Abortion in Northern Ireland has finally been decriminalised following a law-change at midnight.

This means women and girls can terminate a pregnancy without fear of legal repercussions, and doctors and nurses can rest easy knowing their procedures won’t be legally prosecuted.

It comes after MPs in Westminster voted by a landslide in July to give women the right to abortion as well as permit same-sex marriage.

Abortion within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy has been legal in England, Wales and Scotland for decades, but remained banned in Northern Ireland in almost all circumstances – including rape and incest.

The landmark decisions has many people celebrating online and offline

Others were amused by how hard the opposition tried to stop it from happening

Sarah Ewart, who was forced to travel to England for an abortion in 2013 after being told there was no way her unborn child would survive, was among the women marking the day.

She said:

This has been a long time coming. We have been fighting for years for change so that we can have compassionate healthcare at home.

Finally, abortion will be treated for what it is – healthcare, a decision between each individual woman and their doctor rather than police and judges.

Medics will be able to treat women like me without fear of prosecution. I’m hugely relieved this moment has arrived.

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