The Liverpool-Ireland abortion corridor: history, activism and medical practice


  • Dr Deirdre Duffy

    Edge Hill University

Project summary

Liverpool occupies an important position in the story of abortion in Ireland. Since the 1970s activist groups in Liverpool have offered accommodation and other support to women travelling from Ireland seeking abortions and Liverpool Women’s Hospital is the only health provider directly referenced in political debates on Irish women’s right to abortion. However, little is known about the ‘Liverpool perspective’ on this matter. Questions remain over what Irish women travelling to Liverpool experience, how they are supported, and their impact on health provision in the city. As a result, the full ramifications of the ‘abortion traffic’ created by the legal restrictions in Northern and Southern Ireland are unclear.

This project seeks to address this gap in knowledge. Bringing together historical, sociological and clinical perspectives, it begins a discussion of the Liverpool-Ireland Abortion Corridor (LIAC) as a socio-cultural phenomenon with implications for clinical practice. This project will consist of a small scoping study of the LIAC and four symposia (in Liverpool, Dublin and Belfast), allowing for the establishment of an international, cross-disciplinary network and the initiation of a larger exploration of the historical, medical, socio-spatial, cultural, legal and political contours of the LIAC.