This episode contains an in-depth interview with Audrey Simpson. Audrey joined the Family Planning Association (FPA) in Northern Ireland as their Director in 1988 and maintained this role until her retirement in 2015. She led the first ever legal challenge into the provision of abortion services in Northern Ireland and was awarded an OBE for promoting women’s healthcare.
Audrey discusses her experiences of sex education in post primary schools; the firebombing and subsequent closure of the Ulster Pregnancy Advisory Association; the establishment of FPA’s pregnancy counselling service; FPA’s judicial review to seek guidelines for healthcare professionals on the provision of abortion services; the failed attempt at Westminster to extend the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland in 2008; the first all-Ireland conference on Abortion and Clinical Care in 2010; engagement with the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; and her aspirations for sexual health going forward. After the interview the host and co-host discuss some of the key issues raised.
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News article from 1999 regarding the closure of the Ulster Pregnancy Advisory Association
News article from 2008 regarding the failed attempt to at Westminster to extend the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland https://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/oct/21/health-health1
News article from 2010 regarding the all-island conference on Abortion and Clinical Care
News articles from 2001 to 2016 regarding the judicial review taken by FPA to provide guidance for healthcare professionals on the provision of abortion services in Northern Ireland