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 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.
NI abortion: Guidelines issued ahead of 21 October deadline
8 October 2019
The government has published guidance for healthcare professionals on abortion law in Northern Ireland.
The new guidelines cover the period from 22 October to 31 March 2020.
They set out what will happen following changes to the law after 21 October, if the NI Executive is not restored.
This week has proved that the fight for abortion rights is far from over
Kerry Abel, Chair of the Abortion Rights campaign
Sunday 6 Oct 2019
As the Chair of Abortion Rights, I am often asked why my organisation is still needed in 2019.
This week has been proof of why.
We’ve seen the High Court ruling that Northern Ireland’s archaic abortion laws breach the UK’s human right commitments, while also witnessing the disgusting harassment of Stella Creasy in her constituency, with anti-choice bullies putting up billboards with vile, misleading images they claim to be of foetuses.
Northern Ireland abortion law ruled to breach human rights
High court in Belfast rules against Northern Ireland’s strict abortion law
Rory Carroll, Ireland correspondent
Thu 3 Oct 2019
Northern Ireland’s near-blanket abortion ban breaches the UK’s human rights commitments, the high court in Belfast has ruled.
The decision, on Thursday, was made following a case brought by Sarah Ewart, 29, who was denied a termination in 2013 despite a scan showing the foetus she was carrying would not survive.
Northern Ireland abortion restrictions breach UK’s human rights law, Belfast High Court rules
‘I’m feeling super relieved and happy,’ says Sarah Ewart, who was forced to travel to England to terminate her pregnancy
Maya Oppenheim, Women's Correspondent
Oct 3, 2019
Northern Ireland’s strict abortion law which bans the procedure even in cases of rape or incest infringes Britain’s human rights obligations, the High Court in Belfast has ruled.
The case was brought by Sarah Ewart, who was forced to travel to England for an abortion after being told there was no way her unborn child would survive.
Northern Ireland’s Abortion Laws Are Archaic – But The Fight Isn’t Over
Today’s ruling is a hard-won victory for women. Now, we need to confine these cruel laws to history, writes BPAS’ Katherine O’Brien.
By Katherine O'Brien
On Thursday a ruling from the High Court in Belfast has confirmed what campaigners, healthcare providers, and the women of Northern Ireland have known for years – that the country’s archaic, cruel abortion law is in breach of the UK’s human rights commitments.
This is a hard-won victory. Sarah Ewart is a young mother who had to travel to England for an abortion after receiving the devastating diagnosis that her baby would not survive outside the womb. Sarah has spent years in and out of court in order to challenge the near-total abortion ban which does not permit abortion in cases of fatal foetal anomaly. The ruling on Thursday that the current ban is in breach of her human rights is a testament to her bravery and courage.
The Guardian view on abortion in Northern Ireland: standing up for women’s rights
With devolution still on hold, the decision by a huge majority of MPs to vote in favour of equal marriage and abortion should be welcomed
Thu 11 Jul 2019
The law on abortion in Northern Ireland is an anomaly that should have been dealt with long ago. The near-total ban, dating back to 1861 and including abortion in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality, is among the most restrictive in the world. It is also an affront to the rights of women – as both the UK supreme court and a United Nations committee ruled separately last year.
Mordaunt targets ‘appalling’ Northern Ireland abortion laws
Equalities minister calls for government to act after Tory rivals rule out reform
Matthew Weaver and Henry McDonald
Wed 3 Jul 2019
The women and equalities minister, Penny Mordaunt, has signalled her determination to change the “appalling” abortion laws in Northern Ireland a day after the two Conservative leadership rivals ruled out reform on the issue.
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were accused of pandering to religious fundamentalists in the Democratic Unionist party by claiming that abortion rights were a matter for the devolved assembly if power sharing was restored.
Northern Ireland abortion: Westminster inquiry mounts pressure on UK Government to reform law
Women and Equality Committee report makes clear UK Government responsible for addressing breach of women’s rights in Northern Ireland
25 Apr 2019
The Women and Equalities Committee have today (25 April) published their inquiry report on abortion in Northern Ireland. Amnesty International UK and the Family Planning Association have welcomed the report and called on the UK Government to take immediate action.
The report identifies serious concerns with the abortion law and makes a series of important recommendations on the law, policy and practice governing abortion access for women in Northern Ireland. Critically, it calls on the UK Government to address the rights breaches found by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).