Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Toward healthier abortion and drug laws

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 07 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6382
  1. Richard Hurley, features and debates editor
  1. The BMJ
  1. rhurley{at} @rich_hurley

Since Northern Ireland’s law was amended last month, women who want an abortion can be treated as patients rather than criminals, as one doctor puts it in a feature this week (p 224). Previously, abortion in Northern Ireland was permitted only when a woman faced permanent harm, with no exceptions for severe fetal abnormality or after rape or incest. Many women had to travel overseas to receive care considered routine in the rest of the UK. Doctors also risked criminalisation if they did not report a suspected illicit abortion. The law change removes this …

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