Abortion in Northern Ireland

I agree that women should have the right to choose a safe, legal abortion.

As you know, the Republic of Ireland recently voted to overturn its ban on abortion. I believe that this is a fantastic victory for women’s rights. Following this historic vote, focus has now turned to Northern Ireland where abortion law differs to the rest of the UK.

In Northern Ireland, abortion is currently illegal, other than in cases where the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life or if there is a permanent or serious risk to the mother’s physical or mental health.

The Supreme Court has made clear that abortion laws in Northern Ireland violate fundamental human rights and has called for a radical reconsideration of the law.

The Government cannot ignore this ruling and cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this injustice, which denies women in Northern Ireland their fundamental rights, upheld across the rest of the UK. The United Nations has decried this as a violation of international human rights standards.

I want to see the Northern Ireland Assembly reconvened, but it has now been over 500 days and women in Northern Ireland must not have to suffer any longer.

Labour is calling on the Government to immediately begin negotiations with political parties in Northern Ireland about bringing forward legislation to extend abortion rights without delay.

I urge Theresa May to put the interests of women in Northern Ireland above party politics, and to work with all revenant parties to make this law.