WRDA was one of the first organisations in the formal women’s sector to adopt a pro-choice position internally and explicitly state this in our work with partners. We have provided leadership in this area by helping facilitate training and capacity building for other women’s sector organisations through partnerships like the Women’s Regional Consortium or Reclaim the Agenda and grassroots women’s centres.

We have had a policy in operation for a number of years that states:

Women’s Resource and Development Agency

Policy on Abortion

 As a pro-choice organisation and linking in with our vision, mission and the current strategic plan, the approach of WRDA is to put the emphasis on:

  • the rights of women,
  • the inequality in terms or service provision, the gaps and deficiencies in poorly resourced health and sex education across all levels, and the protection and the promotion of health and well-being at public policy level,
  • allowing for the exercise of personal conscience at individual level for staff and Management Committee members.

It was decided in April 2019 to adopt a position paper that was more comprehensive and provided more clarity.

Women’s Resource and Development Agency

Position on Reproductive Rights and Justice

As a feminist pro-choice organisation campaigning for equality, and linking with our vision, mission and the current strategic plan, the position of WRDA is:

  • To support the decriminalisation of abortion in line with international human rights standards;
  • To address the current inequality of access to reproductive healthcare created by Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion law, which creates particular barriers for those who are unable to travel;
  • To call for comprehensive sex and relationship education to be included in the statutory curriculum, as an effective strategy for promoting consent and healthy relationships as well as preventing crisis pregnancies;
  • To support the protection and the promotion of health and well-being through public policy and service provision that meets the particular needs of women;
  • To call for equal access to state funded fertility treatment for women living in Northern Ireland and for LGBT women;
  • To promote economic and social policy that enables women to raise a family and to oppose welfare cuts that restrict women’s reproductive choices by forcing them into poverty.

Download a copy of our position paper here.