We need your help:

Equal Rights for People in Northern Ireland

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Please email members of the House of Lords to ask them to support Clause 4 on the NI Bill

Equal rights for people in northern ireland

Last week, the equal rights for people in Northern Ireland amendment to the northern ireland bill, tabled by stella creasy mp and conor mcginn mp, passed by 207 to 117.

The Equal Rights for People in Northern Ireland amendment requires the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to issue guidelines to civil servants about how to operate given that laws relating to abortion and same-sex marriage are in breach of human rights. The amendment also requires to Secretary of State to report to parliament every 12 weeks on her plans to address human rights abuses in Northern Ireland. This is an important step in ensuring that the Secretary of State is accountable for human rights in Northern Ireland.

What happens now?

The Northern Ireland Bill and the amendment (now known as clause 4) will be debated in the House of Lords on Tuesday and we need to ensure that members of the House of Lords (peers) know that support for clause 4 is strong.

we know that Lords are receiving emails from people opposed to abortion rights for women encouraging them to vote down this clause. We want to make sure they hear the support there is for this proposal too.

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How can you help?

We’ve got a list of peers that we would like you to email below, and some bullet points to help you write to them. Your email does not need to be long or detailed - we just need to make sure they know that there is support for clause 4.

Email - key points

I'm emailing you as a member of the House of Lords to urge you to ensure Clause 4 of the NI Bill is retained for the following reasons….

  • Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland even in cases of rape and incest

  • 28 women a week travel from Northern Ireland to England and Wales for abortion every week.

  • Women in Northern Ireland needs access to healthcare without having to travel to England.

  • The Supreme Court has called the current law in Northern Ireland ‘untenable’ and in need of ‘radical reconsideration’

  • The UN has said that the law leaves women with ‘three deplorable options: (a) undergo a torturous experience of being compelled to carry a pregnancy to full term; (b) engage in illegal abortion and risk imprisonment and stigmatisation; or, (c) undertake a highly stressful journey outside NI to access a legal abortion.’

  • A Sky News poll showed 76% of people in Northern Ireland support equal marriage, with just 18% opposed (2018)

  • 81% of DUP supporters think abortion should be legal in the Northern Irish equivalent of the British Social Attitudes poll 2016 poll

  • 65% of people in Northern Ireland think abortion should be decriminalised and 66% think Westminster should act in the absence of the assembly in Amnesty poll (2018 poll)

  • Supporting this amendment is an opportunity to show that Westminster will not ignore its human rights obligations, whether internationally or on its doorstep, especially in the absence of the Assembly and will hold the Secretary of State to account for her actions on this matter. It therefore upholds the Good Friday Agreement which commits politicians in both the UK and Ireland to act to protect the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland.

  • There have been no Northern Ireland Ministers since March 2017.

  • Westminster must take action to ensure that human rights do not suffer as a result of this vacuum in the devolved settlement - it must be the role of the Secretary of State to take responsibility for the human rights of people in Northern Ireland in the absence of devolved Government as there is no other accountable body for this role.

  • In 2017, The Department of Health Termination of Pregnancy Statistics state that 13 abortions were carried out in Northern Ireland in 2017.

  • Between 2006 and 2015, the PSNI made 11 arrests related to illegal abortion. Between 2011 and 2016, five people were questioned and arrested for possession of abortifacients (drugs that induce abortion); two were convicted.

  • One conviction relates is of a woman in Northern Ireland who bought pills online for her then-15 year old daughter who was in an abusive relationship.

List of peers to email

Please pick anyone from this list of names...

