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

I say to my right hon. Friend that this is a matter of domestic law; I have been clear about that. It is about the legal obligation taken forward from this House in 2019. It requires us and the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that they have an offer and services that are CEDAW-compliant. My right hon. Friend is absolutely right that the implication and obligation of that are in domestic law; it is not an international law issue. But it is a domestic law.

These regulations are not actually about opening up the abortion laws themselves; they are about applying the laws in place that mean that Northern Ireland women and girls will have access to care in the same way as they would elsewhere in the United Kingdom.