Abortion Activism, Legal Change, and Taking Feminist Law Work Seriously

Mairead Enright, Kathryn McNeily, Fiona de Londras

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have recently undergone radical reform. This occllrred following a 2018 referendum in the Replblic and the passing of the Northern Ireland (Execive Formation etc) Act 2019 in Northern Ireland. In both jurisdictions, these legal changes are the products not oi/ of moments of constitutional and legislative action or of litigation, but of decades of feivnist protest and strategising that both generated and exploited moments of legal opportuniy. In this article, drawing on a 2018 workshop and qualitative interviews with feminist activists, we focus attention on wr hat we call the feminist law work' involved in reform, highlighting the role of non-lazyyer activists in achieving legal change in instrumental, creative, emotional, and laborious ways. lIe argue that feminist law work' should be taken seriousy as a highly skilled and indispensable driving force informal legal change processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)359-386
    JournalNorthern Ireland Legal Quarterly
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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