Humanists UK welcomes Government move to fund abortion for Northern Irish women on the NHS in England

Responding to the Government’s announcement that it will now move to fund abortions on the NHS in England for women from Northern Ireland, Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented:

‘We are delighted that the Government has finally moved to end the injustice of charging women in Northern Ireland for a medical procedure freely available to women in the rest of the UK. It has come too late for many women, and it should not have taken the prompting of the Supreme Court or the threat of defeat in Parliament – but it is the right decision nonetheless.

‘What has not ended, however, is the injustice of forcing women in Northern Ireland to travel hundreds of miles in the first place simply to access the healthcare they are entitled to. There is, for the time being, no government in Northern Ireland, and in any case it is the Westminster Government that holds ultimate responsibility for safeguarding the human rights of UK citizens. It is essential, therefore, that the Government now moves to defend the rights of women more broadly, decriminalising abortion throughout the UK and legislating to bring the reproductive rights of women in Northern Ireland in line with those of women in England, Wales, and Scotland.’


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At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

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