Gemma Weir, Workers’ Party representative in North Belfast, has called for the immediate facilitation by the NI Minister of Health, for abortion provided via telemedicine.
Responding to First Minister Arlene Foster’s claims that Weir said:
“It is entirely legal for a GP to prescribe medication to induce abortion in Northern Ireland today. Even in normal times, there should be no delay in the implementation of the necessary framework by the Minister for Health, to enable women to access this legal right.
“However, we are not in normal times. The scale of travel restrictions is unprecedented. Are the DUP really attempting to use the Coronavirus to force women to give birth against their wishes? Many women are currently trapped in homes with abusive partners in a lockdown scenario. Are they also to be denied the right to access an abortion if needed?
“Women facing crisis pregnancies will undoubtedly be forced to breach travel restrictions to access abortion services. Not only is the First Minister denying women access to their legal rights; they are in effect worsening the impact of a global pandemic by forcing travel.”
“I am calling for the immediate introduction of the necessary framework so that abortion via telemedicine can be extended to women in Northern Ireland. Not to do so would signal that, once again, the DUP are willing to prioritise their own, antiquated ideology above the lives and health of women.”