Travelling to England from Northern Ireland for an abortion 'bizarrely, like booking a holiday'

'Travelling to the mainland from Northern Ireland for an abortion is bizarrely like booking a holiday'

Many have protested over abortion laws in Northern Ireland

Friday, June 30, 2017

A woman from Northern Ireland has told talkRADIO the story of the abortion she had in England – and how it was "kind of, bizarrely, like booking a holiday".

Kellie, who is from Belfast and travelled last summer, told Paul Ross that many women in a similar position worry about how their family doctor might handle the situation:

"I didn’t talk to my GP. I think that many women don’t. A lot of people feel that talking to their family GP about something like this [is difficult because] they have no idea how they’re going to react and if they’re going to be supportive or not.

"Like many women here, I didn’t even go near my GP. I just looked up online how to access clinics in England and booked it all myself – kind of bizarrely like booking a holiday." 

Founder of the Abortion Support Network, Mara Clarke, said she is "hugely pleased" with the government’s decision to fund abortions for women travelling from Northern Ireland to England, but added: "Travelling to another country to get a medical procedure is very difficult." 

Mick Fealty, founding editor of Northern Ireland-based blog Slugger O'Toole, believes that "force majeure has brought this about".

He also spoke about Stormont's power-sharing negotiations, as the original deadline was missed.

He said: "Those of us who’ve been following Northern Ireland politics for a long time know that deadlines are never deadlines until the next deadline...and the next one and the next one. So really ‘nothing to see here’ as far as Stormont talks are concerned."

Listen to the full audio above

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