Category: NUS-USI Policy Proposal
Abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland as of midnight on 22nd October 2019 under The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 (NI EF Act), and a new framework to provide lawful access to abortion services in Northern Ireland must be created by 31 March 2020.
The NI EF Act states that this new framework must be informed by paragraphs 85 and 86 of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Report: Inquiry concerning the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland under article 8 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Abortion access is restricted by factors other than criminalisation such as stigma, conscious objection, lack of rural access, and barriers relating to gender identity, migrant status, disability, or socio-economic class.
Protesters outside clinics and healthcare facilities are a source of stress and hurt to those accessing healthcare in, as well as staff of, these facilities.
NUS-USI is a pro-choice organisation that believes and campaigns for abortion access that is free, safe, legal and local.
All barriers to seeking reproductive and sexual health services should be eliminated.
No person should be harassed, intimidated, or shamed when seeking healthcare.
Abortion access should be completely in line with the CEDAW recommendations, and is free, safe, and local. This will take into consideration the barriers that groups such as transgender people, migrants, international students, disabled people, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds face when seeking abortion access.
A strong relationship with pro-choice organisations is essential (such as but not limited to Alliance for Choice and Doctors for Choice NI in campaigning for free, safe, and local abortion)
NUS-USI believes in the need for the creation of safe access zones which would protect and safeguard the rights of those entering healthcare facilities without fear of harassment or intimidation.
Standing in solidarity with the campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion, and wider reproductive justice across the world.
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