Northern Ireland drags feet on abortion a year after UK orders roll-out
June 24, 2020
BELFAST (Reuters) - Almost a year after the British parliament voted to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland, one of the last regions in Western Europe with a ban, women there face gaps in provision due to renewed local political roadblocks.
The region's socially conservative health minister Robin Swann has declined to order the health service to provide abortions, commission information campaigns, and also declined to introduce emergency telemedicine measures offered in the rest of the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Northern Ireland abortion rules voted in by MPs must be accepted at Assembly, says minister
June 05 2020
Stormont must accept new regulations on abortion made in Westminster despite them being rejected by the Assembly, the Northern Ireland minister has announced.
MPs voted last July to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland if the Stormont Assembly was not up and running by October.
Abortion: Assembly rejects recent changes to NI laws
By Jayne McCormack
BBC News NI Political Reporter
June 2, 2020
The NI Assembly has voted to pass a motion to reject recent changes to abortion laws in Northern Ireland. New abortion regulations drawn up by Westminster came into force in March after a vote in 2019.
The motion, brought by the DUP, passed by 46 votes to 40. The vote has no effect on the laws but the DUP said it would send a message to Westminster that the regulations are not supported by Stormont.
SF proposes tightening NI abortion legislation over non-fatal disability
Alliance for Choice says SF move would mean still having to travel for terminations for foetal anomaly diagnoses
Sun, May 31, 2020
Sinn Féin has indicated a willingness to see some alteration of the new abortion legislation for Northern Ireland that was enacted at Westminster and came into effect at the end of March.
The party has tabled an amendment to a DUP motion on abortion, some of which relates to Down syndrome, that is to be debated in the Northern Assembly on Tuesday.
Ireland: this is just the beginning
Decriminalisation is long overdue. But will much change in practice?
Ella Whelan, Columnist
24th October 2019
Northern Ireland’s government in Stormont has been inactive for over 1,000 days. Sinn Fein and the DUP have been unable to bury the hatchet over a botched environmental policy and age-old rows over cultural practices. With the power-sharing agreement unable to function, the Northern Irish civil service has been left running the country, unable to make any key decisions. As a result, the UK parliament passed a law that instructed the two parties to return to Stormont to kiss and make up or face the prospect of Westminster taking over.
After an embarrassing performance in Stormont on Monday, in which a handful of politicians made a hamfisted show of trying to come back together, at midnight Westminsters’ threats became real and the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 came into force. Most significantly, the law also repealed sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, clearing the way for the decriminalisation of abortion.
Decriminalisation of abortion in North leads to confusion
Legislation due by end of March 2020 but the situation in the meantime is uncertain
Oct 22, 2019
Gerry Moriarty, Freya McClements
Abortion was decriminalised from midnight on Monday in Northern Ireland despite a last-ditch attempt by unionist Assembly members to override Westminster legislation.
Women who seek access to abortion in Northern Ireland will not be prosecuted, investigations of illegal abortions will no longer be pursued, and prosecutions currently under way will be halted.
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.
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.
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.