Vast majority want to see abortion laws in Northern Ireland change 1 year ago

Vast majority want to see abortion laws in Northern Ireland change

The vast majority of people in the UK want to see Northern Ireland's abortion laws change.

According to a new poll, 75 percent of people across Britain want the UK government to act to change the law that makes having an abortion in Northern Ireland illegal.

The country is the only one in the UK and Ireland that doesn't either offer abortion services already or recently passed legislation to do so.

The poll, commissioned by Amnesty International, showed that 65 percent of people in Northern Ireland are in favour of decriminalising abortion in the North, with 78 percent of the rest of the UK agreeing that abortion shouldn't be a crime.

80 percent of people living in the North said that a woman should be able to make her own decision about a pregnancy when her health is at risk, with 73 percent agreeing that abortion should be an option in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager, said the poll shows that the public are very much in support of abortion law reform.

She said:

“This confirms what we’ve long known - that most people in Northern Ireland and across the UK agree that it’s completely wrong for Northern Irish women to be governed by an archaic law that denies them their rights, health and autonomy.

“The results show that this is not a political or contentious issue, it’s fundamentally an issue of health, human rights, equality and dignity. Voters of all political backgrounds - including Labour, Conservative, Sinn Fein and DUP voters - are backing decriminalisation of abortion."

The poll shows that despite the DUP's rejection of abortion law reform, the majority of DUP voters are still in favour of decriminalisation.

74 percent of Conservative voters said that the UK government should act to change the law, with 78 percent of Labour voters saying the same.

Teggart said that right now is a "crucial moment" for Northern Ireland.

"The UK Government cannot ignore the overwhelming support for abortion law reform," she said.

"It must listen to the people and put an end to the criminalisation of women and girls.”