The national assembly in Northern Ireland has voted to force the government to allow same-sex marriage and access to abortion for its citizens after the devolved element of the state collapsed in a bid to keep the public services in the country running.
As per the laws, abortion is limited to women whose life is at risk, or in the case of physical or mental damage to the woman’s health while gay marriage is very much illegal. The abortion and equal marriage commitments in the (Executive Formation) Bill, will now become law by October 21 this year, unless in the event that the executive is re-established by that date.
Abortion has been a major issue with large numbers of women forced to Great Britain for terminations, and mass rallies for and against medical provision at home. This will be a relief to the women in Northern Ireland. New same-sex marriage law will come into force is January 2020, while full abortion regulations implementation is set for March 2020. Also, from October 2020, abortion will be decriminalised and women currently facing criminal trials will have their charges dropped.
While religious leaders insist that marriage is between a man and woman others prefer an option for same-sex couples with a coalition of civic society activists believing that change is an issue of equality and human rights.
“Love wins. Today that message rang out from Westminster. Being part of this historic campaign over the last eight years is the most important and affirming thing I have ever done – besides marrying my husband,” said an LGBT rights campaigner.
“Growing up in Maghera, I never thought I would see a time where same-sex couples would be, not only accepted but celebrated in Northern Ireland. Today’s important victory is shared with our community, allies and supporters,” said a Rainbow Project director.