Northern Ireland’s extremely restrictive abortion restriction raised at midnight on Monday after legislation was generated by MPs at Westminster. Same-sex marital relationship was also legalised under the change to the law.
The historical law modification marks the beginning of a new chapter in Northern Ireland, bringing to an end the nation’s 158- year-old limiting abortion law. All criminal cases will be dropped— including one versus a mom who dealt with prosecution for buying abortion tablets for her 15- year-old daughter.
The memorable change comes after years of campaigning to extend abortion access to Northern Ireland in addition to the #NowForNI social media campaign
Under a 1967 act, abortion is legal in England, Wales, and Scotland, but this piece of legislation does not reach Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Until this day, ladies in Northern Ireland faced up to life in prison for having an abortion Under this near-blanket abortion restriction, rape, incest, or deadly foetal abnormalities are not grounds for an abortion in Northern Ireland. Abortion is only legally allowed if the female’s life is at risk or if continuing with the pregnancy would trigger long-term and serious damage to her mental or physical health.
In July 2019, MPs in your house of Commons voted to bring Northern Ireland’s laws on same-sex marital relationship and abortion in line with the rest of the UK. The only thing that might avoid the law change was if Northern Ireland’s devolved federal government at Stormont was restored by Oct.21 There has been no devolved federal government in Northern Ireland because January2017
On Monday, members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) returned to Stormont for the very first time in almost 3 years to oppose the modification to the abortion law. However the anti-abortion protest wound up being totally symbolic and devoid of political power.
An unusual sight here at Stormont, where there hasn’t been a government for almost 3 years.
Politicians enter the chamber in a quote to obstruct the legalisation of abortion and equivalent marital relationship, due to be legalised tonight pic.twitter.com/MgxSnOkSm2
— Siobhán Fenton (@SiobhanFenton) October 21, 2019
The political leaders’ bid to prevent the law from changing failed as they did not manage to develop an executive Forming an executive would have required the support of left-wing Irish republican party Sinn Féin, which stated it would not get involved.
Up until this moment, Northern Irish females looking for abortions were required to travel abroad to England to get access to legal, safe abortions. Per NowForNI figures, almost 1,000 ladies travelled overseas from Northern Ireland in 2017 to gain access to abortion services.
Others who could not manage the airfare and additional expenditure resorted to purchasing abortion tablets– such as WHO essential medications mifepristone and misoprostol– and self-managing a termination without medical supervision, running the risk of life imprisonment. Purchasing abortion tablets and self-managing abortions is illegal all over in the UK, where abortion is only permitted in clinically controlled environments.
In a declaration, Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland campaign supervisor, said that “history will be made” at midnight on Oct.21 “This is an extremely considerable moment and the start of a new era for Northern Ireland– one in which we’re complimentary from overbearing laws that have policed our bodies and health care,” said Teggart.
” No longer will those experiencing crisis pregnancy, who need to gain access to abortion, feel they need to hide what they’re going through. People will be able to receive assistance from physicians, midwives and other health care experts without fear of being reported to the cops and prosecuted,” she continued.
” Today is a substantial triumph for females’s rights”
In a declaration emailed to Mashable, Cara Sanquest and Katherine Nesbitt of the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign stated, “Today is a big triumph for women’s rights as Northern Ireland’s vicious abortion ban has been lifted.”
” Abortion will be decriminalised, and females and women will no longer fear going to prison for accessing fundamental health care,” they included. “We are celebrating this milestone and we will continue to combat versus any delays to provision of complimentary, safe, legal and local abortion in Northern Ireland so that no one needs to travel for abortion care.”
Stella Creasy, Labour and Co-Operative MP for Walthamstow, who proposed the amendment, stated in a declaration that this day “marks the primary step in getting females in Northern Ireland equal rights with their equivalents in England and Wales.”
” When it comes to being able to make decisions over their own bodies, women and ladies in Northern Ireland will no longer be threatened with the criminal law,” she added.
Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Director, informed Mashable by means of e-mail the extension of same-sex marital relationship rights to Northern Ireland is “an incredible minute and a big cause for event.”
” Marriage equality in Northern Ireland is finally a truth,” stated Corrigan. “For more than 5 years, same-sex couples in the rest of the UK have been able to get married whilst this right has actually been rejected to citizens in Northern Ireland.”
” Today’s a day for the history books,” he included.
It definitely is.