People Are Posting 100s Of Letters To MP Penny Mordaunt & #PennyPost Is Going Viral

Photo: Alliance for Choice
The dire need for abortion reform in Northern Ireland has become even more pressing since Ireland's historic vote to overturn its abortion ban in May.
Pro-choice campaigners say women in Ulster are now treated as "second-class citizens" next to women in Ireland as well as women in the rest of the UK.
It's not difficult to grasp their point. While women in England will soon be able to take an abortion pill at home, and women in Scotland and Wales already can, women in Northern Ireland still face a life sentence for having an abortion.
Under legislation that's now over 150 years old, abortion in Northern Ireland is only legal if a woman's life is at risk or there's a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health. This means abortion is illegal in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities.
Because of this, an average of 28 women a week made the expensive and potentially very stressful journey from Northern Ireland to England to access abortion services between March and July of this year.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the province's strict stance on abortion is incompatible with human rights in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and sexual crime.
However, the UK government has been reluctant to make any moves to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland because, it argues, this process should be initiated by the province's own Assembly.
As the Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed in January 2017 and doesn't currently exist, abortion reform in Ulster will remain stalled for the foreseeable future unless the UK government steps in.
Now, campaign group Alliance for Choice has launched a campaign encouraging people in Northern Ireland to write to Westminster-based MP Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Women and Equalities, to call for abortion reform.
They've named the campaign #PennyPost and are asking people to spread the word on social media using the hashtag. Check out two of the #PennyPost letters already sent to Penny Mordaunt below.
Emma Campbell from Alliance for Choice said: "[We] continue to receive calls from desperate people who can’t travel, worried that accessing abortion pills online will see them arrested. Ignoring us will not make the problem go away. We refuse to stand down on asking to be treated as human beings and not incubators.
"We have been let down by our representatives who either refuse to take seat in Parliament or refuse to acknowledge the public will in Northern Ireland for change. We are being denied our democratic right to be properly represented on top of being denied basic control over our own bodies. Westminster has the power to make this change."
The campaign has won the backing of Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, a vocal supporter of abortion reform in Northern Ireland.
If you're living in Northern Ireland and want to join the #PennyPost campaign, you can write to Penny Mordaunt MP to call for abortion reform at the following address.
Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt
Minister for Women and Equalities
Government Equalities Office
Sanctuary Buildings
16-20 Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT

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