Parliament Votes to Protect Same-Sex Marriage and Abortion in Northern Ireland

Last week, U.K. members of parliament (MPs) voted to extend same-sex marriage and abortion rights in Northern Ireland via two measures that will go into effect as long as the regional government in Northern Ireland remains defunct. The Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Ann Furedi, told CNN that Tuesday’s vote on abortion was a “truly historic moment” and that she is “extremely grateful to all those MPs from across the UK who made clear that they would no longer turn a blind eye to the injustice and suffering faced by the women of Northern Ireland.” Current abortion laws in Northern Ireland are among the most restrictive in the world: those who receive an abortion may face life in prison, and the legislation does not include exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities. In fact, the UN Committee overseeing CEDAW has stated that Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion law “constitutes violence against women.” The UK government reported that in 2018, over 1,050 individuals from Northern Ireland traveled to England and Wales to receive an abortion, an increase of nearly 200 people from last year. In an attempt to make abortions more accessible, the British government announced in 2017 that […]

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