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Labour MPs urge action over NI abortion law

Published 19/04/2016

Jo Stevens: plea
Jo Stevens: plea

Shadow justice minister Jo Stevens has written to Westminster's human rights committee demanding urgent action to stop women in Northern Ireland being prosecuted for having an abortion here.

The letter, which urges the committee to address the abortion ban as a "priority", is co-signed by a number of Labour MPs.

It comes after a 21-year-old woman was convicted of having an abortion earlier this month.

The 1967 Abortion Act does not apply to Northern Ireland and it is a criminal offence to have an abortion here, except in very limited circumstances.

The letter states: "We believe that there are few more egregious breaches of human rights than the denial of vital healthcare, yet this is the situation for hundreds of thousands of women in Northern Ireland. These women have the right to expect their rights to be recognised and protected by the UK parliament and therefore we ask that you make this situation a priority for your committee."

The letter argues that while healthcare and justice matters are devolved, human rights are not.

Belfast Telegraph

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