After abortion’s arrival in Northern Ireland: Conscientious objection and other concerns

Clinical Ethics 15 (2):71-74 (2020)

Nathan Emmerich
Australian National University
Until recently, Northern Ireland was infamous for having one of the most restrictive legal frameworks for abortion in Europe. This meant that few were performed in the country, and those who wished to terminate a pregnancy were forced to travel to other parts of the UK or further afield. In 2019 a continuing political stalemate in Northern Ireland has indirectly resulted in the relevant legislation recently being repealed by the UK government. For a short time, this meant that the legal position in Northern Ireland regarding abortion became one of the most permissive in Europe. This short paper sets out the current position and, in the light of the political and legislative roadmap set out by the Northern Ireland Office, identifies and briefly discusses some potential problems that might arise. Most notable are the points raised with regard to conscientious objection. Specifically, the potential for developments in Northern Ireland to further calls for healthcare professional’s ability to rely upon conscientious objection to be removed.
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DOI 10.1177/1477750920920549
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Conscientious Objection and “Effective Referral”.Roger Trigg - 2017 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (1):32-43.

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