July 2017 – Abortion in Northern Ireland/Current Prosecutions

July 2017 – Abortion in Northern Ireland/Current Prosecutions

Thank you for your recent email regarding abortion law in Northern Ireland and a recent court case.

There have been a number of cases recently that have highlighted how the abortion law in Northern Ireland is different to the rest of the UK.

At present women from Northern Ireland coming to England for an abortion are asked for a payment, when other women from the UK don’t have to pay. The Government is proposing that this will no longer happen. None of this changes the fundamental position that abortion in Northern Ireland itself is a devolved issue. It is therefore up to the people of Northern Ireland and their elected representatives in Stormont to address the need for change.

I understand, however, that in the particular case that you mention, a judge in Belfast has granted permission for a judicial review to be heard over the prosecution of the mother, as he believed that the case raised issues of considerable public importance and public debate. This will now be held in the autumn.

I will continue to follow this issue closely. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.