NORTHERN IRELAND – UK government to commission state-funded abortion services for Northern Ireland

The UK’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland since September 2022, Chris Heaton-Harris, has announced he will commission state-funded abortion services for Northern Ireland, because the NI government has failed to fulfil its statutory duty to do so in the three years since the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recommended this in 2019 and the UK government in Westminster legalised abortion in Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK because the NI government was not sitting.Heaton-Harris said: “I will be meeting the Chief Executives of Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks to ensure these services can be provided. Ultimately, it remains the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Executive to fund abortion services in Northern Ireland.The UK Government will ensure that appropriate funding is available to enable healthcare professionals to take the necessary steps to ensure that essential training and recruitment of staff can progress, and services can be implemented”.SOURCE: Open Access Government, 25 October 2022 ; PHOTO by picture-alliance/PA Wire/B. Lawless, in DW, 21 October 2019