KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 – Northern Ireland has decriminalised abortion, and the legal amendment became effective from midnight of October 21.
This means that for the first time, women across the United Kingdom (UK) can now legally abort their foetuses.
According to BBC, MPs in London voted for the legislation requiring abortion laws to be changed – unless Northern Ireland’s power-sharing executive had been restored by then.
The Northern Ireland Assembly was recalled in an attempt to stop the abortion law changes, but was to no avail.
The guidelines for the new law was published in Northern Ireland for the period between October 22 and March 31 2020.
The time frame will see no criminal charges be brought against women who abort their foetuses, or against healthcare professionals who provide and assist them.
Women travelling from Northern Ireland elsewhere for an abortion will also have their travel and accommodation expenses paid for, according to the report.
A public consultation on the proposed laws for after 31 March is set to open around October 22.
The government also allowed medical abortions to be provided on two hospital sites in Northern Ireland from next April.
BBC reported that women from Northern Ireland were already able to have free abortions in England, Scotland and Wales.