MPs formally approve abortion service powers for Northern Ireland

Richard Wheeler, PA Parliamentary Editor
·1-min read

The House of Commons has formally approved regulations which enable Brandon Lewis to take action on rolling out abortion services in Northern Ireland.

MPs voted 431 to 89, majority 342, in favour of the Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021.

Northern Ireland Secretary Mr Lewis last month laid the regulations at Westminster. They give him the ability to compel the region’s health department to commission the services.

There was no time allocated for debate ahead of the vote on Tuesday.

Abortion laws in the region were liberalised by MPs at Westminster in 2019 at a time when powersharing was collapsed.

New abortion regulations came into operation a year ago and, while individual health trusts have been offering services on an ad hoc basis, the regulations were brought forward as the Department of Health had yet to centrally commission the services on a region-wide basis.