UK faces calls to liberalize Northern Ireland abortion laws

July 22, 2018 - 4:21 am

LONDON (AP) — The British government is facing rising calls to liberalize abortion laws in Northern Ireland.

More than 170 politicians called Sunday for action to be taken. The group included legislators from political parties in Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland. They sent a letter to the Sunday Times to urge Britain to repeal the 19th- century laws that make it a crime to seek an abortion in Northern Ireland.

They say nearly 1,000 women and girls from Northern Ireland traveled to the British mainland last year to get abortions while others took illegal abortion drugs at home.

The Republic of Ireland voted overwhelmingly in May to ease its abortion laws, but that vote does not affect Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland's power-sharing assembly is not operating, leaving the British government in control.

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