UK government set to force Northern Ireland to speed up abortion services rollout

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The law was liberalised last year to allow terminations following action taken at Westminster.

However, while individual health trusts have set up temporary early medical abortion pathways, Northern Ireland-wide services have not yet been commissioned by the Department of Health.

Northern Ireland’s health minister Robin Swann previously said the issue is controversial and therefore he cannot act alone and requires agreement by the executive.

But Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis intends to lay new regulations in parliament next week to allow him to direct Mr Swann’s department to commission the services, The Guardian has reported.

Mr Lewis was reportedly prompted by concerns many women were still travelling to Great Britain to access services.

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