  • Lord Aberdare aberdarea@parliament.uk
  • Lord Adebowale adebowalev@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Afshar afsharh@parliament.uk
  • Lord Ahmed ahmedn@parliament.uk
  • Bishop allisterd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Alton altond@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Amos amosv@parliament.uk
  • Lord Armstrong armstrongr@parliament.uk
  • Bishop bainesn@parliament.uk
  • Lord Berkeley berkeleym@parliament.uk
  • Lord Best best@parliament.uk
  • Lord Bhatia bhatiaa@parliament.uk
  • Bishop bishopofely@parliament.uk
  • Lord Farmer callans@parliament.uk
  • Bishop cocksworthc@parliament.uk
  • Lord Colville colvillec@parliament.uk
  • Lord Colwyn colwyna@parliament.uk
  • Lord Cooper of Windrush cooperac@parliament.uk
  • Lord Cope of Berkeley copej@parliament.uk
  • Lord Cork and Orrery corkj@parliament.uk
  • Earl of Courtown courtownp@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Coussins coussinsj@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Cox coxc@parliament.uk
  • Lord Craigavon craigavonj@parliament.uk
  • Lord Craig craigd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Crathorne crathornej@parliament.uk
  • Lord Crisp crisp@parliament.uk
  • Lord Cromwell cromwellg@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Cumberlege cumberlegej@parliament.uk
  • Lord Curry curryd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Dannatt dannattr@parliament.uk
  • Lord Dear deargj@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Deech deechr@parliament.uk
  • Lord de Mauley demauley@parliament.uk
  • Lord Dobbs dobbsm@parliament.uk
  • Baroness D'Souza dsouzaf@parliament.uk
  • Earl of Dundee dundeea@parliament.uk
  • Lord Dunlop dunlopa@parliament.uk
  • Lord Dykes dykesh@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Eaton eatonm@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Eccles of Moulton ecclesd@parliament.uk
  • Viscount Eccles ecclesj@parliament.uk
  • Lord Elis-Thomas elisthomasd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Erroll errollm@parliament.uk
  • Lord Fairfax of Cameron fairfaxn@parliament.uk
  • Lord Fellowes fellowesr@parliament.uk
  • Lord Filkin filking@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Finlay finlayi@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Finn finns@parliament.uk
  • Lord Flight flighth@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Fookes fookesj@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Ford fordm@parliament.uk
  • Lord Forsyth of Drumlean forsythm@parliament.uk
  • Lord Freeman freemanr@parliament.uk
  • Lord Freud freudd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Freyberg freybergv@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Fritchie fritchiei@parliament.uk
  • Lord Gardiner of Kimble gardinerj@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Gardner of Parkes gardnert@parliament.uk
  • Lord Geddes geddese@parliament.uk
  • Lord Gilbert of Panteg gilberts@parliament.uk
  • Lord Gold goldd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Hamilton of Epsom hamiltona@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Hanham hanhamj@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Harding of Winscombe hardingd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Hastings hastingsm@parliament.uk
  • Lord Henley henleyo@parliament.uk
  • Lord Higgins higginst@parliament.uk
  • Lord McFall hlseniordeputyspeaker@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Hodgson of Abinger hodgsonf@parliament.uk
  • Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts hodgsonr@parliament.uk
  • Lord Taylor of Holbeach holgovernmentwhips@parliament.uk
  • Lord Holmes of Richmond holmesc@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Hooper hooperg@parliament.uk
  • Lord Howard of Rising howardgr@parliament.uk
  • Lord Howard of Lympne howardm@parliament.uk
  • Earl Howe howef@parliament.uk
  • Lord Howell of Guildford howelld@parliament.uk
  • Lord Hunt of Wirral huntd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Laming lamingh@parliament.uk
  • Lord Lansley lansleya@parliament.uk
  • Lord Lawson of Blaby lawsonn@parliament.uk
  • Lord Lester lestera@parliament.uk
  • Lord Lexden lexdena@parliament.uk
  • Earl of Lindsay lindsayj@parliament.uk
  • Lord Lipsey lipseyd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Listowel listowelf@parliament.uk
  • Lord Lisvane lisvane@parliament.uk
  • Earl of Liverpool liverpoole@parliament.uk
  • Lord Livingston of Parkhead livingstoni@parliament.uk
  • Lord Loomba loombar@parliament.uk
  • Marquess of Lothian lothianm@parliament.uk
  • Lord Low lowc@parliament.uk
  • Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall lucasr@parliament.uk
  • Lord Lupton luptonj@parliament.uk
  • Lord Lytton lyttonj@parliament.uk
  • Lord Bichard m.bichard@btinternet.com
  • Lord Mackay of Clashfern mackayjp@parliament.uk
  • Lord Mackenzie mackenzieb@parliament.uk
  • Lord Macpherson macphersonn@parliament.uk
  • Lord Woolf maggiestevenson@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Manzoor manzoorz@parliament.uk
  • Lord Marland marland@parliament.uk
  • Lord Marlesford marlesford@parliament.uk
  • Lady Mar marm@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Masham mashams@parliament.uk
  • Lord McColl of Dulwich mccolli@parliament.uk
  • Lord McInnes of Kilwinning mcinnesm@parliament.uk
  • Baroness McIntosh of Pickering mcintoshac@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Meacher meachermc@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Meyer meyerc@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Mone monem@parliament.uk
  • Duke of Montrose montrosej@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Neville-Jones nevillejonesp@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Neville-Rolfe nevillerolfel@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Newlove newloveh@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Noakes noakess@parliament.uk
  • Lord Northbrook northbrookf@parliament.uk
  • Lord Norton of Louth nortonp@parliament.uk
  • Baroness O'Cathain ocathaind@parliament.uk
  • Baroness O'Loan oloann@parliament.uk
  • Lord O'Shaughnessy oshaughnessyj@parliament.uk
  • Lord Ouseley ouseleyh@parliament.uk
  • Lord Oxburgh oxburghe@parliament.uk
  • Lord Palmer palmerad@parliament.uk
  • Lord Patel patelkk@parliament.uk
  • Lord Patten of Barnes pattenc@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Prashar prasharu@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Sater satera@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Stedman-Scott stedmanscottd@parliament.uk
  • Lord Swinfen swinfenr@parliament.uk
  • Lord Tebbit tebbitn@parliament.uk
  • Lord Trefgarne trefgarned@parliament.uk
  • Viscount Trenchard trenchardh@parliament.uk
  • Lord True truen@parliament.uk
  • Lord Tugendhat tugendhatc@parliament.uk
  • Viscount Ullswater ullswatern@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Vere of Norbiton verec@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Verma vermas@parliament.uk
  • Lord Wakeham wakehamj@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Warsi warsis@parliament.uk
  • Lord Wei wein@parliament.uk
  • Duke of Wellington wellington@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Morris of Bolton whitbycollinsa@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Wilcox wilcoxj@parliament.uk
  • Baroness Williams of Trafford williamssb@parliament.uk
  • Viscount Younger of Leckie youngerj@parliament.uk
  • Lord Young of Cookham youngg@parliament.uk