Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.
For some, 1967 was a great year in politics. But not for the women of Northern Ireland.
The women of Northern Ireland deserve to enjoy the same Abortion rights that UK women currently hold under the 1967 Abortion Act. Stand up for their rights by petitioning the Prime Minister to extend the Act to Northern Ireland. Sign the petition here. Currently, no Northern Irish woman has the automatic right to abotion. Not even if she’s the victim of rape or incest.
Every year, thousands of our NI sisters have to travel for the UK for abortions (costing up to £2,500 each), attempt illegal and unsafe home abortions, or face the sadness of carrying to term a baby that they know – every day of the nine months and beyond – that they simply do not want. In 2007, at least 1,343 fled to the UK from NI to get an abortion. In the absence of the 1967 Act, NI women are still subject to the 1861 Offences Against The Person Act, passed a disgusting 147 years ago. You know, back before we had the vote.
In the midst of the peace process, Northern Irish politicians remain willing to fight a war over women’s bodies, offering no solution to the violence of rape and the misery of unwanted pregnancy.
Every woman deserves the right to choose.
The petition is submitted by Dr Audrey Simpson of the FPA (Family Planning Association). Many thanks to Laurie @ Penny Red for the heads-up (her article here on Liberal Conspiracy).