CAMPAIGNERS WELCOME HISTORIC DAY AS ABORTION DECRIMINALISED IN NORTHERN IRELAND
21st October 2019
For immediate release
Today is a landmark moment for reproductive rights in Northern Ireland, and for women and girls who have been living under one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. At midnight tonight, abortion will be decriminalised, and we will be one step closer to free, safe, legal and local abortion in Northern Ireland. Women and girls in Northern Ireland have been left behind for too long - and today marks a historic step in bringing this cruel injustice to an end.
In July 2019, the UK Parliament voted in favour of an amendment proposed by Stella Creasy MP and supported by pro-choice groups across the UK. Section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Bill 2019 passed by 332-99 votes in the House of Commons and 182-37 in the House of Lords. Section 9 states that decriminalisation of abortion would take effect if no Executive was formed in Northern Ireland by October 21st.
Abortion to be decriminalised in Northern Ireland
Much to the chagrin of the DUP, Northern Ireland will be brought into regulatory alignment with the rest of the UK.
Oct 21, 2019
Women in Northern Ireland will have a legal right to safe abortions from midnight local time (23:00 GMT) on Monday, after a last-ditch bid to maintain the illegality of terminations fell apart in the regional legislature.
MPs at Westminster successfully amended a bill in the summer to include measures to end the near-blanket prohibition on abortion and introduce same-sex marriage, bringing Northern Ireland into regulatory alignment with the rest of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland prepares for momentous abortion, same-sex marriage changes
Amanda Ferguson, Reuters
October 21, 2019
BELFAST — Campaigners who fought for decades to end Northern Ireland’s same sex-marriage ban and restrictions on abortion prepare on Monday for a momentous change to the laws on both at the stroke of midnight.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that does not allow same-sex marriage. Also, unlike England, Scotland and Wales, laws in Northern Ireland forbid abortion except where a mother’s life is at risk, bans that have been upheld by the region’s block of conservative politicians.
Abortion: NI politicians' bid to halt law changes fails
Oct 21, 2019
A last ditch attempt at the Stormont assembly to stop abortion law changes in Northern Ireland has failed, with the law set to change at midnight.
Unionist parties, who oppose the upcoming liberalisation, triggered the assembly's recall with a petition.
But politicians were told the assembly could not do any business until a speaker was elected with cross-community backing.
Northern Ireland faces decriminalization of abortion
The UK region's strict abortion law is set to change after politicians in London stepped in to legislate to end decades of discrimination against British and Irish women there. The legislation dates back to 1861.
Author Amanda Ferguson (Belfast)
Northern Ireland's abortion legislation is some of the most restrictive in the world and come from the Victorian-era of history. Pro-choice campaigners have for decades pursued legal challenges for them to be changed to respect women's human rights.
The 1967 Abortion Act in Britain, allowing for abortion up to 24 weeks in the rest of the United Kingdom, was never extended to Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Is About to Reform Its Abortion Law – Now What?
If its government doesn't reconvene by October 21st, its draconian law will be tossed out the window. Activists are counting down the days.
by Mary McGill
18 October 2019
With just a few days to go until October 21st, it is almost certain that Northern Ireland’s draconian law against abortion will be reformed. The political situation in Northern Ireland is complex. The region’s devolved government has been suspended for over two years. For campaigners fighting for equal rights issues like abortion, this stalemate has been frustrating.
That is, until July of this year, when Westminster issued a ruling paving the way for the liberalisation of the region’s abortion legislation, provided Northern Ireland’s government does not reconvene before October 21st. Although there are fears that Boris Johnson will use abortion in Northern Ireland as a bargaining tactic in Brexit negotiations, at this late stage reform is unlikely to be derailed
Stormont to be recalled after abortion petition
17 October 2019
Assembly members are set to return to the Stormont chamber for the first time in nearly three years after 31 members signed a petition triggering a recall.
The move was proposed in a last-ditch attempt to stop the reform of Northern Ireland's abortion law.
Government accused of using NI abortion to coax DUP into backing Brexit deal
Stella Creasy suggested the government had 'sold out' women to get support from the hardline party
By Nicola Bartlett, Political Correspondent
16 OCT 2019
Stella Creasy has accused the government of selling out women in Northern Ireland to get the DUP to back their Brexit deal.
The Labour MP, who was instrumental in changing the law to liberalise abortion in the region, said Boris Johnson was using women as "bargaining chips".
Abortion rights used to get DUP to back Brexit deal, says Stella Creasy
Labour MP accuses government of willingness to let Stormont be in control of abortion laws
Kate Proctor and Heather Stewart
Wed 16 Oct 2019
Labour MP Stella Creasy has accused the government of preparing to hand back control of abortion rights to Stormont to help curry favour with the DUP at a critical moment in the Brexit talks.
Creasy led a successful push in the Commons earlier this year to extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland – the only part of the UK where it remains illegal except in a very narrow set of circumstances. MPs amended the Northern Ireland (executive formation) bill, to say that the government in Westminster would be required to extend the right to abortion if the Northern Ireland assembly and executive at Stormont are not up and running by 21 October.
Sinn Féin supports abortions in certain circumstances and within a 'limited gestational period'
14 October, 2019
SINN Féin will tell a consultation on Northern Ireland's new abortion laws that it only supports terminations in certain circumstances and within a "limited gestational period".
Abortion will be decriminalised on October 22, provided a power-sharing assembly does not return to block the move.