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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

Northern Ireland’s justice minister calls for consultation on changing abortion laws

David Ford said he wants a public consultation into changing abortion laws to allow women carrying babies with fatal foetal abnormalities to have a termination.

THE NORTHERN IRELAND Justice Minister David Ford is calling for consultation process to begin on whether the abortion laws there should be changed.

Speaking on RTE News at One, he said that he does not think that Northern Ireland can continue to the export the problem to England, stating that he believes women who are carrying babies with fatal foetal abnormalities should be allowed a termination.

Consultation

Other grounds, such as abortion in rape or incest cases, are also expected to be covered as part of the consultation, which he said he hoped would be completed by Easter.

Ford added that he thought there were some issues that people would rather not address or think about in Northern Ireland, but he said it was time that this issue was looked at.

The call comes after two women told their stories on BBC Radio Ulster. Both women discovered their babies had a severe brain abnormality that would mean they would not survive outside the womb.

Both women had to travel to the England for terminations.

He added that everyone was welcome to make a submission during the consultation, stating that he understood a lot of pro-life groups and religious institutions would have an opposing view.

He said that the matter would not be put to a referendum like in the Republic of Ireland, adding that the elected members who have a mandate from their voters would be making the decision about changing the law.

Read: UN anti-torture body questions Ireland’s record on abortion and Magdalenes>

Read: “Amanda would have been forced to carry to term, fearing every minute”>

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