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Clare Bailey is disappointed in ruling denying women in Northern Ireland access to NHS abortion services

Thursday 15th June 2017

Clare Bailey MLA has expressed her disappointment at the recent ruling denying women in Northern Ireland access to NHS abortion services.

The South Belfast MLA said:

“Following the outcome of this case, it is disappointing that women from Northern Ireland will still not be entitled to access abortion services on the NHS. We are UK taxpayers, yet are denied the same healthcare that our sisters in England, Scotland and Wales receive.

“It was a very close judgment and I welcome the comments from the Supreme Court that acknowledge the “unenviable” position that women here experience. I only wish that more elected representatives would listen to their words and indeed, the words of the 700 plus women who have had to make the journey across the Irish Sea in the last year alone.

“The fact remains that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws do not stop abortions. Women will always seek an abortion whenever they need one and all the laws do is put women at a greater and unnecessary risk, whether that be from seeking out unsafe methods or by getting themselves in debt to afford to travel to England.

“The UK government have been complicit in this continued denial of even the minimum human rights standards to women in Northern Ireland. Their failure to allow women access to abortion on the NHS compounds their failure to implement human rights across the whole of the UK. I call on Westminster to address this situation as a matter of urgency so that the women of Northern Ireland can have access to safe, free and legal abortion and be treated like equal citizens of the United Kingdom.”

ENDS

Media contact

Sinead McIvor

07701 302 498