Secretary of State fanning flames of devolution crisis with abortion decision

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has said the Secretary of State’s decision to press ahead with the commissioning of abortion services is fanning the flames of the crisis facing devolution in Northern Ireland.

By Carla Lockhart Candidate

Upper Bann

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Her comments come following a letter sent by the Secretary of State to DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, confirming the move.

Carla Lockhart said,

‘‘Amid the rising cost of living and the Government’s failure to deliver energy support payments to households in Northern Ireland, it is a matter of deep regret that the Secretary of State can find the money to promote the taking of life.

Pressing ahead with this divisive policy is a further attack on the principles of devolution. Abortion is a devolved matter and future decisions should be taken by local ministers.

The former Secretary of State failed to respect these principles when an Executive was sitting so it perhaps not surprising that his successor has chosen to pursue this agenda when the institutions are paralysed because of the Protocol.

There are many financial pressures facing public services in Northern Ireland, including our NHS. It is notable that amongst all those competing issues the government is providing financial certainty for the provision of abortion when it is absent for so many other issues.

The point has been made forcibly and repeatedly to the Secretary of State and his predecessor that action in this area undermines the devolution settlement. That is only underscored further by the Government’s deliberate inaction across many other areas.”

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