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NI Human Rights Chief Commissioner responds to Abortion Services Statement

22 Jul 2021

NI Human Rights Chief Commissioner responds to Abortion Services Statement

The Northern Ireland Chief Commissioner for Human Rights has responded to statement on abortion services issued today by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

NI Chief Commissioner for Human Rights Les Allamby stated:

“We welcome that the Secretary of State has issued this direction today and view it as an important step in securing the full provision and funding of abortion services for women and girls in Northern Ireland.

Nonetheless, we note that under the direction issued today the First and Deputy First Ministers are only required to place any proposals on the NI Executive’s agenda once received. As a result, there may still be implications for enabling abortion services through the NI Executive.

The Human Rights Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of the current law to ensure a service is available to women locally. The responsibility remains on the Secretary of State, the NI Executive and the Department of Health to enable access to abortion services and treatment in Northern Ireland and we look forward to those responsibilities being met.”

Further Information

For interview requests or for further information please contact Claire Martin on 07717731873 or Claire.Martin@nihrc.org

Notes to editors

  1. The Abortion Services Directions 2021 were issued by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 22 July 2021. Direction and Written Ministerial Statement.
  2. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission continues to await judgment in its May legal challenge against the Secretary of State, NI Executive and Department of Health for Northern Ireland for the failure to commission and fund abortion services in Northern Ireland. Read the full statement here

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