The trust had “paused” services to provide ‘Early Medical Terminations’ last month due to a shortage of nursing and medical staff.
Confirmation that services are being provided by neighbouring health trusts has been welcomed by the pro-choice lobby group Alliance for Choice and prompted calls for alternative services to abortion for women with unwanted pregnancies from the pro-life lobby group Precious Life.
A spokesperson for the Western Trust said: “The trust is currently working to recommence the early medical abortion clinic within the next number of months in accordance with the Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020.”
A spokesperson for Alliance for Choice said: “The Western Trust has failed to employ EMA services for residents for an extended period of time in direct contravention of the CEDAW recommendations and primary legislation.”
Naomi Connor, co-convener of Alliance for Choice Belfast, stated; “Finally, welcome news that there will be abortion provision in Northern Ireland for many who need this healthcare in the Western Trust.
“However women should have access in their own trust. Without full commissioning women and pregnant people in the Western Trust continue to be denied the service they have a legal right to. That is true across Northern Ireland as a whole. It is high time the Department of Health acted’.”
Emma Campbell, co-convener Alliance for Choice, added: “In the absence of localised abortion services, those in the Western Trust seeking treatment have been forced to travel or access pills from online providers – none of which should be necessary two years and seven months after the decriminalisation of abortion.”
Bernadette Smyth, spokesperson for Precious Life,said: “Abortion is not healthcare,
“There is never any medical justification for abortion. There are no health benefits for women or their babies. The purpose of real healthcare is to heal and preserve life, not to end life.
“The women and unborn babies of the Western Health Trust area deserve better than abortion.
“The Department of Health must put in place better services for women with unintended pregnancies – services that offer practical, caring solutions which uphold the dignity of both the mother and her unborn child.”