Yesterday it was announced that three women, known as A, B, and C, have begun their challenge to Ireland's ban on abortion in the European Court of Human Rights. The three women travelled to Britain to have abortions and claim that the Irish anti-abortion laws caused health risk, trauma and humiliation. Although the case has garnered significant international attention, a decision is not expected for some time.
In the meantime, women in Ireland are still forced to travel to obtain safe, legal abortions. These women are travelling not only from Ireland, the focus of this court case, but also from Northern Ireland, where, despite being part of the United Kingdom, abortion is illegal in almost all situations.
Women need help. While all advocates of reproductive choice anticipate the outcome of the ABC case, the Abortion Support Network (ASN) is here to help these women – with housing for women who come to London for abortions and need a place to stay overnight, and with funding to help offset the costs of travel and procedure, which can range from £400 - £2000 depending on stage of pregnancy and other circumstances. Last year almost 6,000 Irish women made this journey.
Help now. While other organisations campaign for law reform, we will exist to help women access safe abortions by providing practical support, in the form of accommodation and financial assistance. 100% of any donation made to ASN will be used to help a woman travelling from Ireland to offset the cost of her abortion. Please visit this link to make a donation through PayPal or to set up a standing order. Your donation will make a direct difference to a woman.
In the meantime, following is some information about the challenge to the law, including a SkyNews interview with author, activist, and ASN host Ann Rossiter.
BBC News: Ireland's abortion law challenged in European court
Sky News: London-Based Author Ann Rossiter Warns Credit Crunch Could Force Women Into Illegal Abortions
Irish Times: Legal Challenge to Abortion Law a "momentous day'
Irish Times: Government defends abortion law
irish women challenge their country's abortion ban
News from my friend Mara Clarke, founder of the Abortion Support Network in the UK.