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British Parliament Extends Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage Equality Rights to Northern Ireland

The House of Commons liberalizes laws regarding women’s health and LGBTQ rights.

The British Parliament on Tuesday, July 9 voted in favor of extending abortion rights and same-sex marriage equality to historically socially conservative Northern Ireland. In a free vote, MPs in the lower House of Commons voted in favor for the same-sex marriage amendment by 383 votes to 73 while the abortion amendment was supported by 332 votes to 99.

The extension of these civil rights to Northern Ireland will be officially enacted if the Northern Irish Assembly is not restored by October 21, 2019, since there has been no official government formed due to an ideological divide between progressive Catholic republicans and conservative Protestant unionists. These rights for women and LGBTQIA+ people will likely cover Northern Ireland under The Same-Sex Couples Act 2013 that legalized marriage equality across England and Wales in 2014, and the Abortion Act 1967 that liberalized abortion across the majority of Britain since the late 1960s.

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