Northern Ireland still needs to decide on abortion, says Bradshaw

Paula Bradshaw MLA has given a cautious welcome to news women from Northern Ireland seeking an abortion will be able to travel to the Republic in order to do so.Ms Bradshaw added there remains no excuse for not legislating to clarify the law in Northern Ireland.

She said: “Abortion is a conscience issue for Alliance but I welcome the clarification from the Republic’s Health Minister, Simon Harris TD, that from next year women will be able to travel across the border to seek an abortion within the laws which will come to apply there, albeit with a charge.

“Nevertheless, regardless of our personal views on the topic, the issue remains the law in Northern Ireland lacks clarity and is recognised to be in breach of global human rights standards.

“I have been clear of my view abortion services should be available to women in Northern Ireland free of charge. Regardless of the range of views which exist on the issue, we certainly should have an Assembly up and debating this, and I have no reason to doubt we would see a large degree of consensus there in favour at the least of allowing abortion in case of fatal foetal abnormality.

“It is time those with the largest mandates faced up to the responsibilities which come with those, and enabled that debate to take place.”

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