The South Belfast MLA stated: “I am very grateful to all those who are taking this action, and clearly I personally wish them well.
“It is also welcome that the UK Government will also offer support to those on low income needing to travel.
“However, regardless of our positions on the issue, this is an indictment of local politicians’ unwillingness to take this issue seriously, and even to consider effective legislation protecting women’s rights in this area. It should not fall to courageous volunteers to take time and effort in courts for this debate to take place in a meaningful way – that is something which should be happening in our elected Assembly.
“My own position remains that the best way to tackle this issue is for Northern Ireland to have its own legislation specifying that this is a matter of the woman’s right to choose. Nevertheless, regardless of what positions people take, we should have a proper debate based on the reality that women in Northern Ireland are not getting the support they need, and many feel forced to take a lonely journey to Great Britain in appalling circumstances.”