Ford promises to bring abortion reform Bill to Assembly again

Alliance MLA David Ford has said he is disappointed his Bill on abortion reform will fall due to the collapse of the Assembly but he has pledged if re-elected he will submit it once again.

Mr Ford’s attempted private member’s Bill, which was officially moved earlier this month, is one of the casualties of the end of the Assembly term ahead of an election on March 2. The proposed legislation sought to reform the law around termination of pregnancy in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities. It would have enabled women carrying a foetus with a fatal abnormality to access a termination legally in Northern Ireland.

However, the South Antrim MLA said it was not the end of the matter.

“This reform is desperately needed for many women across Northern Ireland who wish to access terminations, therefore it is incredibly disappointing the collapse of the Assembly has meant it will proceed no further than the first stage.

“Should the people of South Antrim re-elect me to the position of their MLA, on my first day back I will go to the Speaker’s Office and resubmit my Bill, with a view to progressing it through the next Assembly term.

“A wide-ranging consultation has already been carried out on this issue by the Department of Justice. We know the desire is there in Northern Ireland for change to the law. We need to help the women who wish to seek a termination in these dreadful circumstances and we need to help them as quickly as possible.”

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