29 June 2017
The Wales Green Party calls on the Welsh Government to make clear their stance on Irish women forced to come to Wales for a safe abortion, and to confirm that they are expecting extra funding for this purpose.
They are asking the Welsh Government for a strong and clear statement that abortions will be free for women from Northern Ireland under NHS Wales.
Pippa Bartolotti, Wales Green Party Deputy Leader said, “It has long been a concern of Wales Green Party that our sisters just a few miles across the water have been subject to the DUP hardline attitude towards women. Sadly this continues to be the case, and although we welcome the agreement which allows women and girls from Northern Ireland to have free abortions under NHS England, there remains the unaddressed issue of travel costs. Such costs will be insurmountable for many, and will increase the emotional hardship and physical risks for those without the means to pay. Every woman should have the right to a safe and professional choice. Some will still not have this.
“Let’s be clear. This is nothing to do with the rights of women to choose. This is about House of Commons arithmetic and the propping up of a lame duck Conservative Government.
“Theresa May has given in to the DUP again and again in her desperation for votes at Westminster. Irish women and girls should not have to travel to the UK for safe abortion procedures. It is for the Government of Northern Ireland to make changes to their own legislation. In expecting their own people to bypass NI laws and come to the UK for an abortion, their hypocrisy is blatantly evident. ‘You can do it there, but not here,’ is the cowardly two-faced message. How much more hypocrisy can we expect?”
Statements thus far from the Welsh Government are vague. The Welsh Greens believe it would be morally wrong for NHS Wales to turn vulnerable women away.
Abortions are only allowed in Northern Ireland if a woman's life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her physical or mental health. Rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities are not circumstances in which they can be performed legally.