Abortion Law in Northern Ireland

The sensitive issue of abortion in Northern Ireland also came up this week. Labour MP Stella Creasy applied and won something called a SO24 debate. This is a legislative tool which, if granted by the Speaker, allows an issue to be debated, albeit not voted on. There were a number of outstanding contributions including from Stella herself. It was also obvious there was cross-party support for Northern Ireland to re-address current legislation on abortion. It is almost wholly impossible for instance to have a termination in NI under virtually any circumstances, which is why 700+ woman came to England in 2016 to have an abortion. I can only imagine how desperate that must have been for all of them.

Northern Ireland remains an outlier compared to the rest of the U.K. For instance, if a woman who was a rape victim were to order online and use a pill which subsequently terminated her pregnancy, her sentence would be longer than her rapist. This cannot be right. Even Tory Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, tweeted her support afterwards: “Message from NI Secretary of State today: NI should take that responsibility. Message from the House of Commons: if you don't, we will #trustwomen”. Mordaunt clearly believes the DUP should not be allowed to block change. It was also reported the following day that Theresa May supports reform. 

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