Welsh Govt ‘undermining NI democracy on abortion’

The Welsh Government is asking whether it should fund abortions for women from Northern Ireland, following the policy set by the Governments in London and Edinburgh.

But The Christian Institute says the move undermines strong protections for unborn children in Northern Ireland.

The Welsh consultation document notes that abortion is a devolved matter for the Northern Ireland assembly to decide. And it states that the issue is not open to Welsh Ministers to change the law on abortion.

Strong protection

However, the Government says it wants to use general health powers to ‘enable women who are normally resident in NI, to access termination of pregnancy services in Wales’.

Ciarán Kelly, Deputy Director of The Christian Institute, noted that both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Court of Appeal had recently backed the Province’s law on abortion.

He said: “Abortion is only allowed in Northern Ireland to preserve the life of the mother.

“This longstanding position has given the Province one of the most pro-life legal frameworks in the world.


“It ensures that the value of human life is upheld and protected by healthcare professionals throughout a woman’s pregnancy.”

He added that the Welsh proposals “completely undermine democracy in Northern Ireland, with the Assembly having previously voted against liberalising the law”.

“Last year, the Belfast Court of Appeal also backed Northern Ireland’s right to decide its own abortion law.

“Paying for women to go over to Wales for NHS abortions shows absolutely no respect for this ruling.”

100,000 alive

A 2017 report revealed that around 100,000 people are alive today because of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws.

The figure, from pro-life campaign Both Lives Matter, is equal to five per cent of the total population of the Province.

In August, the figure was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority after investigating a small number of complaints.

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