Consistent vetoes have blocked the power-sharing government from passing abortion reform in Northern Ireland.
By Julia Canney
Jun 18, 2021
In April, the UK House of Commons formally approved a new directive requiring Northern Ireland’s Department of Health to take “concrete steps” to ensure full abortion services in the north before summer. The directive, which came after years of pressure from inside and outside the north, is the result of the Northern Ireland executive’s delay in commissioning services that were formally decriminalized in 2019.
It is time for Northern Ireland’s secretary of state, Brandon Lewis, to ensure that reproductive rights in the north are safe, legal and accessible to all who need them. The complicated politics of Northern Ireland have led to this dilemma of jurisdiction. The House of Commons was able to decriminalize abortion services in the north specifically because there was no sitting Northern Ireland executive in Stormont. However, now that there has been a sitting government in Stormont for over a year, many are calling for an end to the executive’s stall tactics.