Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that does not allow same-sex marriage. This is a very emotional day for many here. If a new devolved government is not formed by midnight, abortion will be decriminalised, beginning a consultation on what the framework for services should look like, which is due to be finalised and approved by March Abortion rights were long opposed in Northern Ireland by religious conservatives in both the Protestant community that supports continued British rule and the Catholic community that favours union with the traditionally Catholic Irish Republic.
Northern Ireland to legalise abortion and same-sex marriage
Northern Ireland legalises abortion and same-sex marriage
Issued on: Same-sex marriage and abortion laws in Northern Ireland were liberalised on Monday in a landmark shift for the province aimed at bringing it into line with mainland Britain but which has stoked resentment. The relaxation of the UK-ruled territory 's restrictive laws on the issues occurred at midnight GMT , after a deadline elapsed for local lawmakers to stop the changes imposed by MPs in Westminster. British lawmakers in July approved decriminalising abortion and creating lawful access to abortion services, as well as rolling out new regulations to allow same-sex marriage and civil partnerships. They gave Northern Ireland's assembly—suspended since January —until October 21 to institute alterations to the reforms, which will see the province broadly match the rest of the UK. The assembly was briefly restored on Monday, but without support from opposition parties, they were unable to constitute an executive and pass any changes. Northern Ireland Secretary of State Julian Smith told parliament the law forbidding abortions would be repealed at midnight and there will be a moratorium on criminal prosecutions.
Northern Ireland to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage
London CNN At the stroke of midnight on Monday, Northern Ireland's restrictive abortion and same-sex marriage laws came to an end, after the region failed to restore its power-sharing executive that collapsed more than 1, days ago. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos Abortion laws around the globe
Although Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, and the majority of its people say they would like abortion to be made available, the regional power-sharing government had blocked abortion reform before collapsing in over sectarian divides. British lawmakers saw the political paralysis as an opportunity, and, during a Parliamentary sitting in July, overwhelmingly voted to legalize same-sex marriage and abortion. While both have been hot-button issues in the United States and other countries, same-sex marriage has not stirred the intense reaction in Northern Ireland that the lifting of the abortion ban has. As they met, groups of activists from both sides of the issue faced off on the grounds outside. As the women chanted, Martin Power, an activist from Belfast who opposes the legalization of abortion, hung his head in disapproval.
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