Northern Irish women to receive access to free abortions in England

Medical Government/ NHS related news

Women from Northern Ireland will be able to receive free abortions in England funded by the NHS for the first time.

The government has announced that Northern Irish women who are unable to receive a termination in their own country due to strict local laws governing the procedure will now be able to travel to England to receive one, without needing to pay for private treatment.

“Women in Northern Ireland will be able to get free abortions in England for the first time following a ruling by the government.“

Hailed by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service as a "landmark moment", the decision comes after an amendment on the issue, coordinated by Labour MP Stella Creasy, had been selected for inclusion in the Queen's Speech debate.

The measure was able to attract cross-party support, putting prime minister Theresa May - who lost her Commons majority in the June 8th general election - under pressure to make the concession, or risk being defeated in a vote.

Currently, abortions are only allowed in Northern Ireland if a woman's life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her physical or mental health, meaning there are many other circumstances in which terminations cannot be performed legally.

The position that Northern Irish women cannot receive abortions for free on the NHS in England was backed by the UK Supreme Court earlier in June, but this new ruling overturns the previous stance.

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