Conservative Party leadership contender and possible future Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has stated that the question of abortion law in Northern Ireland “is for the people of Northern Ireland and their politicians”.
In the Conservative Belfast Leadership Hustings on Tuesday 2nd July, Mr Johnson made clear his support for abortion remaining a devolved issue in Northern Ireland and recognised that it was not right for Westminster to impose abortion on the region.
He said: “I think that is pre-eminently a matter for the people of Northern Ireland, and that is why…I hope that the Government in Northern Ireland can be resumed as soon as possible so that this issue can be decided in the forum where it properly belongs. In other words, at Stormont.”
He added “This is for the people of Northern Ireland and their politicians.”
Both remaining Conservative Party leadership candidates, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, have now stated their support that Westminster should not impose abortion on Northern Ireland, and that it should remain a devolved issue.
This position reflects the sentiment among MPs in the Conservative Party and the public in Northern Ireland on the issue with 72% of Conservative MPs and the majority of women in Northern Ireland being in favour of continued devolution of abortion law in the region.
Dawn McAvoy co-founder of the Both Lives Matters campaign, who support both women and unborn children in Northern Ireland, commented,
“Our distinctive law in Northern Ireland strikes a difficult and delicate balance which means that over 100,000 people are alive in Northern Ireland today because politicians here did not implement the 1967 Abortion Act.”
“For the last few years there has been a strong push from a small number of abortion advocates to change the law to allow more abortion in Northern Ireland. They are clearly out of step. We welcome today’s news and will continue to pursue the very simple and human vision that both lives matter alongside our efforts to secure even more valuable services which allow both lives to flourish in a pregnancy crisis. .”