Intended for healthcare professionals


Abortion in Northern Ireland is decriminalised

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 22 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6145
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

Abortion in Northern Ireland has been decriminalised from 22 October after the UK parliament stepped in to liberalise a law that was among the most restrictive in Europe.

Abortion is an issue that is devolved to the Northern Ireland assembly at Stormont, but the assembly has not sat for nearly three years since the power sharing arrangement between the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein collapsed.

MPs in the UK parliament at Westminster voted overwhelmingly for the change last July after Stella Creasy, a Labour MP, put down an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill, a technical bill connected to budgets and elections. It provided for the new law to come into effect immediately if the Northern …

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