“Future generations in Northern Ireland will no longer have to suffer inequality in the way so many have had to endure in the past.” – Patrick Corrigan
Landmark legislation on abortion and equal marriage in Northern Ireland has passed its final stage in the UK Parliament.
The abortion and equal marriage commitments in the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill will now become law by 21 October this year, unless the Northern Ireland Executive has been re-established by that date.
Amnesty International – which has been working closely with MPs and peers and campaigning on both issues for many years – heralded the Westminster move as “historic”.
“Today is a momentous win for women’s rights. Northern Ireland’s 158-year-long abortion ban will finally be brought to an end.” – Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International.
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The deadline for the new same-sex marriage law to come into force is January 2020, and the date by which full abortion law reform must be implemented is March 2020, with some elements happening sooner.
Abortion will be decriminalised and women currently facing criminal trial will have their prosecutions dropped from 22 October this year.
The Bill delivers long-awaited abortion law reform, including decriminalisation. This will stop women being prosecuted for accessing abortion and introduce a suspension for current cases.
“This is a historic day for human rights," said Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International.
“Future generations in Northern Ireland will no longer have to suffer inequality in the way so many have had to endure in the past."