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. If any women’s groups or organisations would like to talk through their approach to this issue please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to support you.
This is our position statement on reproductive rights and justice which has been in place since April 2019:
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.
We have taken a lead from the reproductive justice movement that prioritises the experiences of marginalised and disadvantaged communities and deals with abortion rights in the wider context of inequality including the duty of the state to ensure a safety net so that all families can live free from poverty.
WRDA has participated in consultations on abortion such as the UK Women and Equalities Committee inquiry. The Women’s Sector lobbyist gave evidence to the panel of MPs and you can read our written response here. We also support the legislation for the decriminalisation of abortion and will aim to amplify the voices of disadvantaged and marginalised women in the decision making about abortion services that will be established in Northern Ireland.
Download a copy of our position paper here.