On July 24, 2019, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed an act that included an amendment requiring Northern Ireland to implement recommendations from the Committee on the Elimination on Discrimination Against Women. The amendment required Northern Ireland to repeal the 1861 abortion act and requires the decriminalization of abortion. The law went into effect on October 22, 2019, since the Northern Ireland power-sharing government (Stormont) did not reconvene before October 21, 2019. Since the law did go into effect, it gave women the right to obtain abortions under the CEDAW recommendations; however, when the Northern Irish government (Stormont) reconvenes, it can recriminalize abortion. They made this attempt when Stormont under DUP leadership reconvened briefly on January 11, 2020 before the official Brexit the next day. This Note argues that abortion should be legal in Northern Ireland regardless of whether the new legislation from British Parliament ever went into effect or gets overturned by the Stormont legislature because of several treaties and domestic decisions from the Supreme Court in Belfast and the new regulations made in accordance with the amendment need to meet the standards of the CEDAW recommendations.
International Law and the Legalization of Abortion in Northern Ireland,
34 J.L. & Health
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol34/iss1/9