Thursday 22 July 2021
Twenty-one months after abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland, Clare Bailey MLA has welcomed a direction from the Secretary of State that the commissioning of abortion services must be brought forward by the Department of Health, with a March 2022 deadline applicable.
Clare Bailey MLA said: "The Commissioning of abortion services has been delayed and denied by anti-choice proponents within the NI Executive. This is despite the discrimination of abortion twenty-one months ago and successive reports setting out the human rights violations inherent in the denial of abortion care.
"The actions of the Secretary of State are welcomed - this direction is vital given the denial of access to services for women in Northern Ireland and it is necessary given that Westminster has a responsibility to ensure compliance with international human rights standards.
"The commissioning of abortion services must be coupled with safe access to healthcare facilities. Harassment on the part of anti-choice activists in the vicinity of clinics has always existed, but it has heighted since the decriminalisation of abortion. That's why my Private Members Bill on creating safe access to healthcare facilities is so crucial. I'm prepared to work by any means possible to see the introduction of measures aimed at creating safe access to healthcare for the women in need of it."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498