How we frame abortion in our research, media and writing does not only reflect the issue but directs the public perceptions of abortion. This section is for students, journalists, media producers and researchers as a much needed guide to dealing with the issue in a way that doesn't further stigmatise abortion. We get contacted on a regular basis to help with people's research/story/class project and we are a very small organisation with limited resources, so help us focus your questions and be more effective. If you read nothing else, read this guide on how to report about abortions from IPPF
Ireland and Northern Ireland are two small, similar but legislatively different countries that co-exist on the same small island.
We have different governments, currencies and a different postal system.
We used to be the same country many years ago, but Britain after losing grip of their colonial control of Ireland, retained the North part of the island, with a temporary border which remains today.
Northern Ireland is where the majority of Protestants live in the majority Catholic island.
As we are different legal jurisdictions we do not have any of the same laws as the Republic of Ireland, which has its own constitution but it is why we sometimes also don't have the same laws as the rest of the U.K.
These crossovers however explain the similarities between our cultures.
Up until 20 years ago we had a sectarian civil war in the North for many years and we are still slowly emerging from that period of violent armed conflict.
Our fragile coalition government is socially conservative and politically risk averse.
We are currently in a period of “Direct Rule” as our fragile peace process is in a period of crisis.
Please try and understand this before you meet us.
Further Reading at this link: http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/facets.htm
Or a pregnant person about to have an abortion. Or an abortion seeker who is travelling to England in the next week, or anyone who has taken illegal abortion pills, or someone who's family would be devastated, or who would be sacked. We definitely won't find you a person who ticks off a shopping list idea of what would make a good story. We have had insensitive requests on a weekly basis.
You, the researcher/journalist/student will know people who have had abortions. If you find it difficult to talk to your friends and relatives, in a context where it is legal, try to understand why we will not expect our members and supporters to speak?
We get it, human interest stories are the most powerful, but we want to make sure we are respected as people who have had abortions and helped with abortions.
As an organisation, Alliance for Choice need to be somewhere safe people can go to to ask advice on the law/pills/travel/journalists without worrying that their own situation might be taken advantage of or used in the wrong way or end up in the hands of the authorities.
We will speak to a select few people who are:
Have genuinely done some background research
Won't use Anti-abortion folks as 'balance'
Have had a look at the work we have done
Understands that we rely a lot on volunteers
Doesn't waste our time with questions they could have googled
Is aware that fundraising is vital for our survival
There's more but generally, but please be understanding.
A4C film on abortions
We recently added a search function to the website HERE please use it!
We don't have everything on abortion in Northern Ireland on the site, but we have a lot and we add more articles weekly.
Here is a list of some useful background pieces:
We have a page that signposts all the information a Northern Irish abortion seeker might need here: http://www.alliance4choice.com/i-need-an-abortion-now/