British politicians to scrutinise Irish abortion laws - Statement

Statement: July 18th 2017

A committee of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly will look into the implications women travelling to Britain for abortions.

The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign today welcomes the announcement by the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, of an inquiry into the cross-jurisdictional implications of abortion policy.

The committee will focus on the 12 women a day who travel from Ireland to Britain to access safe legal abortions. We invite any efforts to shed light on the plight of those forced to make that journey.

Lord Alfred Dubs will chair the inquiry. The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign have approached him on this issue in recent months.

We raised concerns both with Lord Dubs and the Irish Ambassador to Great Britain, Dan Mulhall, on the impact Brexit may have on the ability of those in Ireland seeking abortions to travel freely.

This announcement follows the recent commitment of governments in England, Scotland and Wales to allow people from Northern Ireland to access to abortion services on NHS in Britain - signalling wider acknowledgement among politicians throughout the British Isles that the restrictions on abortion access in Ireland are unsustainable and have implications on both sides of the Irish Sea.

It also comes ahead of an expected referendum to repeal the eighth amendment in 2018.

We hope the work of this inquiry highlights the human stories behind abortion statistics. We also want it to inform both legislators and the wider Irish public that access to free, safe, legal abortion will save lives and is necessary to ensure women have access to basic health care without the shame, stigma and expense of travelling.

Cara Sanquest of the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign said: “The news that Ireland’s abortion laws are to be scrutinised by a committee of British politicians, shows the spotlight has been firmly shone on reproductive rights.

“We welcome the committee’s impending visits to Dublin and Belfast and hope its findings will help usher in an end to the exportation of women from Ireland to Britain for basic healthcare.”


Notes for Editors:

Media spokespersons: Contact Cara Sanquest on 07955566182.  

To be added to our press list please email or contact us via social media at @LdnIrishARC or

To be added to our press list please email or contact us via social media at @LdnIrishARC

 What is the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC)?

The Abortion Rights Campaign is a movement for choice and change in Ireland. We aim to promote broad national support for a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution by the Irish Parliament; to push for the introduction of extensive abortion legislation by the Northern Ireland Assembly; and to ensure the health and rights of women in pregnancy are protected in line with international human rights standards. - See more at:

 What is London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign?

We are the London based branch of ARC, representing the Irish diaspora in London. We launched in September 2016, with a march to the Irish embassy to represent the 77 women a week who travel to England from Ireland for abortions. We are now 600 strong – and have the support of numerous other networks including The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment and the Repeal Project.


Hannah Little