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Just days after the Irish Republic voted to legalize abortion, Northern Ireland is being pressured to repeal its pro-life laws — the last of their kind in the U.K.
Though abortion is considered an issue for the Northern Ireland Assembly, the lawmaking body in Belfast has been dormant since 2017. And, for now, Northern Ireland is ruled directly by London.
Activists are seizing the moment, using Ireland's vote as a springboard to bring abortion to the North.
According to Amnesty International's Grainne Teggart, "It is vitally important that no woman on the island of Ireland is left behind. So it's all eyes now on the U.K. government."
Pro-abortion lawmakers in Parliament are working to introduce an amendment to a domestic violence bill that would force Northern Ireland to legalize the killing of the unborn and are pressing Prime Minister Theresa May to prove her feminism by joining their push.
But Belfast's pro-life Democratic Unionist Party is pushing back, saying it won't be bullied into accepting the pro-death initiative.
The Protestant party is propping up May's minority rule, and experts suggest it will withdraw its support if the prime minister presses Northern Ireland to accept abortion, leading to a potential collapse of her Conservative-led government.