This is an important 12 months of reproductive rights in Northern Ireland. During a landmark back in October 2019, Stormont voted to abolish abortion and since then they have been working to clarify the details and set a framework for the new regulations. Today it has been announced that Northern Ireland will offer unlimited abortions for up to 12 weeks.
According to the new ruling, breaks were given during the first 12 weeks of “unconditional” pregnancy. The government’s official statement said that this decision was made “to avoid building a system that could lead to further trauma to rape victims or incest or act as a barrier to access to victims of sexual crime.”
In addition, the document states: “The 12-week pregnancy decision is also based on global evidence that dismissal rates are not higher when there are fewer legal restrictions. Introducing a framework that creates barriers to access is unlikely to reduce the outage rate, but would rather lead to women purchasing birth control pills online. , Unlawfully, with associated health risks, and not accessing safe services. “
The limitation is extended to 24 weeks “In cases where continued pregnancy involves the risk of harm to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman and girl, greater than the risk of termination of pregnancy.”
In cases of fetal abnormalities and where there is a danger to the life of the pregnancy or a risk of permanent serious injury, there will be no time limit for pregnancy.
To allow abortion at the 12-week limit, the patient will require a certificate signed by one medical professional. Two medical professionals will be required to confirm each term beyond the 12-week mark. Medical professionals qualified to perform and approve the procedure can be a physician, registered nurse or registered midwife. However, there is a section allowing “conscientious objection,” meaning that there is no obligation for those who do not want to participate in the procedure. The document states that “extensions (may be) to be made in general practitioners’ premises, in health-care-based clinics (HSC), and in HSC hospitals operating within the overall HSC framework in Northern Ireland and in women’s homes where the second phase of early medical completion may be made . “
The document states that great care and effort has been taken to ensure that the rules and regulations applied in Northern Ireland reflect the rest of the UK to ensure that applicants for abortion do not feel the need to travel to different parts of the UK. In order to perform the procedure.