AMNESTY WELCOMES WELSH GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT TO ABORTION FUNDING FOR WOMEN FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

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“It is deeply ironic that every government in the UK has now pledged to address the injustice facing women from Northern Ireland, except the failed administration at Stormont.” – Patrick Corrigan

Responding to news that the Welsh Government has agreed to fund abortions in Wales for women and girls from Northern Ireland, Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Programme Director, said:

“Following last week’s commitment from the UK government on this issue and a previous pledge by the Scottish First Minister, we welcome this move by the Welsh government to support women and girls from Northern Ireland.

“This is another important step towards ending the plight of women from Northern Ireland, who are still denied the right to healthcare taken for granted by those in the rest of the UK.

“It is deeply ironic that every government in the UK has now pledged to address the injustice facing women from Northern Ireland, except the failed administration at Stormont.

“Despite these positive moves in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, women and girls from Northern Ireland still face the financial and emotional burden of having to travel for healthcare that should be available at home.

“The Northern Ireland Assembly must legislate for proper access to abortion care. But if it is unable or unwilling to do so, then Westminster must act to bring the region’s discredited abortion laws into line with human rights standards, as repeatedly recommended by UN committees.”

Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales made the announcement today in the Welsh Assembly in response to a question from Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru, who asked: “First Minister, the Governments in England and Scotland have announced that they will act to provide free access to abortion services for women from the north of Ireland. Will Wales follow suit?”

Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, responded:

“The answer to the question is ‘yes’. That’s what we want to do. We’re looking at the detail of how that can be done, but we want to make sure that the same service is on offer in Wales as it is in England and Scotland. There are issues such as, for example, travel costs, and issues such as how you provide ongoing care for a procedure, rather than people just going home. These things are being considered at the moment, but I can assure the leader of Plaid Cymru that what we’re looking to do is to make sure that Wales, England and Scotland offer the same service.”

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