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B1210 - Northern Ireland (Abortion) Bill 2017 Watch

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    Northern Ireland (Abortion) Bill 2016, Rt Hon TheDefiniteArticle MP







    Northern Ireland (Abortion) Act 2016

    An Act to except abortion policy from the competency of the Irish Assembly

    BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—


    1: Definitions

    Within this Act, 'excepted matters' and 'transferred matters' hold the same meaning as they do under s4(1) Northern Ireland Act 1998.

    2: Abortion competency

    Abortion is to be regarded as an excepted matter, and no longer to be regarded as a transferred matter.

    3: Amendments and repeals

    (1) Add to Schedule 2, Northern Ireland Act 1998:
    (1) "23 Abortion law and policy."
    (2) Amend Section 7, Abortion Act 1967 from:
    (1) "This Act does not extend to Northern Ireland."
    to:
    (1) "This Act shall extend to the United Kingdom."

    4: Commencement, Short Title and Extent

    (1) This Bill may be cited as the Northern Ireland Act 2017;
    (2) This Bill shall extend to the United Kingdom; and
    (3) Shall come into force immediately.


    Notes
    In R (A and B) v Secretary of State for Health [2017] UKSC 41, it was held that due to abortion being a devolved matter to Northern Ireland, in no circumstances would Northern Irish women be entitled to abortions on the NHS, despite being UK citizens. This remedies this gross injustice by excepting abortion from the Northern Irish devolution settlement.
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    Excepted or accepted?

    I think it's deliberate. :holmes:


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    (Original post by Kyx)
    Excepted or accepted?

    I think it's deliberate. :holmes:


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    100% meant to be 'excepted', as in 'excepted from the devolution settlement'.
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    Brilliant bill! 100% Aye!
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    100% meant to be 'excepted', as in 'excepted from the devolution settlement'.
    On which case, aye


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    I strongly oppose this bill.

    Seizing devolved competences without the agreement of the devolved institution is unacceptable whatever the circumstances.

    This could be done using the Second Canon Amendment to pass a bill specific to Northern Ireland to amend the law there, but this wasn't done.
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    Abstain
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    I strongly oppose this bill.

    Seizing devolved competences without the agreement of the devolved institution is unacceptable whatever the circumstances.

    This could be done using the Second Canon Amendment to pass a bill specific to Northern Ireland to amend the law there, but this wasn't done.
    First, as everything in MHoC is a fiction, it's not necessarily constitutionally legitimate to assume this is without the consent of the Irish Assembly (I could add a clause in second reading stipulating that the Irish Assembly consented if you'd like).

    Second, abortion is not a matter which ought to be devolved. The relevant question is not, as you phrase it, "should we seize abortion competency from Northern Ireland?", but rather "should abortion be devolved?" - which the starting position is is surely not relevant to the latter question, and if the answer is "no, abortion ought not be devolved", then I struggle to see the importance of any other argument.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    First, as everything in MHoC is a fiction, it's not necessarily constitutionally legitimate to assume this is without the consent of the Irish Assembly (I could add a clause in second reading stipulating that the Irish Assembly consented if you'd like).

    Second, abortion is not a matter which ought to be devolved. The relevant question is not, as you phrase it, "should we seize abortion competency from Northern Ireland?", but rather "should abortion be devolved?" - which the starting position is is surely not relevant to the latter question, and if the answer is "no, abortion ought not be devolved", then I struggle to see the importance of any other argument.
    Of course the starting position is relevant. At the moment the nation of Northern Ireland is able to decide its abortion policy for itself. The question here for me is 'should the nation of Northern Ireland lose the right to make its own policy on abortion (or any other issue – that is a mere detail) because some people living in Great Britain don't like the policy the elected government of that nation has chosen to implement?'.

    Play the ball here, not the man. If you don't like the abortion policy of Northern Ireland (and nor do I) then attack the Northern Irish government, not the right for Northern Ireland to make its own decisions or to exist as a semi-self-governing nation, doubtless breaking the Good Friday Agreement as you go.
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    Although on a personal moral level, I support the sentiment of the bill, in that abortion should be universally legal the world over, it is basic bodily autonomy after all, I shall be voting nay for pragmatic reasons.

    It is clear that the loyalist community opposes abortion, seizing the power of Stormont to legislate in this way could be seen as an attempt to suck up to the nationalists, and could prove to be a sticking point in the ongoing devolution crisis in Northern Ireland, which could potentially boil over into violence.
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    Nay for the reasons fez has mainly
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    Nay. We cannnot just take power of a devolved assembly just because we disagree with its decision.
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    Nay, primarily for the same reasons as Saracen's Fez.
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    Aye- it is unfair that hundreds of thousands of Northern Irish are denied affordable access to abortion because of the religious beliefs of those in power. Access to abortion has been proven to have positive social effects, such as reduction in child neglect and crime.

    (The only slight concern is that abortion is illegal in Ireland, so some Irish seeking it might seek to exploit this, especially given how medical services surrounding the border tend to collaborate. Unless this started happening on a major extent, however, the pros still outweigh the cons).
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    (Original post by Cognition!)
    Aye- it is unfair that hundreds of thousands of Northern Irish are denied affordable access to abortion because of the religious beliefs of those in power. Access to abortion has been proven to have positive social effects, such as reduction in child neglect and crime.

    (The only slight concern is that abortion is illegal in Ireland, so some Irish seeking it might seek to exploit this, especially given how medical services surrounding the border tend to collaborate. Unless this started happening on a major extent, however, the pros still outweigh the cons).
    The cons this spits in the face of devolution in a highly volatile part of the U.K. with a huge amount of people wanting to leave the uk and it has been violent in the past.

    Pro women can end the life of a fetus.
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    Nay, Saracen's Fez and joecphillips laid it out most clearly.
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    Nay - I don't think it's right we should take away power from the devolved assembly.
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    Of course the starting position is relevant. At the moment the nation of Northern Ireland is able to decide its abortion policy for itself. The question here for me is 'should the nation of Northern Ireland lose the right to make its own policy on abortion (or any other issue – that is a mere detail) because some people living in Great Britain don't like the policy the elected government of that nation has chosen to implement?'.

    Play the ball here, not the man. If you don't like the abortion policy of Northern Ireland (and nor do I) then attack the Northern Irish government, not the right for Northern Ireland to make its own decisions or to exist as a semi-self-governing nation, doubtless breaking the Good Friday Agreement as you go.
    A decision being democratic is not in itself a justification for it - and I should remind you that in any event, Westminster is the sovereign government over Northern Ireland, and therefore the people of Northern Ireland have supported and consented to political decisions taken by Westminster just as much as they have those of the Irish assembly. If Northern Ireland should have abortion competency, argue for that. If it shouldn't, vote aye to this. You're deliberately obfuscating the relevant issues here by focusing on the existing devolution settlement, which is a matter of political expediency rather than something which is necessarily correct or justified.
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    Nay, all though i believe in abortion preventing possible child abuse or neglect in the future, i think Saracen's Fez summed the cons up perfectly
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    Excellent bill, would a referendum be called on this tomorrow, the population of NI, as they have consistently, would vote for abortion being available here. Naive local opposition to this still ignores the morning after pill and is trying to actively punish women for this, god help anyone who falls pregnant from rape!

    The governing party/parties have consistently ignored their people, we should be obliged to follow our counterparts across the water.

    Additionally, taking the medical justifications for abortion out as an issue is wonderful, as per the Irish governments abortion stance, which remains awful.
 
 
 
Updated: June 24, 2017
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