Amnesty International calls ‘easy access’ abortions ‘an essential human right’

Access to abortion services should be made much easier in Northern Ireland, Amnesty International has said.

The organisation called on Westminster to create an “enabling environment” for abortion in the Province, removing what it called “barriers” to meeting the “essential human right” of access to abortion.

Amnesty, which advocates for the decriminalisation of abortion, says human rights protections only “start at birth” and labels laws limiting access to abortion as ‘human rights violations’.

Normalising abortion

In an 81-page report, Amnesty urged the Northern Ireland Department of Health (DOH) to run a “public information campaign” to advertise abortion services, so that “abortion becomes normalised”.

It also criticised the DOH for its reluctance to “contend” with GPs who express pro-life views and accused the Royal College of GPs for “going at a glacially slow pace on abortion”.

The organisation encouraged healthcare providers to ‘re-educate’ those who objected to abortion on conscience grounds through “values clarification training”.

According to abortion activist Dr Fiona Bloomer, the report said such workshops help staff deal with “some of those myths” associated with conscience-based refusal.

Amnesty International’s shameful report shows an utter disregard for the lives of unborn children.


Amnesty called the lack of DIY abortion pills a “significant limitation”, as current regulations do not allow the Deparment to prescribe them.

It also recommended the rollout of routine prenatal screening for diagnosing Down’s Syndrome, which pro-life campaigners argue will lead to more babies with the condition being aborted.

Institute Deputy Director Ciarán Kelly said: “Amnesty International’s shameful report shows an utter disregard for the lives of unborn children.

“It’s a scandal that an organisation that claims to campaign for justice and freedom of conscience can commit time and energy to an attempt to stifle free speech and champion the killing of the most vulnerable people in the world – children in the womb”.

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