Change is coming
On Friday 25 May, 66.4% of Irish people voted to repeal the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution. This amendment had effectively made abortion illegal in Ireland, as previously reported by The Canary.
The situation in Northern Ireland is described by the committee on the elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW) as:
violence against women that may amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
Following the referendum result, minister for women and equalities Penny Mordaunt tweeted:
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
Northern Ireland does not currently have a sitting government. But May could help bring about change from Westminster. Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable believes the prime minister should do just that. He said:
The position in Northern Ireland is now highly anomalous and I think, probably, action will now have to be taken.
May faces pressure from others within her party, and over 140 MPs, to make efforts to secure abortion in Northern Ireland.
NI should not be bullied into accepting abortion on demand. NI did not have a constitutional imperative on abortion it is governed by laws that can be changed. The settled will of the people has been to afford protections to the unborn life and protect the life of the mother. https://t.co/Cjrn1o84qE
— Ian Paisley MP (@ianpaisleymp) May 26, 2018
May has the power to bring about change to abortion law in Northern Ireland. She must now decide whether she will do so.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
Featured image via Flickr