Statement by the Northern Area Committee, CPI
Despite a last-ditch attempt by unionist parties to reconvene the Assembly at Stormont in order to stop abortion law changes in Northern Ireland, the long-awaited legislation came into effect at midnight on 21 October.
The Communist Party of Ireland welcomes the repeal of sections of the Offences Against the Person Act, which have until now stopped thousands of women from access to abortion health care in Northern Ireland.
Over the past 52 years over 50,000 women have been forced to travel to Britain and other places to obtain an abortion. Over the years the campaign to change this situation has gained support from women’s organisations and the trade unions, and even some political parties have now adopted support for a woman’s right to choose.
The CPI sees this as primarily a right to a reproductive health service. We acknowledge that there will be problems preparing this service and the law to go with it, but the wheels are now set in motion to do this.