At the stroke of midnight tonight, abortion will be decriminalized in Northern Ireland, after lawmakers failed to halt the change in law.
The assembly was recalled Monday for the first time since its collapse in January 2017, as anti-abortion lawmakers attempted to prevent U.K. legislation legalizing abortion in Northern Ireland from coming into effect on October 22.
For any work to be undertaken in Stormont, a speaker needs to be elected with the backing of both the unionists and nationalists. However, shortly after proceedings started, the nationalists exited the assembly, the BBC reported. This meant that members were unable to consider a bill that unionists had hoped to introduce to prevent the U.K. legislation taking effect.
Until now, abortion has only been allowed under very limited circumstances in Northern Ireland, which has a large Catholic population. However, on October 22, guidelines on interim provisions protecting women there who want to have an abortion will kick in. These will last until March 31, 2020, at which point legal regulations on abortion need to be implemented.Read More – Source