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Abortion rights for Norther Ireland! action - London - Mon 20 October

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posi
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Oct 12 2008 19:41
Abortion rights for Norther Ireland! action - London - Mon 20 October
Quote:
TAKE ACTION FOR EXTENSION OF ABORTION RIGHTS TO NORTHERN IRELAND, 7.30AM-9AM MON 20TH OCT

On 22nd October, MPs will vote on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. As well as several anti-choice, anti-women amendments, there are real opportunities to extend abortion rights - including access to abortion for women in Northern Ireland, an end to the two doctor rule, increasing the pool of abortion practitioners, allowing more local abortion services and banning misleading advertising (http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/content/view/272/1/).

Feminist Fightback are focusing on the extension of abortion rights to Northern Ireland, where currently it is is illegal to have an abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. Working class women suffer the most. As well as having to fund travel abroad, the procedure is £600, which means some women are forced to bear children against their will. Cathleen O'Neill of Alliance for Choice explains: "If I had a pound for every fundraiser I worked on to help working class women go to England for an abortion, I'd be a rich woman... Almost every other week. It's bad enough for those who can afford to travel, but for poorer women it's hell. It's time those who claim to represent us to get a grip on reality and take steps to end this nightmare"

We will be taking direct action in London at the same time as Alliance for Choice activists in Belfast to heap on pressure to ensure our sisters in Northern Ireland have access to the same abortion rights as women in England, Scotland and Wales.

We want lots of feminists to get involved in non-arrestable (leafleting, legal support, press relations and demonstrating) or arrestable roles. So if you are free on the morning of Monday 20th October before work, get in touch: 07976 274516 or feminist.fightback@gmail.com

Alternatively, get together with other feminists and organise your own actions!

Abortion Rights have said they will call a demo on the day of the vote. Check out their website for further details - http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

posi
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Joined: 24-09-05
Oct 13 2008 10:29

Must admit, I had no idea that abortion was illegal in Northern Ireland. Mental.

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Choccy
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Oct 13 2008 13:58

I think you underestimate just how backward NI is, it really is the bible-belt of europe:

abortion is illegal
our environment minister is a climate change denier
our health minister thinks homosexuality is an illness to be 'cured'
our education committee NI Assembly chair is a young-earth creationist
the largest political party is predominantly made of biblical literalists
we are dubbed the 'hate capital of europe'

posi
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Oct 14 2008 14:00

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HrfCixsd2N8

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Refused
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Oct 14 2008 14:39

I have seen things... things... no man should ever see.

Deezer
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Oct 14 2008 22:00

Organise! are calling on comrades in England, Scotland and Wales to picket the constituency offices of local MPs on this issue.

posi
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Oct 16 2008 18:01

Well if people are in London and free on Monday, I'm sure people would appreciate support at the Monday morning action. There will also be action in Manchester, Brighton and Belfast. If you want to connect, use the contact details in the first post.

Quote:
Contact: Anne-Marie O'Reilly
feminist.fightback@gmail.com
07840 381195

PRESS RELEASE – for immediate release

Feminists express dismay at Government's undemocratic moves to shelve the extension of Abortion Rights to Northern Ireland

Feminist Fightback has expressed its anger at Government plans to prevent the extension of abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland when the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is debated in parliament next week.

For months, rumours have abounded that the Government traded Northern Irish women's rights to abortion in order to secure the DUP's votes for the 42-day detention limit. Today's news that the Government intends to table a Programme Motion on Monday which will not allow sufficient time for the Northern Ireland amendment to be discussed is deeply concerning.

Alice Robson, Reproductive Freedoms Campaigner with Feminist Fightback, said:

"We are deeply dismayed that the Government have failed to challenge politicians in Northern Ireland, 83% of whom are men, who are holding women's rights to ransom by disingenuously citing the peace process. Given that all major parties in Northern Ireland have anti-choice policies, the argument that this could jeopardise the process does not even make political sense.

