The cross-party amendment on abortion and equal marriage in Northern Ireland has passed today, 24th October 2018.
Commenting on the vote, in which Amendment NC7 - a cross-party amendment put forward by Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn - passed 207-117, Katherine O'Brien, Head of Policy Research at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, bpas, said:
"We are very pleased that this amendment has passed with the support of MPs from across the House, as it represents an important step forward in the cross-party effort to ensure that the women of Northern Ireland have their basic rights monitored and upheld.
"Yesterday, Diana Johnson’s Bill to decriminalise abortion across the UK passed resoundingly, including with support from government ministers, and today we have seen a significant number of Conservative MPs speak out in support of this amendment. While today’s vote will sadly not alter Northern Ireland’s strict abortion ban, it makes clear the government has a responsibility to the women of Northern Ireland and the way in which guidance relating to existing abortion law is issued.
"It is apparent that real change on this front is necessary and imminent, and that Parliament support this. We urge the government to bring forward the Domestic Abuse Bill to allow MPs to debate and vote on repealing Northern Ireland’s barbaric and inhumane abortion laws as a matter of urgency."
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bpas is a charity which sees more than 70,000 women a year and provides 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.