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Why We Can’t Stop Talking About Northern Ireland

We all rejoiced when the 8th Amendment was repealed. But our sisters in Northern Ireland are still subject to ridiculous and archaic laws. And we can’t forget about them.

Abortion is currently only legal in Northern Ireland if the life of the mother is at risk.

Politicians from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have hit back at calls to extend abortion services in Northern Ireland and Teresa May has refused to push the DUP for a referendum, not suprising really as the government is propped up by the party.

Emma Campbell, co-chair of abortion rights group Alliance for Choice, said the DUP’s political stance is out-of-step with the will of most people in Northern Ireland.

You know I am not pro abortion right? I am actually fairly certain nobody is. Whatever the situation the decision to terminate a pregnancy is never a happy one. I am resolutely pro choice, and a firm believer in a woman’s right to dominion over her own body. The Irish people spoke when they voted to #repealthe8th and I for one am over the moon.

The fact that the no campaign was comprised largely of men didn’t sit well with me, equally their constant pedalling of female guilt and misleading rhetoric made me more than a bit cross. Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, where the Victorian era law remains it is a woman who maintains the status quo. Stella Creasey who spearheads a cross party alliance to do away with the archaic legislation calls Arlene Foster "the only woman with any choice over abortion in Northern Ireland". Religion and the law are not easy bedfellows, and the personal opinion of 1 woman should not be allowed to dictate the fate of a nations women. It is an affront to my feminism that a female figurehead is used to front a campaign of female oppression. My mums homeland is a place she speaks of with great fondness and reverence, I can’t reconcile this with the place that places abortion above rape as a serious crime. I stand with the women of Northern Ireland and I will be watching with bated breath until their voices are heard. – @Harri Golightly

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The women of Northern Ireland cannot be left to fight this battle alone. We need to stand with them, and all women, until we have the rights to our own bodies.

Header image – @Harri Golightly

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