Abortion: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 24th January 2020.

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Photo of Carla Lockhart Carla Lockhart DUP, Upper Bann

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what counselling services will be made available to women in Northern Ireland seeking an abortion following the introduction of the new regulatory framework on abortion on 31 March 2020.

Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

In delivering on its legal duty to provide lawful access to abortion services in Northern Ireland, the Government has been clear that we want to ensure we are delivering in a way that works best for Northern Ireland - which is why we consulted on the proposals for the new legislative framework. The consultation provided an opportunity for the people in Northern Ireland and relevant organisations to properly provide input and views on the question of how we can best deliver services that are consistent with what is required under section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019.

We are carefully considering the consultation responses, and ensuring that the views received are reflected in the Government’s response, and inform the final framework that will be provided for in the regulations. We are also continuing to work closely with the healthcare profession, and the Department of Health in Northern Ireland who will oversee the framework’s delivery model and the operational readiness of services. In developing this work, the health and safety of women and girls, and clarity and certainty for the medical profession, remain at the forefront of the Government’s consideration.

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