Ireland abortion referendum: UK minister hopes for NI law change - MRCAESAR.COM

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Saturday, 26 May 2018

Ireland abortion referendum: UK minister hopes for NI law change




REUTERS
A predicted landslide vote in favour of overturning Ireland's abortion ban gives "hope" to Northern Ireland, UK minister Penny Mordaunt has said.
Counting is under way in the Irish referendum with exit polls suggesting voters backed a law change.
The women and equalities minister said it was a "historic" day for Ireland and a "hopeful one" for Northern Ireland.
Laws there, which only allow abortions in specific circumstances, are much stricter than the rest of the UK.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said Prime Minister Theresa May should push for a similar change in Northern Ireland.
If the expected landslide in the Republic is confirmed, Northern Ireland will soon become the only part of Britain and Ireland where terminations are all but outlawed.
Those taking part in Friday's referendum were asked whether they wanted to repeal or retain a part of the constitution known as the Eighth Amendment, which says an unborn child has the same right to life as a pregnant woman.
A vote in favour of repeal paves the way for the Dáil (Irish Parliament) to legislate for change which would see the introduction of a much more liberal regime.
After early results suggested a landslide, Ms Mordaunt tweeted that it was a "hopeful" day for Northern Ireland, adding "that hope must be met".
Based on the exit poll, a historic & great day for Ireland, & a hopeful one for Northern Ireland. That hope must be met. #HomeToVote stories are a powerful and moving testimony as to why this had to happen and that understanding & empathy exists between generations. #trustwomen
— Penny Mordaunt MP (@PennyMordaunt) May 25, 2018
Abortions are only allowed in Northern Ireland if a woman's life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her physical or mental health.
Rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities are not circumstances in which they can be performed legally.
Sir Vince said the UK government should take advantage of the current lack of a devolved administration in Northern Ireland.
The Lib Dem leader said: "Since there is, effectively, direct rule from Westminster, the government has responsibility and it can and should take the opportunity to deal with this issue properly."
He added: "The position in Northern Ireland is now highly anomalous and I think, probably, action will now have to be taken."
The leader of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, Naomi Long, responded to Ms Mordaunt by saying she could "effect change" in Northern Ireland and should use her "influence with others to ensure this happens".
Penny, you can, as a Minister for Women & Equalities in Westminster, effect change in NI, too.

Equal marriage and abortion reform must now be addressed: NI people deserve to be treated equally. No more delay.

Please, use your influence with others to ensure this happens.
— Naomi Long MLA (@naomi_long) May 26, 2018
Labour MP Stella Creasy also responded, tweeting that she hoped Ms Mordaunt "will stand up to colleagues in government stopping reform of our UK abortion laws".

- bbc 
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