911 doctors, nurses sign letter refusing to cooperate with new abortion law in Northern Ireland
By Louise Bevan
Nov 9, 2019
Since Northern Ireland formally legalized abortion, there has been a backlash from a faction of medical professionals who say they will not assist in the procedure.
Citing a violation of their Catholic beliefs, a number of doctors and nurses have signed a letter of opposition to the Northern Irish Secretary of State Julian Smith and the Secretary for the Department of Health Richard Pengelly.
How We Won the Right to Choose
By Maev McDaid and Brian Christopher
Coming hot on the heels of Dublin’s repeal of anti-abortion laws, decriminalization in the North is a decisive victory for Irish feminists. The church and the state are losing their control over our bodies — but we still need to make abortion legal, safe, and free.
October 22 marked a decisive victory in the North of Ireland, as abortion was finally decriminalized. This news will surely have passed many people by — after all, in national as in international media, the North is almost only ever “represented” by the bigots in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). But last week, this stridently anti-choice party was finally overruled by the Westminster parliament. Its move to decriminalize abortion in the North came fifty years after a similar step was taken on the British mainland. Yet this success especially owes to decades of heroic struggles waged by Irish feminists.
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 Most significantly, the law also repealed sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, clearing the way for the decriminalisation of abortion.
Abortion: What does the change in the law mean for NI women?
By Hannah Gay, BBC News NI
Oct 22, 2019
A new chapter has been written in the political and social history of Northern Ireland, centred on one of the most sensitive issues and one which continues to divide opinion.
As the clock passed midnight and Monday became Tuesday, abortion was decriminalised in line with Westminster legislation, which said the law would change unless Northern Ireland's devolved government was restored by 21 October.
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.
Twice as many care about NI abortion law changes than Irish language act: Poll
Published: Monday 14 October 2019
Almost twice as many people in Northern Ireland are more concerned about changes to abortion laws than an Irish language act, a survey has suggested.
The poll, commissioned by anti-abortion campaign group Both Lives Matter, found that 49% of those asked identified the need to safeguard legal protections for the unborn child, up to 28 weeks into pregnancy, as the most compelling reason for Stormont to be restored.
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.
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.