Changes to Northern Ireland’s abortion regulations came into effect on 1st April. Following legislative changes by Westminster when Stormont was not functioning as a devolved government, terminations can now be carried out in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy without restriction. These changes are very welcome and are the result of years of campaigning by activists, including members of the Socialist Party and ROSA. While we celebrate this victory, we have to recognise we have not yet reached our aim of ensuring that pregnant people have full bodily autonomy, which includes being able to freely access abortion services through the NHS in Northern Ireland without restriction.
Campaigns & Issues
The spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 has become a major health crisis, unlike anything seen in a century. At the time of writing, around 156 countries have been impacted, with more than 170,000 infected and more than 6,500 confirmed deaths, including 36 in Britain and 2 in Ireland, with those figures likely to rise dramatically.
On 5th March, Flybe – Europe’s largest regional airline – collapsed, with 2,400 workers suddenly losing their jobs. Workers and passengers were given virtually no warning. Flybe sent texts out at 2am, telling anyone booked on one of their flights not to travel to the airport. No alternative flights were arranged and many workers and passengers were left stranded, unable to get refunds.
In an unprecedented move, 98% of members at a consultative meeting of Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland (CPNI) – representing pharmacy contractors – voted to take industrial action over a funding crisis which they described as leaving “crucial frontline services” at “breaking point”.