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Northern Ireland Executive ordered to establish abortion service and fund interim arrangements to prevent ‘collapse’


The Northern Ireland Executive has been ordered to arrange abortion companies by March. 

he NI Secretary has additionally directed that fast assist be supplied to maintain the interim companies at the moment being provided by the well being trusts.

He warned that these companies had been “at risk of collapse”.

“Though I recognise the huge strain that Covid-19 has placed on healthcare in Northern Ireland, I remain extremely disappointed that full commissioning proposals have not yet been brought forward by the Department of Health and that the Executive has not an opportunity to discuss them,” he stated.

Brandon Lewis issued the instructions to the Department of Health, Minister of Health Robin Swann, the Health and Social Care Board, First Minister Paul Givan and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.

Mr Lewis stated it was for the Executive to discover the funding needed for the companies from throughout the annual Treasury block grant or its personal coffers.

“At the heart of this matter are the women and girls in Northern Ireland, who have been, and continue to be, denied the same reproductive rights as women in the rest of the UK,” he stated.

“Parliament determined that this should be corrected and by exercising the power to direct, we will ensure that it is.”

Mr Lewis famous that abortion was a delicate concern.

“I acknowledge and respect the deeply-held views that individuals hold on this issue,” he stated.

“However, it is the clear will of Parliament that the rights of women and girls in Northern Ireland are properly upheld.”

He Lewis defined why the Government had created the brand new powers in relation to directing the fee of companies.

He stated: “We took this important step because a year after the 2020 Regulations were made, women and girls in Northern Ireland are still unable to access high-quality abortion and post-abortion care in Northern Ireland in all the circumstances allowed by the Regulations we made on March 31 2020. This remains the case today.”

The Executive has stalled on establishing a full service for ladies since Westminster handed legal guidelines to legalise abortion final 12 months. MPs acted throughout the suspension of power-sharing.

While the Department of Health has but to fee a central service, well being trusts have been providing an ad-hoc service.

In March, the federal government once more intervened to hand Mr Lewis new powers to direct the Department of Health to act.

On Thursday, he formally took that step, directing the Department of Health and the First and deputy First Ministers to fee the companies no later than March 31, 2020.

“This ongoing stalemate leaves me no choice but to issue a direction,” stated Mr Lewis.

“I have a legal and moral obligation to ensure the women and girls in Northern Ireland are afforded their rights and can access the healthcare as set out in the 2020 Regulations.”

The Executive has been contacted for a response. 

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