Dr Fiona Bloomer (Ulster) and Dr Claire Pierson (Manchester Metropolitan University)
This paper considers global trends in abortion policy using the framework of morality policy. The authors will explain how the controversy over abortion policy restricts legal reform, resulting in legislative lacunae and non-decision making. Using evidence from a British Academy funded analysis of debates in the Northern Ireland Assembly during the period 1998 to 2016, the authors demonstrate how such trends are visible in the Northern Ireland context. The authors present examples of myths used in political debate in Northern Ireland and counter these myths with academic evidence drawn from systematic scientific reviews to illustrate the problematic nature of basing policy on morality rather than fact.
Date of seminar: 16 November 2016.