"We call on the Government to allow proper democratic process with sufficient time for pro-choice amendments to be discussed. We should be using this historic opportunity to enable all women in the UK to have a genuine right to choose."

Brenda Callaghan, of the Northern Irish Alliance for Choice Campaign said:

"At least 40 women per week make the heart-breaking decision to travel to England or to Europe, many of them alone, to have an abortion. They receive no follow-up healthcare, and are being treated as second class citizens within the UK. This is very much a class issue as it impacts greatly on working class women who have to find around £2500 for a termination, and it must end now."

(Ends)

Contact: Anne-Marie O'Reilly, feminist.fightback@gmail.com, 07840 381195

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes for editors

1. Feminist Fightback is an activist network the developed out of the two Feminist Fightback conferences - 2006 with over 200 in attendance and 2007 with over 300. We're inspired by the politics of socialist feminism - the idea that women's liberation and the establishment of a democratic, classless society are interlinked - and we seek to involve socialist and feminists of different viewpoints in discussing ideas and building an activist movement.

2. It is currently illegal to have an abortion in Northern Ireland, even in cases of rape or incest. Although legal to travel abroad, women must pay on average £2000 to access an abortion. Unlike in England, Scotland and Wales, women cannot access abortion free of charge.

3. Parliamentary sources have revealed that subsequent to the vote on the 42-day detention limit, ministers actively sought to prevent an amendment on the extension of abortion rights to Northern Ireland.

4. The Programme Motion to be tabled on Monday is likely to hamper debate of any of the pro-choice amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, as a strict and unrealistic time limit will be imposed. The pro-choice amendments include:
Removing anti-abortion doctors' obstruction
Extending access to safe, legal abortion to women in Northern Ireland
Increasing the pool of abortion practitioners
Allowing more local abortion services
Allowing women to take the second stage of an early medical abortion at home
Banning deliberately misleading advertising
More details on these can be found here: http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/content/view/272/1/

5. Plans to shelve the amendment have been covered here:
http://www.epolitix.com/latestnews/article-detail/newsarticle/harman-denies-abortion-row-with-brown/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/northernireland/3203333/Plans-to-legalise-abortion-in-Northern-Ireland-shelved.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1078046/PM-clashes-deputy-Harman-plans-relax-abortion-laws.html

davidbroder
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Oct 19 2008 15:54

The time and place for meeting tomorrow morning are now being publicly advertised.

We're meeting at 7:45am tomorrow, Monday 20th, at the news-stand below the 'elephant' at Elephant and Castle (Bakerloo/Northern lines).

Phone 07971 719797 for further info (if you're coming you may as well write it down in case you can't find us and need to phone!)

posi
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Oct 19 2008 17:12
Quote:
Take urgent action: Government plans undemocratic moves to shelve the extension
of Abortion Rights to Northern Ireland

The Government intends to engineer proceedings in the House of Commons next
week to ensure that pro-choice amendments to the Human Fertilisation and
Embryology Bill are not read. We need to take action NOW to ensure that this
historic opportunity for the extension of reproductive freedoms is not lost. It
is currently illegal to have an abortion in Northern Ireland, even in cases of
rape or incest. Women must pay on average £2000 to access an abortion
overseas.

Brenda Callaghan, of the Northern Irish Alliance for Choice Campaign said:

“At least 40 women per week make the heart-breaking decision to travel to
England or to Europe, many of them alone, to have an abortion. They receive no
follow-up healthcare, and are being treated as second class citizens within the
UK. This is very much a class issue as it impacts greatly on working class
women who have to find around £2500 for a termination, and it must end now.”

Basically, the Government intends to whip on a procedural motion which would
leave insufficient time for the pro-choice amendments to be read. There are
rumours that they are preparing speakers to filibuster whatever time is
allotted as well.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NOW

* Contact your MP and key ministers. Call Parliament on 020 7219 3000 We need
to contact our MPs and Harriet Harman (Minister for Women) and Dawn Primarolo
(Minister for Health) now to let them know: A VOTE FOR THE PROGRAMMING MOTION
IS A VOTE AGAINST PRO-CHOICE AMENDMENTS. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THESE PRO-CHOICE
AMENDMENTS ARE HEARD.

