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Dear John,

We are delighted to share the news that the Northern Ireland (Execution Formation) Bill has now passed its final stage in parliament with overwhelming support. This means that, unless the NI Assembly is reformed by 21 October, abortion will be decriminalised in Northern Ireland from 22 October 2019.

We can’t quite believe this has happened! This is an incredible moment for the women of Northern Ireland, for all those who have been campaigning for the last 50 years.
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What does this mean?

  • Unless the NI Assembly is reformed by 21 October, abortion will be decriminalised in Northern Ireland from 22 October 2019
  • No woman will face prosecution for ending her own pregnancy
  • The ongoing prosecution of a mother who gave abortion pills to her young daughter will be dropped
  • Medical professionals will be able to develop an abortion service within Northern Ireland. 
There is more information on the changes and the timeframe at the end of this email.

Our work isn't over yet

This is incredible news, but we are not resting just yet. Abortion still has not been decriminalised in England, Wales or Scotland, so we will continue campaigning on this. Decriminalisation is supported by a whole host of women's organisations and medical bodies including the Royal college of Midwives, the British Medical Association, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, the Royal College of GPs, the Society of Radiographers and the British Medical Association. 

Support our work!

⭐️Special offer!⭐️ Become a friend of bpas before the end of July to receive two free gifts  - a ‘Now for NI’ tote bag and a 'We Trust Women’ pin badge.

We have a limited number of "now for NI" tote bags remaining, so make sure you get yours now! We won't be ordering any more once they run out!
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Our work

Here are some of the things you'll be supporting: 
We Trust Women

Under a law from 1861 any woman, anywhere in the UK, can go to prison for ending a pregnancy without the permission of two doctors. MPs support change, but we need the opportunity to make it happen. We are considering several legislative routes, including one based on the forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill.

Preventing clinic protests

Anti-abortion activism targeted at clinics is on the rise in the UK. We are working to introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics to protect women and staff from intimidation and harassment. So far two buffer zones have been introduced, and more are in the pipeline. 

Fighting the two-child benefits cap

The two-child benefits cap pushes families into poverty and impacts women's reproductive decisions. We are working with other UK charities to fight it. Read our briefing here.

Just Say Non!

Our campaign for accessible emergency contraception has seen prices slashed across major pharmacy chains. We're now working to make it available straight from the pharmacy shelf, without a mandatory consultation – as already happens in the USA, Canada, and many European countries.

Improving access to contraception

We're working with pharmacists nationwide to improve access to several methods of contraception, including the injection and the pill. 

Working with women in prisons

Our contraceptive counselling & well woman advice service in Europe's largest women’s prison, HMP Bronzefield, was an RCNi Nurse Awards finalist. We provide confidential, non-judgemental counselling & education to aid women's wellbeing & rehabilitation. 

Decriminalisation further afield

We’ve been working with pro-choice campaigners and the governments of the Isle of Man and Gibraltar to change their laws outlawing abortion and help them provide care for their citizens. 


Women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy are bombarded with public health messages, for example about what to eat, drink, how much they should weigh, and what medications they should or shouldn’t take. The WRISK project aims to understand and improve the communication of risk in pregnancy, to make things better for women. 

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More information on the Northern Ireland (Executive Function) Bill:

  • Read our joint briefing with medical colleges & women’s organisations here
  • Sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which criminalised abortion across the UK, will be repealed in Northern Ireland on 22nd October 2019 if the NI Assembly has not reformed by 21st October.
  • From 22nd October, no woman who ends her own pregnancy up to 24 weeks will face prosecution. All current prosecutions, including the case of the mother who bought abortion pills for her young daughter, will be dropped. Medical professionals providing safe, consensual abortion care up to 24 weeks in line with clinical guidance and medical regulation will not face prosecution. Services can in effect be provided at this point.
  • A public consultation will commence and run until March 2020 (at the latest) regarding regulations. The government have been clear that this is not about *if* abortion services should be provided in NI, but *how.*
  • Parliament will then debate and vote on these regulations in May. Given the overwhelming majority who supported the Bill in parliament, we are confident they will vote in favour swiftly and in favour.
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