Theresa May, Nicola Sturgeon, Carwyn Jones: give Northern Ireland women free access to NHS abortions

A Supreme Court judgment handed down on 14 June has said that Northern Ireland women have to pay as much as £2,000 to have an abortion on the NHS in England. In Northern Ireland, women cannot have an abortion except in the most extreme circumstances, meaning only the wealthiest women in Northern Ireland can access legal, safe abortions in the same way as those in Britain.

The court has found that making Northern Ireland women pay for abortions is a political decision and that the relevant Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, can allow free access to Northern Ireland women if he chooses.

The same logically applies to the Health Secretaries who look after NHS Wales and NHS Scotland, and Nicola Sturgeon already promised last year to investigate the possibility of allowing free abortions for Northern Ireland women through NHS Scotland. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood told Humanists UK she supports the same in Wales.

We cannot allow our fellow citizens in Northern Ireland to continue to have their human rights breached in this way. We are asking you to petition the Prime Minister and the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales to urge that NHS abortion services are made available, free of charge, to women who travel from Northern Ireland.

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