Access to Abortion

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2019 National LGBT+ Conference
25 July 2019

Conference notes the tightening of abortion access in states such as Alabama in the United States of America (USA) with despair. Abortion is a health issue and disproportionately affects people in poverty, the working poor and people living in rural areas

Despite recent Parliamentary intervention in the absence of a Stormont Assembly, access within the United Kingdom is not yet equal. The Abortion Action 1967 allows access for people in England, Wales and Scotland to make a choice with regards to proceed with a pregnancy. This does not yet extend to Northern Ireland where it is still an offence.

The majority of people seeking access to abortions are women. There will be a minority of bisexual and lesbian women, non-binary people and trans (masculine) men who face unwanted pregnancies. Forcing people who live in Northern Ireland to travel to the mainland or to the Republic of Ireland to access healthcare is despicable. Bisexual women are at high risk of domestic violence within relationships which includes coerced pregnancy. Trans and non-binary people also face intuitional discrimination when obtaining health care and access areas which is focused purely on women’s health may cause dysphoria and mental ill health

Abortion access is a healthcare issue and therefore needs to take into account Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender plus (LGBT+) patients.

Conference calls on the National LGBT+ Committee to:

1)Work with appropriate bodies including UNISON’s National Women’s Committee and UNISON Northern Ireland to campaign for equal access for abortion in Northern Ireland;

2. Consider an article for Out in UNISON with regards to giving information regarding abortion access;

3. Work with appropriate bodies such as the National Executive Committee and the Heath Service Group Executive to seek to ensure that any publications published are LGBT+ inclusive.