Abortion in Northern Ireland

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 25th March 2021.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 11:25 am, 25th March 2021

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. I give her my assurance that we will continue to work with the Department of Health to ensure that it commissions these services as quickly as possible. Obviously, the principle of these regulations, which are subject to the affirmative procedure here in the House, means that we will have the power to direct should we need to do so. I hope that, in the next few weeks, while Parliament debates and discusses this issue, the Department of Health, which we stand ready to support and work with, is able to commission these services locally, so that, as she outlined, women and girls in Northern Ireland can get good, appropriate healthcare, in the way that anyone across the United Kingdom can, locally in Northern Ireland. That is what should happen, and I hope that it will, but we must make sure it does.