Paula Bradshaw stated: “The abortion regulations, the commitment now to ringfenced funding and the instruction to commission reproductive health services are clear steps towards long awaited provision in Northern Ireland.
“It is welcome the finish line is in view, even if there have been far too many obstacles on the route for women in Northern Ireland. Now the challenge passes to ensuring services are indeed fully commissioned and available in Northern Ireland on the same basis as in the rest of the UK as soon as possible.”
Connie Egan said: “For too long, basic human rights signed up to by the UK Government have been denied specifically to women in Northern Ireland. This remains a source of serious grievance and anger.
“The taking of powers by the Secretary of State to provide for a budget and the provision of ringfenced funding for services mean we should soon be at the stage women in Northern Ireland at last have access to services to which they are fundamentally entitled. It is a welcome further step the Department has been instructed to commission those services.
“It remains the case this is taking far too long, and ultimately this should long ago have been carried out at Stormont.”