Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:39 pm on 5th June 2018.

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Photo of Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Labour/Co-operative, Walthamstow 2:39 pm, 5th June 2018

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention because it is helpful for people to understand how the DUP interprets the situation. I obviously interpret it differently. I look to what happened in the Assembly, when the DUP argued that the idea, in relation fatal foetal abnormality, required proper consideration—the DUP did not reject it—and, indeed, set up a working party, which has just issued a report on how conditions leading to access to a medical abortion may occur. I therefore do not think that the idea that this was rejected out of hand by the Assembly is fair.

I would gently highlight to the hon. Gentleman that there have been two Assembly elections since then, so there is no guarantee that the view of the Assembly would be the same as the view in 2016. The argument he is making is precisely for the Northern Ireland Assembly, or indeed for the civil servants, to fill the gap, rather than against the gap being created, by repealing this UK legislation.

Let me be clear to other Members in the Chamber who may have heard the suggestion that there would not be any safeguards—