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McAllister welcomes Northern Ireland Office guidelines on abortion services  

Councillor Nuala McAllister has welcomed the publication of new guidelines on abortion.

 

Councillor McAllister said: “After a long campaign by many groups in Northern Ireland, we finally have guidelines issued by the Northern Ireland Office, which will help women and medical professionals in the period between 22nd October and 31st March 2020.

 

“Last week we saw the judgement in the case of Sarah Ewart, and these guidelines confirm what should have been the case all along. Women in Northern Ireland who have the awful diagnosis of fatal fetal abnormality in pregnancy will now be given the choice to be cared for in their home, in their own hospitals, surrounded by the people they love for support.

 

“Whilst there will be no NHS services introduced before March 2020, I welcome the fact that doctors and midwives can refer patients to services available in England and Wales. Where a healthcare professional conscientiously objects to terminations, the guidelines are explicit- medical professional must refer on to another medical professional.

 

“These guidelines should be welcome news for the medical professionals. But if women need abortions and are concerned about where they can turn, there are people who can help, including the Abortion Support Network.”