Disappointment over Minister Ford’s challenge to abortion ruling

On hearing the news that Alliance Justice Minister David Ford is appealing the High Court Ruling on Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws, Green Party deputy leader Clare Bailey said today, Wednesday, 27 January 2016,

“I am bitterly disappointed that Minister Ford is seeking to appeal the High Court ruling.

“Instead of wasting more time and tax-payers money, Mr Ford should be bringing forward legislation to ensure that women, who find themselves in the awful situation of needing to terminate their pregnancy due to fatal foetal abnormality or sexual crime, are able to access the healthcare they need when they need it.

“He cannot say that he is in favour of bringing about limited changes that would allow terminations in the case of fatal foetal abnormality one minute, then in the next challenge a High Court ruling that put the onus on the Assembly to legislate.

“It would be a better use of resources to bring about clear legislation.

“Mr Ford has also said that cases of sexual crime are hard to prove in court, therefore he is appears to be challenging that decision too.

“As Minister for Justice, Mr Ford should focus on getting better outcomes for sexual assault victims before adding to the trauma for women and girls who find themselves pregnant as a result.

Clare Bailey added

“Mr Ford should consider and reflect on the language he uses. To use phrases such as ‘abortions on demand’ is insulting and does a great disservice to women. Accessing medical treatment is a fundamental right.”

“Mature and sensible debate, which puts women at the centre of decision-making, is needed, rather than barbaric laws.

“Politicians need to trust women to make their own decisions and not have decisions imposed upon them due to lack of choice.”

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