The Northern Ireland Executive must immediately unblock any restrictions on the right of women to access abortion services in Northern Ireland, according to the Socialist Party.
Lucy Simpson described the circumstances facing women in need of termination of pregnancies as “traumatising, unsafe and unacceptable”. The Northern Ireland Executive has come under pressure to allow abortion services in Northern Ireland following cases of women pregnant with babies diagnosed with anencephaly – a condition which causes the death of a foetus before or just after birth.
Ms Simpson said “The Executive has the power to allow women access medical services they need rather than forcing women go through what is a traumatic, unnecessary and potentially psychologically damaging experience. Women should not have to accept such a denial of rights. The very limited access to abortion in Northern Ireland has virtually been denied to women as a result of fears of NHS staff that legal proceedings may be taken against them. The Northern Ireland Executive must now guarantee that NHS staff will not be punished for providing medical care for women in these circumstances.
“The Socialist Party is demanding that the 1967 Abortion Act is immediately extended to the North, so that women can decide for themselves – not backward politicians – whether or not to avail of abortion services if necessary.”