To mark International Women’s Day, we have today called on the Minister for Women and Equalities, Amber Rudd MP, to end human rights violations against women in Northern Ireland who are refused access to basic healthcare.
In a letter from abortion care providers and campaigners – see below – we call on Amber Rudd to take action to ensure that women in Northern Ireland are able to access the abortion care that they need. Over 130 cross-party MPs and peers have also written to the Minister calling on her to take action, in a letter coordinated by Stella Creasy MP.
A recent report by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), for which FPA contributed evidence, found the current abortion law in Northern Ireland constituted a ‘grave’ and ‘systematic’ violation of women’s rights.
Ruairi Rowan, Senior Advocacy Officer for FPA in Northern Ireland, said:
“Human rights are not a devolved matter, and the Minister cannot simply ignore such a wide scale abuse of human rights taking place within the UK. She must act now to end this ongoing abuse.
“Although ending the ban on free abortion care for women travelling from Northern Ireland is a welcome first step, women should not have to cross the sea to access basic healthcare. Every day we see the impact of this brutal restriction of women’s rights on the women who visit our counselling service in Belfast.
“On International Women’s Day we call on Amber Rudd to acknowledge this injustice, and take the action that these women urgently need.”