In 2004, there were 185,415 abortions in England and Wales. 87% of abortions were performed at 12 weeks or less and 1.6% (2,914 abortions) at 20 weeks. Abortion is free for residents;  82% of abortions were performed by the tax-funded National Health Service.  Watch the timeline below to learn more about the abortion regime in Northern Ireland and what we have done to bring the law into line with international human rights standards, including the decriminalization of abortion. During this period, only a few offences of abortion and extermination of children were recorded in Northern Ireland – a possible effect of legal deterrence. Between 1998 and 2018, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Police Service of Northern Ireland recorded 17 cases of « illegal abortion » and three cases of « deliberate destruction of a viable unborn child ». In several years during this period, no such crime was recorded.  Left: People leave messages and flowers in front of a monument to Savita Halappanavar a day after a referendum to legalize abortion in Dublin, Ireland, passed by referendum on May 27, 2018. Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters On July 24, 2019, the UK Parliament passed a bill that included an amendment requiring Northern Ireland to implement the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The amendment required Northern Ireland to repeal the Abortion Act 1861 and require the decriminalisation of abortion. The Act came into force on 22 October 2019, with the Government of Northern Ireland (Stormont) not meeting again until 21 October 2019.
Since its entry into force, the Act has given women the right to have an abortion in accordance with the recommendations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; However, if the Northern Ireland government (Stormont) meets again, it can criminalise abortion again. They made this attempt when Stormont met again under the leadership of the DUP on January 11, 2020, just before the official Brexit the next day. The note argues that abortion should be legal in Northern Ireland, that new UK Parliament legislation has come into force or repealed by the Stormont legislature on the basis of several treaties and internal decisions of the Supreme Court in Belfast, and that new regulations adopted pursuant to the amendment must meet the standards of the CEDAW recommendations. Abortion pills could be bought online for £70, but for people in one of the UK`s poorest and most deprived areas, it was too expensive, O`Brien said. She compared the Roe v Wade riot, the 1973 case that guaranteed abortion rights in the United States, to Northern Ireland. « It`s really shocking to have this turmoil at the same time as the absolute abandonment of these women. » As Sarah Ewart watched from her Belfast home as British lawmakers voted one last time to decriminalize abortion in Northern Ireland, she collapsed. The news came after a long and difficult battle for Ewart and Northern Ireland, where abortion has been illegal for more than 150 years. Although Northern Ireland is part of the UK, where abortion is widespread, it has its own abortion laws. The Republic of Ireland legalized abortion last year, but women north of the border were still required to travel to access the procedure.
During each Parliament, several bills for private legislators are usually introduced to amend the law regarding abortion.  In the years following a report in support of the 1967 Act by the Lane Committee in 1974, MPs introduced four bills that gave rise to substantive debate in the House of Commons (votes are marked in parentheses with Yes followed by No): The Conference of the Methodist Church of Great Britain declared in 1976 that the human fetus had « an inviolable right to life » and that abortion has never been an alternative to abortion as an alternative to abortion as an alternative to abortion Contraception. The Church has also recognized that the fetus is « completely dependent » on its mother for at least the first twenty weeks of life, saying that the mother « has the absolute right to decide whether or not to continue the pregnancy. » The Church has supported counseling services for mothers so that they fully understand the decision and alternatives to abortion.  Northern Ireland`s abortion law was amended by Parliament during a suspension of the Northern Ireland executive between 2017 and 2020. Recommendations on the liberalisation of abortion law in Northern Ireland were published in February 2018 by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in its inquiry report on the UK (under Article 8 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women).  « Despite the decriminalisation and lifting of our near-total ban on abortion, we are still waiting for contractual services to be put in place and for this health care to be accessible to all who need it, » said Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland Campaigner at Amnesty International. « We have a postal code lottery for access to abortion services and existing services remain in a fragile state. » On appeal, a higher court ruled that the young woman`s suicidal thoughts were sufficiently life-threatening to warrant lawful dismissal. But before she could have an abortion, she miscarried.
Some activists claimed that the 1988 Human Rights Act was incompatible with existing abortion laws. The disagreements between the two acts relate to cases of foetal abnormalities, rape and incest. The Human Rights Act focuses on women`s health and their right to decide how to deal with traumatic events, particularly with regard to their right to private and family life; Criminal laws claim that the act is still essentially murder. After 1967, there was a rapid increase in the annual number of legal abortions and a decrease in sepsis and deaths from illegal abortions.  In 1978, 121,754 abortions were performed on women residing in the United Kingdom and 28,015 on non-resident women.  The rate of increase has been declining since the early 1970s and even decreased from 1991 to 1995 before rebounding. The age group with the highest number of abortions per 1000 people is 20 to 24 years old. 2006 statistics for England and Wales showed that 48 per cent of abortions took place in women over 25, 29 per cent were between 20 and 24; 21% are under 20 and 2% under 16.  Pro-choice groups strongly opposed all attempts to restrict abortion during the 2008 parliamentary debates and votes.    Labour MPs Diane Abbott, Katy Clark and John McDonnell have proposed a number of pro-choice amendments, including amendment NC30 to the Abortion Act 1967: Application to Northern Ireland.    However, it was reported that the Labour government of the day asked MPs not to table these amendments (at least until third reading) and then used parliamentary mechanisms to prevent a vote; The government of the day sought to transfer police and judicial powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly (which had previously voted against extending the 1967 Act).  190,800 abortions were reported in England and Wales in 2013.