Press Release: This Nollaig na mBan, women and pregnant people still need safe and accessible abortion provision

Photograph of crowd gathered at March for Choice 2019. Banner reads "No one left behind", extending across bottom of photo. ARC members in red tshirts are to the front with a crowd behind them carrying a variety of signs and banners.

This Nollaig na mBan, women and pregnant people still need safe and accessible abortion provision, says Abortion Rights Campaign

“As we mark Nollaig na mBan 2020, one year after the introduction of abortion provision in the Irish Republic, we must remember that many continue to be left behind by the failings in our legislation”, Charlene Delaney, Spokesperson for the Abortion Rights Campaign said today. “Over the past 12 months, we have witnessed how vague eligibility criteria, continued criminalisation of doctors, a mandatory waiting period and refusal of service have created barriers for those seeking healthcare. Strict cut-off times and inadequate local availability mean that people are still travelling for abortions – whether that be by bus, train or plane.”

“We must also consider people who do not have the resources or ability to travel to England or further afield for care” says Delaney. “Access is not equal across the board. People living in rural areas, poor, disabled, trans and non-binary people, migrants and ethnic minorities are most often failed by our abortion law”.

Delaney continues, “Our new system exposes pregnant people to intimidating anti-choice activity outside hospitals and clinics. The Government has failed to deliver – or even introduce – legislation on safe access zones, which it has promised on countless occasions. Patients and providers deserve better than to be obstructed in accessing or delivering basic healthcare. Similarly, patients deserve protection from rogue agencies that seek to deceive and dissuade them from getting an abortion.”

“The Government has a duty to improve provision without delay, in order to ensure that abortion is truly free, safe, legal and local for all who need it.”