Abortion in Northern Ireland: British Government’s decision is invalid

Abortion in Northern Ireland: British Government's decision is invalid

On November 8, the Court of Appeal declared the British government’s restrictions on the establishment of “abortion services” in Northern Ireland invalid.

Indeed, after the decriminalization of abortion in 2019, Northern Ireland did not adopt various measures (cf. Northern Ireland: Criminalization of abortion comes into effect, Abortion is effectively decriminalized in Northern Ireland). However, a report United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) noted limited access to ‘abortion services’. In response, former British Secretary of State Brandon Lewis sought to implement these recommendations. The Northern Ireland Department of Health has been instructed to establish ‘abortion services’ by March 2022.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) opposed these measures ” Only the elected representatives of Northern Ireland should decide the matter “. They insisted that the Secretary of State had exceeded his rights. However, in February the High Court ruled in favor of the Secretary of State (cf. Northern Ireland: British government bans abortion Northern Ireland: British Pressure on Abortion). Following this decision, Brandon Lewis authorized ” Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to create services beyond the Department of Health. His successor, Chris Heaton-Harris, followed in his footsteps. The proceedings have now been overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Sources: BBC, Jayne McCormack (09/11/2022); iTV (08/11/2022)

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