Target: Simon Hamilton, Health Minister of Northern Ireland
Goal: Demand that Northern Ireland reconsider its strict ban on abortion.
Women face a life sentence in prison for seeking out an illegal abortion in Northern Ireland. Punishments are just as harsh for midwives and physicians agreeing to perform abortions. This forces women to travel long distances to obtain this procedure and puts their health at risk. Urge Northern Ireland to reexamine its abortion laws for the health and safety of its women.
Currently, Ireland is the only European country to have a constitutional ban on abortion. It states that abortion is only legal in the case of fatal complications in the pregnancy or when the pregnancy is detrimental to the woman’s long-term health. Most often, this means that a woman must be at risk of death before she will be considered as a candidate for abortion. Even then, the woman must go through a long process in order to be approved.
For this reason, many women seek help outside of Ireland. At least 4,500 Irish women travel to England each year to obtain an abortion. There, they are able to exercise their choices without fear of persecution. This is a long and difficult journey for those who are unwell or struggling financially. However, this is their only option under Northern Ireland’s strict laws.
While abortion is a moral dilemma for many countries, it is only criminal in Northern Ireland. Women should not have to choose between a prison sentence and an unwanted pregnancy. Sign below to demand justice for women in Northern Ireland.
Dear Mr. Hamilton,
At least 4,500 Irish women travel to England each year to obtain an abortion. This number shows that even the criminalization of abortion cannot stop women from seeking it out. We demand that you reexamine your laws regarding abortion and find a solution that will ensure the health and well-being of women.
Current law states that abortion is only legal in the circumstance of fatal or long-term health consequences. However, there are many reasons why a woman may not wish to continue a pregnancy. Financial, emotional, and physical concerns come into play when having a child. It should not be left up to the country to decide if a woman is ready for this important step.
Northern Ireland is currently the only country in Europe to criminalize abortion. Women who seek out illegal abortions face a possible life sentence in prison. The doctors and midwives who perform these procedures face similar consequences. It is time to reexamine these outdated laws and allow women the right to choose.
[Your Name Here]
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