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Ruling from Belfast Court of Appeal shows MPs must act to give Northern Ireland women access to NHS care in England

  • Court rules Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws do not breach human rights
  • Ruling could have helped small number of women in desperate circumstances access abortion care at home
  • bpas calls on Westminster MPs to vote today for NHS funded abortion care for all NI women who must travel to England for treatment

A bpas spokesperson said: 

“bpas is very disappointed with this ruling, which could have paved the way for a small number of women in extremely desperate circumstances to obtain abortion care at home in Northern Ireland. The decision may yet be appealed, but whatever the outcome it will do nothing for the vast majority of women who do not have a diagnosis of a fatal foetal anomaly or who have not been sexually abused - but who are simply trying to make the choice that is right for them and their families when faced with an unplanned pregnancy or a pregnancy they cannot continue. The fact that so little legal progress is being made to ensure the needs of Northern Irish women are met at home makes it all the more important that MPs in Westminster act today to ensure these women can obtain NHS funded abortion care when they make the journey to England.  Bpas urges all MPs to today support an amendment to the Queen’s speech which would guarantee just that.  These women are UK taxpayers yet our Health Secretary has thus far refused to grant them NHS funded treatment out of "respect" for the politicians of Northern Ireland. Today's amendment is not the solution to the abuse of women's rights that is taking place right now in Northern Ireland, but it would be an important step that would mean much to every individual woman who is compelled to come to England for the care and support she is denied at home, while costing little to implement.


For more information please contact the bpas press office on 0207 061 3377, 07788 725185 or press@bpas.org

About bpas:

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