For Choice: Northern Ireland Abortion Pills Crackdown

On International Women’s Day, police in Northern Ireland raided the homes of abortion rights campaigners looking for early medical abortion pills.

The Bandwagon supports choice. The Bandwagon believes that women should have the ability – and the right – to choose for themselves. Read the words of the Abortion Support Network below, and do what you can to help.

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As Westminster discusses decriminalising abortion in England and Wales, Northern Ireland is further cracking down on activists working to ensure that women can have the same choice that many in the rest of the UK take for granted.

I’m writing to you today with an urgent request for support. ASN expects to see its caseload rise as the crackdown on these safe but illegal pills increases the number of people calling us from Northern Ireland. We also expect a knock on effect in the Republic of Ireland, where abortion is also severely criminalised.

Please donate £30, or however much you can afford today to help woman travel to England for an abortion. 

Your donation of £30 could pay for a client’s transport from the airport to the Bpas clinic where they are treated. We’re aiming to raise £1990 in total, £10 for every person we expect to hear from in Northern Ireland this year.

We know these measures increase the demand for our services. Last year we saw a 14.5% increase in calls from Northern Ireland following the first arrests for possessing abortion pills. Fearing prosecution, more women opt for the more costly option of travelling to England for an abortion.

Of course, we can only help our clients with your support and we’re so grateful for every donation. But as a tiny charity, any increase in demand will put a real strain on our resources – so we need to ask for your help today.

We always say that abortion bans don’t stop abortion, they just stop safe abortion, and create a two tiered system where only those with money have access. Early medical abortion pills are on the World Health Organisation’s essential medicines list. While we would prefer that women in Ireland and Northern Ireland have access to these pills from their local health service as women in England, Scotland and Wales do, prosecuting people for taking safe but illegal pills means those who can’t make the trip to England have to choose between continuing an unwanted pregnancy, risking criminal charges or imprisonment, or looking at far more dangerous methods of self-termination.

The draconian enforcement of the abortion laws, including this latest crackdown on abortion pills, are a gross injustice and stand in stark contrast to the UK government’s push to fully decriminalise abortion.

ASN is the one place women who can’t afford to travel for an abortion can turn to for financial help. Any gift you can give today really will make a huge difference and help us help more clients.

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At the time of writing, the ASN has reached £2,596.23 of their £3,980 target.

Update: Due to an amazing level of support, they have increased the target to £7960, and have currently raised £4195.

 Whatever you can give will help another woman access safe abortion. Whatever you can give, or whatever you can do to help & raise awareness, will help another woman choose to live her life how she wants.

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