Bradshaw disappointed by Supreme Court abortion ruling

Paula Bradshaw MLA has said she is disappointed in a Supreme Court ruling which stated women from Northern Ireland are not entitled to free abortions on the NHS in England.

The case was taken by a mother and daughter against Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, claiming it was unlawful he had not made provisions for residents from here to access the free NHS abortions in England.

Ms Bradshaw said it was “a blow” judges dismissed the appeal by a majority of three to two.

“We need to stop exporting this issue – many women need help at home and so we should be able to provide it. The priority in all this needs to be those women who wish to access abortion services. In the current circumstances, many are forced to take the journey to Great Britain, often at great financial and emotional cost.

“The issue of abortion in Northern Ireland is one that needs clarified urgently. Abortion is a conscience issue for Alliance but I believe the weight of public opinion shows the current law here around it is a nonsense. What is required is a fundamental change in the law to give women the help they need when they need it.

“In the absence of that solution, the UK Government should legislate so abortions are available at no cost to women from Northern Ireland in England, on the same basis as other women in the UK.”

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