At-home medical abortions were discussed by the power-sharing Northern Ireland executive April 6, and the BBC reported that “Stormont sources said it had led to a row between the parties.”
Before March 31, abortion was legally permitted in Northern Ireland only if the mother's life was at risk or if there was risk of long term or permanent, serious damage to her mental or physical health.
In June the House of Lords backed the new abortion regulations for Northern Ireland by an overwhelming majority, and the British Minister of State for Northern Ireland said that while abortion regulation is a devolved issue, any local changes to Northern Ireland's abortion law would have to comply with human rights conventions.
The Northern Ireland Assembly had shortly before passed a non-binding motion rejecting the imposition of the abortion regulations by the Westminster parliament.
Northern Irish women had been able to procure free National Health Service abortions in England, Scotland, and Wales since November 2017.
The new framework was adopted to implement Westminster's Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, which was passed while the Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended.
Northern Ireland rejected the Abortion Act 1967, which legalized abortion in England, Wales, and Scotland; and bills to legalize abortion in cases of fatal fetal abnormality, rape, or incest failed in the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2016.
The amendment to the NI EF Act obliging the government to provide for legal abortion in Northern Ireland was introduced by Stella Creasy, a Labour MP who represents a London constituency.