Northern Ireland is an interesting case. Though a member of the United Kingdom, the region is exempt from a number of U.K. laws, primarily due to its connection to the Republic of Ireland. Technically, the U.K. could choose to enforce its laws, which openly allow access to abortions. However, several authorities have distanced themselves from the interfering for a number of reasons.
Politics in Northern Ireland remain quite conservative. For example, though same-sex marriage has been allowed in the U.K. for years, it is still illegal in the region. However, surveys from organizations, such as Amnesty International, claim that a substantial majority of citizens are in favor of legalizing abortion. This tension between conservative politicians and their citizens could lead to a climactic battle in the region.
For now, though pressure has mounted for the U.K. to act, it seems that Northern Ireland’s pro-life stance, which outlaws abortion unless the mother’s life is at risk, is at the mercy of its own political groups. Time will tell if the region decides to join its neighbor in endorsing the right to abort, though it seems like it could be a much harsher battle for both sides.