Senator Higgins congratulates "tireless" activists on historic equality vote for Northern Ireland

Canvassing with Together For Yes campaigners in Clare
Canvassing with Together For Yes campaigners in Clare

The House of Commons voted today to advance marriage equality and abortion access in Northern Ireland if no assembly is formed by October 21st. 

Senator Higgins said in relation to the vote "This vote is an important and historic step towards marriage equality and abortion rights in Northern Ireland and is the result of the tireless work of activists who have fought for this progress for years".

Senator Higgins continued, "Although the vote does not guarnatee that marriage equality and abortion rights will be legislated for for people in Northern Ireland it does provide a positive and realistic path forward."

Senator Higgins had previously worked with Stella Creasy M.P., who brought forward today's amendments, to highlight the lack of access to abortion in Northern Ireland. 

In 2018, Ms. Creasy called for an urgent debate on abortion access in Northern Ireland following the vote to repeal the eighth amendment. Senator Higgins, and others, co-wrote a letter with Ms. Creasy to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Prime Minister Therea May drawing their attention to the commitment to human rights equivalence under the Good Friday Agreement and the need for reproductive rights to come within this framework. 

As a member of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights Alice-Mary has been amplfying the work of those throughout Europe who are working to expand and protect reproductive rights. 

"Since Ireland voted overwhelminglyto chose support over silence in expanding access to abortion services last May, we have an important role to play globally in sharing our experience and supporting others around the world in their struggle. Today's vote in relation to Northern Ireland again sends out an important signal to the world that women's rights must be respected and protected and that the work of activists for justice and equality is vitally important. 


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