Socialist Worker

Don’t let the DUP and Tory bigots roll back our abortion rights

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2558

protesters demanding a repeal of the 8th amendment which makes abortion illegal in Northern Ireland

Strike4Repeal protesters earlier this year demanding a repeal of the 8th amendment which makes abortion illegal in Northern Ireland (Pic: Facebook Dragana Jurisic)


Theresa May’s bid to cling to office with the help of bigots in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is a threat to abortion rights.

The 1967 Abortion Act does not apply to Northern Ireland, where abortion is illegal in most circumstances.

Hundreds of women travel to England every year to access abortion services. Others buy abortion pills online, and more are forced to continue with unwanted pregnancies.

The DUP opposes a woman’s right to choose and has fought against extending the 1967 Act. DUP leader Arlene Foster said, “I would not want abortion to be as freely available here as it is in England.”

Tory MP and former Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson admitted on Saturday that, “You might get a debate” on “further reduction of abortion times”.

It isn’t clear if the DUP will use its new influence to change abortion law in Britain. And there are plenty of anti-choice reactionaries in the Tory party too.

May has voted twice to cut the legal time limit for abortion—whereas Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has always voted against such attacks. She also voted in favour of making gender selective abortion illegal.

Activists from the London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign joined a protest in London last Saturday demanding that May resign.

And a “Women’s march against the DUP” has been called on Saturday 24 June in central London.

We need to fight to defend—and extend—a woman’s right to choose.


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