The campaign group launched an online fundraiser to cover legal expenses and within days they excelled their goal of £15,000. The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign said on CrowdJustice they are “ready to bring a landmark legal case against the UK government for its failure to change the law on abortion in Northern Ireland”.
One donator responded: “In memory of my grandmother, who died of an infection following a back street abortion in 1930”. Another said: “So nobody has to bleed on an airplane seat like I did.”
Health policy is a devolved power transferred to Northern Ireland. Labour MP Stella Creasy, who is set to table an amendment bill to extend abortion access to women in Northern Ireland, argues that the UK government needs to interfere to comply with their human rights obligations. Further 60 MPs from across all parties are expected to support the amendment during the vote on July 9th.
Northern Ireland has one of the strictest laws on abortion in Europe and a women is legally allowed to terminate a pregnancy only if there is a risk to serious damage to her mental or physical health.
Government figures show that at least 1,000 Northern Irish women were forced to travel to England and Wales in 2018 to safely access legal abortions.
LIARC pledged to leave the crowdfunder page open for another 27 days and to donate any unused funds to Abortion Support Network, a charity that provides support, funding and accommodation to women in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man who are forced to travel to access legal and safe abortion.