The Women's Equality Network Wales has written an open letter to Wales' Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, in the wake of the US Supreme Court's recent decision regarding abortion rights. The letter is also copied to the Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan and the Leader of Cardiff Council, Huw Thomas.

 

Dear Minister,

Revocation of Roe vs Wade

We are writing to express our extreme disappointment and sadness regarding the decision to revoke the constitutional right to abortion in America. It sends a dangerous message to the world at a time when women in many countries, including Northern Ireland, are still struggling to achieve abortion rights.

We would like to ask you to make a strong statement of support for a woman’s right to abortion as soon as possible and that you publicly condemn this appalling human rights violation.

Also, we would like to ask for an improvement of the provision in Wales. We know that many women in Wales must still travel extensively for abortion services and that later abortion services remain difficult to access across much of Wales. There are currently no services within Wales that provide abortion beyond 19 weeks, and no general hospitals in Wales are willing to accept cases with complex medical conditions and needs, meaning women are required to travel to England. This needs to change. Please can you let us know what action you will be taking to urgently improve the situation?

Buffer zones are needed around clinics providing abortion care, such as Cardiff Clinic where protesters have been intimidating and bullying women. This must not be allowed to continue and pressure should be placed on the UK government to allow buffer zones to be established so that women can access the healthcare they need.

In the meantime, Cardiff Council needs to do all it can to protect individuals accessing health services and local residents from harassment, intimidation and disruption, including the issuing of a Public Spaces Protection Order in the area around the clinic.

Finally, we would request that you urgently make representation to the UK Government that Stormont's Department of Health in Northern Ireland implements the right to abortion and sets up a fully-funded abortion service. The Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis announced this in a statement to Parliament on May 19th, 2022. At that point, Mr. Lewis said he wanted action in ‘days and weeks, and yet progress has still not been made. The women of Northern Ireland must be able to access their reproductive rights.

Yours sincerely,

 

Catherine Fookes, Director, WEN Wales

Alicja Zalesinska, CEO, Tai Pawb

Leila Usmani, Lobbying and Influencing Officer, Race Alliance Wales

Debbie Shaffer, Founder, FTWW: Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales

Sara Kirkpatrick, CEO, Welsh Women’s Aid

Mary Ann Brocklesby, Chair, WEN Wales

Cerys Furlong, Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg

Sarah Rees, Head of Oxfam Cymru

Stacey Grant-Canham Founder Black & Beech LTD

Krista Powell Edwards, Founder, The Credibility Expert Limited

Christina Tanti, Research and Evaluation Manager, Race Equality First

Laura O’Keeffe

Kelly Harris, Lead for Brook Cymru

Chris Dunn, CEO, Diverse Cymru

Frances Beecher, Chief Executive, Llamau

Megan Thomas, Policy and Research Officer, Disability Wales

Debbie Beadle, CEO, Cardiff Women’s Aid

Nkechi Allen Dawson, Policy Officer, Race Council Cymru

Sabiha Azad, Community Engagement Officer, Welsh Women’s Aid

Fadhilah Gubari, Advocacy Advisor, Oxfam Cymru

Jessica Laimann, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, WEN Wales

Gwendolyn Sterk, UK expert representative on EWL Observatory on VAWG

Lucia Sivori, Wellbeing Officer

Willow Holloway, Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project, Autistic UK 

Leanne Waring, Business Development Manager, Cardiff and Vale College

Lisa Isherwood, Britain & Ireland School of Feminist Theology

Nicola Shone, Race Equality First 

Laura Murphy & Team - Vicious Cycle: PMDD Awareness Campaign

Laura Kent, Race Equality First

Aliya Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer, Race Equality First

Dr Edward Morris, President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Suzy Davies, Women’s Equality Network, Board Member

Dr Olga Jurasz, The Open University 

The Whole Team, Trans Aid Cymru

Professor Laura McAllister, Wales Governance Centre

Bobbie Sheldrake.  Programme Action Co-ordinator Soroptimist International Wales South Region.

Sandra Ajax programme 

Susie Blacklaw-Jones, Programme Action Officer, Soroptimist International Haverfordwest & District

Margaret Slater-Harries, President, Soroptimist International Haverfordwest & District

Jackie Jones, Councillor 

Deena Irving, Soroptimist International Haverfordwest & District

Heidi Lewis, Soroptimist International Wales South Region Joint President