The student-led campaign for free, safe, legal and local abortion rights in Northern Ireland.
What we want?
We believe that access to abortion is a human right and that the bodily autonomy of every pregnant person should be respected.
We are calling on the Westminster parliament to legislate for free, safe, legal and local abortion services in Northern Ireland immediately.
We campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion in the North of Ireland and NOT the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act.
We do NOT want a referendum on abortion in Northern Ireland.
The law which criminalises abortion in Northern Ireland (the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act) can be reformed by the ordinary legislative process in Northern Ireland Assembly or the UK Parliament under direct rule. No referendum is required.
Why do we call for change?
Abortion is available in Northern Ireland only where there is a risk to the life or long term mental or physical health of the pregnant person, which excludes cases where there is a fatal foetal abnormality or a pregnancy resulting from sexual crime. In most circumstances, abortion is a criminal offence punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act (OAPA).
Keeping abortion illegal in Northern Ireland does not stop Northern Irish/Irish people in the North of Ireland from having abortions, it just makes abortion less safe and more difficult to access. At least three people have to travel or take safe but illegal abortion pills in the North of Ireland every single day.
The criminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland deters people from accessing aftercare, for fear of being reported to the PSNI if they disclose that they induced an abortion with medication. In 2015 1,438 women and pregnant people in NI purchased abortion pills online from just one provider (Women on Web).
In February 2018 CEDAW urged the UK government as the state party to act urgently to reform the abortion law in Northern Ireland as the law currently constitutes a grave violation of human rights. Polls and surveys consistently demonstrate that a majority of people in Northern Ireland, regardless of their party political affiliation, support abortion reform.
Background to the campaign
NUS-USI recently launched a #HometoV8te campaign alongside NUS’s Women’s campaign, to financially assist Irish students studying in the UK to travel home to vote in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Irish constitution, in solidarity with our sister union USI and Students for Ch8ice.
The #TrustUs campaign has been inspired by the Home to V8te campaign and Alliance for Choice’s #AbortionRightsNI campaign.
Click here to learn more.