Friday, October 27, 2006

South Dakota, Abortion, Rights

Time to speak up | Health | "It's 39 years since abortion was legalised in this country, yet these days it's rarely discussed without mention of 'shame', 'mental trauma' or 'viability'. With pro-lifers dominating the debate, and even leftwingers describing abortion as a 'necessary evil', women's hard-won rights could soon be under threat. In an introduction to an eight-page special, Zoe Williams asks: are we just going to roll over? "

· The act does not extend to Northern Ireland. Abortion is only legal there if the life or the mental or physical health of the woman is at "serious risk". There are no clear guidelines, however, and provision depends on the moral outlook of individual doctors.

· In 2004/05, 64 women had an abortion in Northern Ireland, according to the Family Planning Association.

· In 2005, 1,164 women from Northern Ireland travelled to England for an abortion. Women travelling from Northern Ireland for an abortion cannot have them on the NHS.

· 1,900 abortions (1%) were classified as having been carried out because of a risk that the child would be born with disabilities.

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