Westminster to impose abortion in Northern Ireland
Just this past week the House of Commons and the House of Lords voted in favor to repeal sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
These sections were some of the last protections in place for the most vulnerable members of our society. (Note the Criminal Justice Act 1945) Not only will these particular clauses be repealed, abortion will be legal for any reason up until week 28. This surpasses the 24 week limit in mainland Britain and far surpasses the 12 week limit of the rest of Ireland after the repeal of the 8th.
Where Northern Ireland Stands now:
Quoted below are the two sections that are in question:
58. Administering drugs or using instruments to procure abortion.
Every woman, being with child, who, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, shall unlawfully administer to herself any poison or other noxious thing, or shall unlawfully use any instrument or other means whatsoever with the like intent, and whosoever, with intent to procure the miscarriage of any woman, whether she be or be not with child, shall unlawfully administer to her or cause to be taken by her any poison or other noxious thing, or shall unlawfully use any instrument or other means whatsoever with the like intent, shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable . . . F1 to be kept in penal servitude for life . . .
59. Procuring drugs, &c. to cause abortion.
Whosoever shall unlawfully supply or procure any poison or other noxious thing, or any instrument or thing whatsoever, knowing that the same is intended to be unlawfully used or employed with intent to procure the miscarriage of any woman, whether she be or be not with child, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable . . . F1 to be kept in penal servitude . . .
The repeal of these two sections will take place on October 21st if the Northern Ireland Assembly has not reconvened by then.
- the Criminal Justice Act: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/apni/1945/15/section/25
- the Offences Against the Person Act: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/24-25/100/section/58