Northern Ireland rejects bid to relax abortion law

Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, the law in Northern Ireland currently bans abortion unless it is required to save a woman's life or if there is a serious risk to her healthAfter a debate that ran to almost midnight, members of the Stormont Assembly voted 59 to 40 against a proposal to allow terminations in cases of sexual crime or fatal foetal abnormality — when the baby has no chance of survival after birth. The reform was proposed by representatives of the centrist Alliance Party, including Trevor Lunn, who recalled his family’s experience of trying to access abortion in the case of a fatal foetal abnormality. The rejection was expected after the right-wing Democratic Unionist Party, the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party indicated they would oppose the reform, saying more time was needed to examine the issue.

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