Northern Irish Women Should Have The Right To Choose

It's not up to parliament to make these choices for people...

By Office of Wera Hobhouse, Jun 09, 2018 10:06

Wera went head to head with Sammy Wilson (DUP) over Northern Irish abortion reform...

Sammy Wilson, known for his controversial views on climate change, was in the middle of arguing against abortion reform. 

Wera said:

"I thank you very much for giving way. Will he understand that people, who like me, actually would never have an abortion herself, will support that women should have the right to choose. It's not for us here to make the decision, it's for the individual to make that very personal decision." 

The debate was an emotionally charged one, brought forward at short notice by Stella Creasy in light of the victorious referendum in Ireland over a woman's right to choose. Northern Ireland is the only place in the United Kingdom where abortion remains a criminal offence, even in cases of rape and incest. 

Talking to BuzzFeed on the subject, Wera said: 

"The government should act now to repeal sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Act, which would remove the impediment in Westminster, and help facilitate abortion reform in Northern Ireland. This would mark a huge step towards equality for women in Northern Ireland, who currently do not possess the same rights as women in the rest of the UK.

Pressure is growing on the government to act, and rightly so. I'm looking forward to working across party lines to achieve this as soon as possible. I would welcome an amendment to to this effect being added to the Domestic Violence Bill.

This is about individual liberty; women in Northern Ireland deserve the right to make individual choices on abortion, irrespective of other people's opinions."

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