* Download a sample letter from www.feministfightback.org.uk

* For latest news, sign up to the Facebook group Act now to ensure pro choice
amendments are heard

* Sign our statement

Feminist Fightback have produced a briefing aimed at MPs protesting at these
moves and calling for support for the pro-choice amendments which we are asking
people to sign. The briefing: ‘A call from pro-choice trade unionists,
students and feminist groups for MPs to defend and extend reproductive
freedoms’ urges MPs to:

- Lobby the government to ensure sufficient time is given to discuss and vote
on these crucial amendments.

- Vote for the pro-choice, pro-women amendments and support a woman’s real
right to choose.

For the full text and signatories see www.feministfightback.org.uk

To add your name to the signatories e-mail rebecca.galbraith@yahoo.co.uk by the
end of today, Sunday 19th.

Join the actions this week - details below.

——————————————————————————————
Take action for extension of abortion rights to Northern Ireland, Monday 20th
Octber, 7.45am
Come to our action - 7.45am-9am Monday 20 October. Meet at 7.45am at the news
stand by the Elephant at Elephant and Castle tube station. Call Alice on 07976
274516 for further details

——————————————————————————————

Demonstrate outside Parliament, Tuesday 21 October, 5.30pm

Abortion Rights have called a demo for the day before the vote. Check out their
website for further details -
http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid

——————————————————————————————

Join us for leafleting on Wednesday 22nd October, 8.45am

Feminist Fightback activists will leaflet at every entrance to Parliament on
the day of the vote, urging MPs to vote for the pro-choice amendments. Meet at
the Bridge Street Exit to Westminster tube station at 8.45am. Call Rebecca on
07971719797 for further details.

davidbroder
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Joined: 30-08-08
Oct 20 2008 12:14

Demo was very well attended, maybe 25ish (?) and lively. Unfortunately I had to leave early to get to work on time, but a few pics (not taken by myself) are here.

More to follow.

http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/pics-of-pro-choice-demo/

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 20 2008 12:25
posi wrote:
Must admit, I had no idea that abortion was illegal in Northern Ireland. Mental.

ditto. mental backwater wink

Boulcolonialboy wrote:
Organise! are calling on comrades in England, Scotland and Wales to picket the constituency offices of local MPs on this issue.

some brighton solfed and (i think) feminist fightback people leafletted brighton station this morning. i'm sure some people thought we were mental christians as soon as they heard the word 'abortion' neutral

davidbroder
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Oct 20 2008 15:55

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31564022@N02/tags/20oct08/ - more pics

Report on www.feministfightback.org.uk

Deezer
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Oct 20 2008 16:57

Yeah, Organise! and Feminist Fightback got together and mentioned each others actions in our press statements. I wasn't at the SDLP office picket today, there where 6 at it (I was at the UUP one on Friday) and hope to be at the pickets of the DUP tomorrow and Sinn Fein on Thursday. Todays picket was quiet, a couple of photos were taken, I'll see about posting them later.

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Choccy
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Oct 20 2008 17:17
Joseph K. wrote:
some brighton solfed and (i think) feminist fightback people leafletted brighton station this morning. i'm sure some people thought we were mental christians as soon as they heard the word 'abortion' neutral

if you say 'pro-choice' or 'women's right to choose' people don't seem to get so confused wink

Yeah today's Belfast protest was quiet, lasted 1-hr and we got a few horn beeps and people taking information leaflets so not a complete waste of time smile

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 20 2008 17:23
xConorx wrote:
if you say 'pro-choice' or 'women's right to choose' people don't seem to get so confused ;)

aye, that'd do it. i mean it might have sounded like i was in favour of blanket abortions across NI, which whilst a practical solution to your backwardness is hard to square with libertarian communist politics.