Abortion in Northern Ireland

Thank you for contacting me about respecting devolution and the issue of abortion in Northern Ireland.

I am pleased that the Government recognises the sensitivity of this issue and the range of views expressed by stakeholders on all sides of the debate. It is a highly sensitive issue, regardless of where your view lies and one where it is important that the matter is considered with due care and sensitivity.

I firmly welcome the Government's position, which has been outlined on many occasions by the Northern Ireland Secretary, Karen Bradley, that the best way forward is for locally accountable politicians in Northern Ireland to make decisions.

In response to the report from the Women and Equalities Committee, I understand that the Government is carefully considering the Committee's recommendations and will respond to the report in due course.

Restoring the Executive remains the Secretary of State's key priority and it is very positive news that a new phase of talks began on the 7th May.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.