Abortion and conscience: A crossroads for Northern Ireland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Abortion is not an easy topic – it is not black and white. Ethnicity itself is largely proclaimed on the basis of religious tradition. Many entrenched anti-abortion political and social arguments have been made by those who purport to have strong religious convictions. The more entrenched viewpoint in this debate comes from the Protestant traditions of which there are many. Major Northern Ireland (NI) Unionist political parties, such as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), and the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV), whose members are often aligned to these religious groupings, are against the legalisation of abortion. The introduction of the Northern Ireland Act 2019 by the Westminster government, in the absence of a functioning Stormont Executive, changed the law of abortion in NI. The majority in the Supreme Court agreed that the law at the time represented a legitimate aim.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Global Health Rights
EditorsClayton O'Neill, Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring, John Tingle
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780429297021
ISBN (Print)9780367276393
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Health Professions
  • General Medicine
  • General Social Sciences


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