Women’s rights in Northern Ireland

Sir, – As Brexit negotiations have again deadlocked in issues of the Border and the backstop agreement, critical matters are ignored by parliament regarding Northern Irish devolution. While members from the DUP claim they are working to ensure Northern Ireland has equal standing to the rest of the UK, they are perfectly happy to allow double standards on issues of abortion and LGBT+ rights.

In January, Sarah Ewart brought her case to the British high court, and the court heard on January 31st how she was denied a termination in Northern Ireland in 2013 despite doctors saying her baby would not survive outside the womb.

This case highlights the cruelty of the current laws and how they impact women, who in cases like this, simultaneously receive heart-breaking news and are denied adequate medical care at home.

As stated by Dawn Purvis, former director of the Marie Stopes pregnancy services in Belfast and former member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the current strict laws are leaving Northern Irish women traumatised. I believe these need reform to bring them in line to the same rights and protections offered to women in the rest of the UK.


For how long will the UK government ignore this abuse of women and support the DUP who refuse to reform? – Yours, etc,