Extension of UK Abortion Law to Northern Ireland Defeated
Pro and anti abortion forces demonstrated outside of Parliament in Northern Ireland on Tuesday over the possible extension of Great Britain's 1967 Abortion Act to Ireland. Despite the effort of pro-choice lobbying, the majority of the Stormont Assembly voted with anti-abortion forces. The motion passed without a recorded vote. An amendment proposed by Monica McWilliams of the Women's Coalition of South Belfast to discuss the 1967 Abortion Act within the Health Committee also fell. Currently women in Northern Ireland must travel to Great Britain for abortion services. McWilliams called the situation one in which women who pursue abortions are made to "feel like criminals". McWilliams noted, "If this assembly takes the moral high ground, it will do nothing to help those 2,000 women who feel the need to travel to Great Britain every year for an abortion".
Media Resources: Belfast newsletter, June 21, 2000