Abortion And Same-Sex Marriage Are Now Legal In Northen Ireland | Politics
As of the night of October 21, old laws banning abortion and same-sex marriage that were in effect in Northen Ireland have officially been lifted. This fundamental decision by MPs has allowed LGBT people who were struggling against the eighth Amendament to feel free to make their own choice over such a personal and delicate topic.
Indeed, the eighth Amendament, approved in 1983 recognised the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn: an abortion was permitted only if the life of the mother was at risk. In addition to that, abortion had been subject to criminal penalty in Ireland since 1861. These legal laws made the northern Ireland the only region of the United Kingdom that had this restrictions over abortion and also didn’t allow same-sex marriage.
Apart from the struggles which have seen Northen Ireland people protest in the streets to make their fundamental rights recognized, citizens had to suffer real persecutions by the law. People were forced to move out the country facing high monetary and emotional costs. At the same time, those who chose to stay were living with the fear of beig persecuted by the police, because of the criminalisation for accessing abortion pills.
Labour MP Stella Creasy, who was instrumental in the vote, stated:“Today marks the first step in getting women in Northern Ireland equal rights with their counterparts in England and Wales. We will accept no more delays in the regulations governing access. Women in Northern Ireland have waited long enough.”
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