Abortion: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2020 to Question 91890 on abortion: Northern Ireland, what plans he has to conduct an assessment of the infection risks to the pregnant women forced to travel to the British mainland to access abortion care; and whether he has raised the issue of those potential infection risks with the Northern Ireland Minster for Health.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

Women and girls resident in Northern Ireland continue to have access to safe, fully-funded abortion services in England through the Government-funded scheme. The Government continues to monitor and keep these services under review.

The health and safety of women and girls in accessing abortion care remains paramount right across the UK. No assessment has been made of the infection risks to pregnant women travelling to Great Britain to access abortion care, on the basis that abortion services are provided within professional standards of practice to the highest standards of patient care.

Some abortion service provision commenced in Northern Ireland through existing sexual and reproductive health clinics across most Health and Social Care Trusts from April 2020. My Department and I are continuing to engage with the Northern Ireland Minister of Health and his department on progressing with the full commissioning of services for access to safe and lawful abortion care for women and girls in Northern Ireland.

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