Abortion is now no longer illegal in Northern Ireland
22 October 2019
By Jessica Hamzelou
Abortion in Northern Ireland is now legal. As of midnight on Monday 21 October, women and girls can legally access abortions and seek medical aftercare, and the UK government will fund journeys to England for the procedure.
The UK Offences Against the Person Act ruled that “procuring a miscarriage” was against the law in 1861. The Abortion Act legalised abortions in some cases in 1967, but not in Northern Ireland, where the procedure remained illegal even in cases of rape, incest and when the fetus is unlikely to survive.
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 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.
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.
Rally held in protest against abortion law changes
It was described as a ‘sombre occasion’.
By Aoife Moore, PA
October 13 2019
A rally in protest of possible upcoming abortion law changes has been held in Belfast.
The gathering, organised by anti-abortion group Both Lives matter was described by organisers as “a cross-community, inter-generational, and peaceful” event, was held to demonstrate opposition to Westminster’s soon to be imposed abortion law changes in Northern Ireland.
A law tabled by Labour MP Stella Creasy, changing the current legislation on abortion and marriage equality will be implemented in Northern Ireland on October 21 if the main Stormont parties cannot resolve the outstanding deadlock in the Assembly.
‘The doctors in Northern Ireland knew my baby would die. But I was refused an abortion’
One grieving woman tells of the suffering the current ban caused her
Sun 6 Oct 2019
Denise Phelan was denied an abortion three years ago in circumstances so extreme she still finds it harrowing to speak about it, and does so only because she is determined that no other woman should be forced to go through a similar experience.
“My anger wakes me up at night. It’s a deep, almost in-the-bone anger,” she says. She and her husband, Richard Gosnold, are also still grieving for the loss of their baby, Alenja. Their trauma has been prolonged and they feel it is too late now to try for another pregnancy.
Police investigate ‘extremist’ targeting of Stella Creasy by anti-abortion group
Pregnant, pro-choice Labour MP subject to intense campaigning in her London constituency
Mark Townsend, Observer home affairs editor
Sun 6 Oct 2019
Scotland Yard is investigating the intimidation and harassment of Stella Creasy following the “extremist” targeting of the Labour MP by anti-abortion protesters over the past week.
Metropolitan police officers said they had taken a detailed statement from Creasy, the MP for Walthamstow in north-east London, and were examining evidence to ascertain whether the campaign against the pregnant, pro-choice politician had crossed the line.
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.