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Statement on abortion access in the Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland

24 May 2019

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    Media statement

    London, 24th May 2019 – If you are covering the news about: 

    • The Isle of Man becoming the first place in the British Isle to decriminalise abortion 
    • The Republic of Ireland celebrating one year since the resounding vote to repeal the eighth amendment 

    You may find the following statement from Marie Stopes UK helpful.

     

    Richard Bentley, Managing Director for Marie Stopes UK said:

    “A few short years ago, abortion access in both the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man seemed like a distant dream; yet thanks to decades of grassroots campaigning, they are finally a reality.

    “Today, the Isle of Man becomes the first place in the British Isles to decriminalise abortion and this weekend the Republic of Ireland celebrates one year since the resounding vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment. Both jurisdictions have gone further than the UK, with Manx law legislating for buffer zones to protect women from harassment, while in the Republic of Ireland, safe zones for people accessing abortion are expected to be agreed by the Government next month. 

    “These achievements are a great step forward for women’s rights and prove that real progress is possible, but they also throw into stark relief the continuing barriers in neighbouring Northern Ireland, where every day women are forced either to travel or risk life imprisonment by ordering illegal abortion pills online.

    “As an abortion care charity, we see first-hand the suffering these restrictions cause. It is to the UK’s shame that today a rape victim from Northern Ireland who has an illegal abortion faces could face a longer jail term than her rapist. While in Great Britain, women accessing legal healthcare still face harassment and intimidation from anti-choice groups.

    “The Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland have set an example on abortion law reform. It is time for the UK government to also say YES and prove that they trust women to decide what is right for them.”

     

    - Ends -

    For further information please contact:

    Email:              kylie.harrison@mariestopes.org / press@mariestopes.org.uk

    Telephone:      020 7034 2377/ 07769 166 516  

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