Implement the Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No.2) Regulations 2020 now without delay.
Why is this important?
It has been one year since Parliament voted to ensure that women and pregnant people in Northern Ireland have access to abortion. Minister for Health Robin Swann has failed to commission the services now required by law. Over 100 women have had to travel to England, during a pandemic, to access abortion care.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has taken the unprecedented step of laying regulations in Westminster to allow him to direct the Department for Health to commission services. Now more than ever, we need to show Robin Swann that we support the commissioning of abortion services here.
The current impasse in abortion access for women, girls and pregnant people impacts especially on those who are already marginalised, including people with disabilities, those in violent relationships, migrant women and LGBTQ+ people. Covid-19 has compounded these discriminations.
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, women and girls have been forced to travel to England to access abortion, against public health advice to 'stay at home'. Two women attempted suicide after flights were cancelled and they were unable to travel.