UK Government takes further steps to deliver on its legal obligations and uphold the rights of women and girls in Northern Ireland
TDS News – Today, the UK Government has taken a further step to ensure women and girls have access to high-quality service provision for abortion and post-abortion care locally in Northern Ireland.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, has laid before Parliament the Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 to ensure that abortion can be delivered in a sustainable way, and become embedded into the health and social care system in Northern Ireland in the long term.
In a written ministerial statement to Parliament, the Secretary of State expressed his disappointment that the Department of Health and Northern Ireland Executive have failed to commission full abortion services, following the change to the law in March 2020.
The Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 laid in Parliament today gives the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland the power to direct relevant Northern Ireland Ministers, departments and relevant health bodies to commission abortion services, consistent with the conditions set out in the 2020 Regulations.
While Parliament considers the Regulations, the UK Government will continue to engage with the Minister of Health and the Executive to try and find a way forward over the coming weeks before any direction is issued.