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Northern Ireland: Theresa May must not 'shirk human rights responsibility' with excuses on abortion ban

Reacting to Theresa May’s comments that the UK Government will not intervene to change Northern Ireland’s abortion laws, despite mounting pressure for the UK to do so, Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty UK, said:

“Northern Ireland’s abortion ban isn’t an issue of devolution, it’s an issue of human rights.

“If Theresa May shirks her human rights responsibilities and doesn’t take action to amend the Victorian-era law governing abortion in Northern Ireland, she will fail and leave behind one million women.

“Rights cannot be sacrificed, not for political expediency or any other reason.

“Time’s up for the UK government’s excuses on this – it must legislate for the women of Northern Ireland.”

Following last week’s vote in the Republic of Ireland to reform the country’s restrictive abortion laws, Amnesty issued an urgent call to on the UK Government to legislate so that women in Northern Ireland can enjoy the same levels of care, dignity and respect as those in the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the UK.

More than 32,000 people have already signed an online petition to ensure Northern Irish women are not left behind.

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