti-abortion activities in Northern Ireland. This harmful behaviour takes a significant toll on people seeking abortion services and on healthcare providers, as well as other patients and staff entering those buildings.

In 2022, the Northern Ireland Assembly passed The Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Act to create safe access zones around premises where abortions are provided. The Act aimed to implement the UK’s legal obligation, stemming from the CEDAW inquiry report, to prevent harassment outside abortion clinics. It is the first piece of legislation passed of its kind in the UK. The bill became law on 6 February 2023 and the zones became enforceable on 7 May 2023. As of August 2023, the zones have not been implemented and people entering healthcare facilities continue to be harassed, although the Department of Health has stated zones will be in place by the end of September 2023.

However, the balance of power is changing. Last month, assembly members gathered at Stormont after a two year absence.

2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election; Sinn Féin became the largest party, marking the first time an Irish nationalist/republican party won the most seats in an assembly election in Northern Ireland, and has the right to nominate Northern Ireland's first nationalist First Minister. The unionists won two more seats than nationalists - 37 seats to 35 - and a marginally higher share of the vote. Alliance made large gains, as the only party to gain seats at the election, overtaking the UUP and the SDLP to become the third-largest party in the Assembly. wikipedia

The Guardian Friday 29 March; Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has resigned as leader of the Democratic Unionist party after being charged with sexual offences, throwing Northern Irish politics into turmoil. Donaldson had served three years as DUP leader and recently bolstered his authority by agreeing a deal with Downing Street that revived the Stormont executive and assembly.

In 2018, the Republic of Ireland voted to remove the constitutional ban on abortion by a two-thirds majority.