The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has carried out his threat to force Stormont’s Department of Health (DoH) to increase abortion services in the Province.
In a ministerial statement, Brandon Lewis set out his plan, which does not need to be approved by the Executive after he granted himself extra powers.
He said he wants the DoH to implement an expanded service within “days to weeks”.
‘Do as you’re told’
In March 2020, Westminster politicians imposed a radical abortion law on Northern Ireland, and in July last year demanded the expansion of abortion capacity by 31 March 2022.
Lewis told BBC NI that the DoH has blamed the hold up on the Executive, but “we’ve taken that away, they can now crack on and deliver it”.
He pledged to make further interventions “if the Department of Health does not commission and fund abortion services as directed”.
Northern Ireland Health Minister, Robin Swann, said his Department would give the new regulations “careful consideration”.
“I will be seeking further legal advice, including with regard to a Northern Ireland minister of health’s legal responsibilities under the ministerial code.”
DUP MP Carla Lockhart told BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme: “This should be for the people of Northern Ireland to decide what services they want, if any.”