Bpas comment on passage of cross-party amendment to require the government to bring forward regulations to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland by 21st October, 2019

Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said:

“This is a truly historic moment. We are absolutely delighted that this cross-party amendment, compelling the government to bring forward regulations to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland, has been passed. We are extremely grateful to all those MPs from across the UK who made clear that they would no longer turn a blind eye to the injustice and suffering faced by the women of Northern Ireland.

“The Government has been told repeatedly by the Supreme Court, the United Nations Committee against Torture, and the UN Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women that the current law - which forces women to travel to England for the healthcare they need or risk prosecution and punishment by using pills bought online - breaches women’s human rights. We look forward to seeing the next steps taken to secure the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland through the repeal of sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act, supporting the process in whatever way we can.”

ENDS

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Notes to Editors:

About bpas

bpas is a charity which sees more than 80,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org.