Ford calls on Ministers to release FFA report immediately

David Ford MLA has called on the Health Minister and Justice Minister to release the report of the working group on fatal foetal abnormality (FFA) after his private member’s bill on the matter began its passage in the Assembly.

Mr Ford made his request in two letters, one to Health Minister Michelle O’Neill and one to Justice Minister Claire Sugden, which were delivered immediately after the Bill was officially moved in the Assembly today (Tuesday). The next stage will come in the new year, but Mr Ford said the Executive should clarify matters by releasing the report now.

“This working group was established by the Executive earlier this year, in order for the DUP to get through the election without having to make a decision on this vital issue. The report was sent to Ministers in October, but we are still waiting to see it published.

“As a result of the introduction of my Bill on FFA, I am expecting significant interest from other MLAs and the public on the issues surrounding this matter. Therefore, I believe this would be the right time to release the report of the working group.

“It would give the Assembly the longest possible period of time to consider the working group’s recommendations in relation to the Bill. I call on the Ministers to release this report publicly at the earliest opportunity and help move along the process. This would give people the opportunity to consider the legislative change needed to help women who decide to seek a termination in these traumatic circumstances.”

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