Article by Jackie Vicksman
After criminalizing abortion for more than a century, Northern Ireland has finally reached a breakthrough. Although the rest of the United Kingdom legalized abortion in the 1967 Abortion Act and the Republic of Ireland repealed its restrictive abortion laws in September of 2018, these laws did not extend to Northern Ireland, which maintained its extremely strict policies. Until now. Beginning October 22 of this year, women in Northern Ireland may be given the right to have an abortion in certain circumstances. This possibility is due to the fact that Northern Ireland has not had a functioning government for the past two years because of partisan conflict between Unionists and Republicans, as both parties have an agreement to share power equally in the country. As a result, the U.K. was able to sign an amendment that decriminalizes abortion in the region. The amendment will go into effect on October 21 if the government of Northern Ireland has not reassembled by then.