The proposal to impose ten-year jail sentences on any woman who has an abortion in a non-NHS clinic in Northern Ireland would plunge women’s rights into the dark ages.
A new push to criminalise sex-selective abortion shows us that the untidy truce that passes for abortion legislation in the UK is no longer holding. We must remake the law to recognise that women are people with rights over their own bodies.
“Asking the nurse not to turn the ultrasound away, I saw our baby, the same size as a chickpea, and wondered how an innocent thing could ever be shameful.”
As an onlooker to this case, what strikes me is the constant traffic of foreign objects through this woman’s body, imposing foreign wills.
If you are a woman of my generation, you were born into an era of extraordinary good fortune, where you have the right to decide what happens to your body. But we mistook a truce in the war on women for a victory.
Nobody should have to play the frightened victim to make basic choices about her future.
The 1967 Abortion Act cannot be imposed on Northern Ireland by Westminster, but nor should penalising charges be imposed on Northern Irish women by the English NHS.
After getting pregnant at 20, the life I thought I'd have suddenly vanished. Knowing that I still had control over what happened to my body helped me to come to terms with my new future.
Right-wing commentators keep arguing for a tighter abortion law in the UK, ignoring the voices of those who would have to live with the consequences.
While our legislators bask in their moral superiority, thousands of Irish women have to travel to the UK in order to have an abortion, says Anna Carey.