Emma Reynolds, Labour MP from Wolverhampton North East, has welcomed a u-turn by the government this week, which will give women from Northern Ireland better access to abortion. Despite being UK citizens and UK taxpayers, women in Northern Ireland have not been entitled to NHS funding in either England or Wales for their treatment if they wanted an abortion. They therefore needed to meet the cost of both travel and treatment personally.

During the vote on the Queen’s Speech, a cross party group of MPs including Emma backed an amendment tabled by the Labour MP Stella Creasy to change this damaging policy.

Emma said “I supported the amendment by Stella Creasy MP to change the law and give women in Northern Ireland the right to access free abortion services in England and Wales. I am pleased that the government gave in and accepted the need to change its policy.

“The decision by the government to back down is a positive step made possible by all those organisations and individuals who campaigned against this damaging policy. Thanks to that pressure we have righted a wrong. I therefore want to pay tribute to everyone who supported the #mypledgeherchoice campaign and who emailed me in Wolverhampton in support of the amendment.

“Before today women from Northern Ireland were treated as second class citizens. But it is still wrong that they are forced to leave their homes and journey to other parts of the UK to get a termination.

“Abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland, even in cases of rape or incest. I hope that once the Northern Ireland Assembly is restored, politicians in Northern Ireland will do the right thing and respect a woman’s right to choose.”

July 2017