Monday, July 26, 2021
HomeDUP will ‘vigorously oppose’ fresh Westminster intervention over abortion laws

DUP will ‘vigorously oppose’ fresh Westminster intervention over abortion laws


The DUP will “vigorously oppose” any further legislative action to see new abortion laws implemented in the region, an MP has warned.

However, while individual health trusts have set up temporary early medical abortion pathways, Northern Ireland-wide services have not yet been commissioned by the Department of Health.

The Andrew Marr Show / PA Wire

The region’s Health Minister Robin Swann previously said the issue is controversial and therefore he cannot act alone and requires agreement by the Executive.

Brandon Lewis intends to lay new regulations in Parliament next week to allow him to direct Mr Swann’s department to commission the services, the Guardian has reported.

Mr Lewis was reportedly prompted by concerns many women are still travelling to Great Britain to access services.

A UK Government spokesperson confirmed there is disappointment that full abortion services have not yet been commissioned, adding “further legislative action at Westminster” is being considered.

The DUP’s Westminster leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has warned that any move to legislate over the Stormont Executive would “raise serious questions”.

Mr Donaldson said he and DUP leader Arlene Foster met Mr Lewis over the matter on Thursday.

“Abortion is a devolved matter,” he said.

“Any move by an NIO minister to legislate over the head of the Northern Ireland Executive would raise serious questions about when and in what areas the Government can make interventions in a devolved administration.

“The DUP would warn the Northern Ireland Office against legislating on a matter which is wholly devolved and we will vigorously oppose such steps.”


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