It is good news for Northern Ireland that same-sex marriage is now legal and abortion is not a criminal offence. This news comes as a refreshing change for all the women and the LGBTQ community in Northern Ireland. These changes passed by the MPs in Westminster, will come to effect from 2020.
Northern Ireland buckles up for its first same sex marriage in February 2020. And it also welcomes the change in abortion laws. Before the change, Abortion was only legal when there was physical and mental health risk to the mother. The section 58 & 59 about Offences Against the Person Act 1861 made abortion a crime. But the majority vote resulted in repealing of the law.
Now, abortion is allowed when there is a threat to the women’s mental and physical health, whether long term or short term. Abortion is legal also in terms of UN. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), published in 2018 that abortions are legal.
Terminations are legal in case of rape and incest, and in case of severe fetal impairment. And if a woman decides to carry such a child then there will be financial support available to her. Government will also pay attention and improve the quality of abortion and post-abortion care in all public health facilities.
About the same sex marriage, it was legal in England, Scotland and Wales since 2014 but not in Northern Ireland. Now finally the majority voted in favour of legalising same sex marriage. And it will be valid from January 13th 2020.
This good news did not sit well with the Catholic bishops who say they mourn for the unborn children and the democracy. For them, abortion is a sin, and same sex marriage a taboo. However, after the numerical majority in the assembly there is no stopping the legalising of abortion and same sex marriage now.