14:44 GMT05 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Northern Ireland has legalized abortion and same-sex marriage as the midnight deadline passed amid failing last-minute efforts to block the legalization.

    "Women's right to a safe abortion and equal marriage have now become legal in Northern Ireland. This is a historic moment. Thank you to all of the campaigners and Labour MPs who have worked tirelessly to achieve this momentous victory for equality and human rights," UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote on Twitter in the early hours of Tuesday.

    Before midnight, anti-abortion lawmakers tried to elect a new Speaker, but their attempts failed and multiple parliament members left the Stormont sitting.

    Thus, as the midnight deadline passed, Section 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which made abortion a criminal offense in Northern Ireland, except when a mother’s life was at risk, were repealed.

    Specific regulations for legal abortion services in Norther Ireland are expected to be created by March 2020, while same-sex marriage regulations should be in place by January of next year, according to Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith.


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