‘Start-stop’ provision of Abortion Services should not be allowed to occur again, says Bradshaw

Alliance Party Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed an announcement that the Western Trust is due to recommence its early abortion services as early as July after it was suspended in April 2021. However, the South Belfast MLA has added the Trust should never have been put in a position where the service needed to be suspended in the first instance.

“Whilst it is welcome that the Western Trust is due to recommence its early abortion service next month, it is disgraceful that women in the area have been unable to access services locally for over a year,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“This is a direct result of the inaction to commission Abortion Services by the Health Minister and the service in Western Trust should never have been suspended in the first place. This start-stop provision of healthcare can never be allowed to occur again and it is unacceptable that patients will still be directed to England for abortions over ten weeks.

“I hope that now the Secretary of State has instructed the Department to set up a fully-funded, commissioned service that women in Northern Ireland will soon have the same standard of care as the rest of the UK. Women should be trusted with their own health and well-being.”