Monday , June 14 2021

Wales offers free abortions to residents of Northern Ireland, and here's what it means

Earlier this year, proponents of reproductive rights celebrated a great victory when Ireland abolished the constitutional amendment prohibiting abortion. But while Ireland has accepted reproductive rights, abortion is largely unlawful in the autonomous region of Northern Ireland. So, women living in Northern Ireland wanting abortion must travel outside the province, often tempting expensive costs. But other parts of the United Kingdom are now intensifying to help those in Northern Ireland better access to reproductive rights. Wales will offer free abortion to Northern Ireland residents, state secretary of state said on Friday.

"Our view was always there [that] a woman from Northern Ireland, Wales, should be able to access the abolition of pregnancy on the same basis as women in Wales, "BBC Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said in a statement released on Friday.

According to the new policy, residents of Northern Ireland will be able to access free abortions through Walsh's National Health Service (NHS), a public health system funded by public funds. In announcements of Friday's news, the Welsh government noted that abortion "can only be carried out in an NHS hospital or a licensed clinic". But Welsh government officials also said they did not expect the new policy to exhaust NHS resources.

"We anticipate that the number of women in Northern Ireland approaching these services will be low, and health boards are convinced they are capable of absorbing that provision within existing resources," Gething said.

According to Gething, Welsh health officials will consider policy positions within six months.

According to Gething, Welsh health officials will consider policy positions within six months.

Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland, expecting situations where women's life, physical or mental health is at serious risk.

More coming …

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