UNISON Northern Ireland


Anne Speed Head of Bargaining and Representation for UNISON across Northern Ireland and member of the all Ireland Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade unions said;

We are pleased to have played a part with our colleague trade unions in commissioning this groundbreaking survey Abortion as a workplace issue.

For the first time trade unions have direct access to members’ experience of the very real impact on women in the workplace making the choice to terminate a pregnancy.

These impacts include the costs involved in having to travel,  being able to afford or get leave from work, the stigma attached to such a decision, worries about confidentiality and access to follow up treatment.  The recent decision to open access to abortion facilities in the NHS in other UK jurisdictions does not remove these difficulties for women in Northern Ireland.

 A majority of respondents' across the Island of Ireland do not support a total ban on access to abortion and favour legal reform North and South. Notably 87% of respondents reject the criminalisation of women who have abortions.

Responses in this survey tell us that denying women choice, impacts on their lives in the workplace. There are important messages we must heed.  Feedback in this survey offers a strong call  to unions both North and South to consider appropriate representation  supports for their women members,  a call to  back legal reform to remove bans on abortion and a call  to  support the growing challenge  from health care professionals that the health and  well  being of  living women must be paramount.  Most of all it confirms that sitting on the fence on women's reproductive rights is no longer a credible option."


Read the full report below: