Bradshaw welcomes progress on commissioning abortion services in Northern Ireland

Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the UK Government’s announcement it will be preparing to ensure the availability of abortion services in Northern Ireland.

Whilst changes to abortion laws came into force in March 2020, the Department of Health has not commissioned the service. The Government move comes as legislation to enable the introduction of safe access zones around healthcare facilities is expected to pass its final stage at the Assembly.

“It is now almost two years since changes to our abortion laws came into force and, yet women here are still waiting for the services to be commissioned in Northern Ireland. It is a completely unacceptable situation,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“Whilst I would rather see this progress made by the Executive, it has been clear for some time there is no intention or appetite to do so. Abortion is a conscience issue for Alliance but I welcome the Secretary of State finally acting to ensure women here have the same access to healthcare as the rest of the UK. It is important he does not allow any further delays either.

“The hostile opposition advocated by a small proportion of our population needs to end. I fully support the introduction of safe access zones and hope the Abortion Services Bill will pass its final stage at the Assembly. It is long past time for all women here to be able to safely access the health services they are entitled to, and their rights and freedoms are upheld.”