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

The hon. Lady has outlined some of the harrowing examples that too many of us have heard or read about. We need to ensure that that does not happen to women and girls in the future. That is why we are bringing forward these regulations now. I fervently hope that we will be able to work with the Northern Ireland Executive, and that the Department of Health with the Executive will find a way to take this forward. The timeframe for the regulations is now a matter for this House, as it is an affirmative procedure situation, but it is clear from the fact that we are bringing this forward that the situation described by the hon. Lady will not be allowed to continue. We are putting these regulations in place so that we are able to take this action should we need to; it is a clear indication. If the Northern Ireland Executive are going to sort this out themselves, they need to do so swiftly—otherwise, once the measures have been through Parliament, we will be looking to ensure that these services are provided in Northern Ireland.