If the Scottish government decides to fund travel for women from Northern Ireland seeking an abortion it would significantly undermine the rule of law in Northern Ireland.
The government should not overstretch its reach — it does not have a mandate to intervene in Northern Ireland; abortion is a devolved issue and should be decided by the Northern Ireland Assembly.
A recent study, independently verified by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), showed that there were 100,000 people alive today because of Northern Ireland’s laws on abortion. They would not be alive had the 1967 Act been extended to the province.
Meanwhile over eight million lives have been lost in the fifty years since the 1967 Abortion Act was introduced in Great Britain.
In light of these figures, the government should be looking to Northern Ireland for an example on how their laws on abortion support the most vulnerable and create a life-affirming culture.
An abortion is never an easy decision to make. We recognise that there are difficulties women face with pregnancies, especially in cases where the unborn child may be born with a life-limiting disease, but we do not believe that abortion is the answer.
Women and girls who are experiencing crisis pregnancies need support.
The offer of funding for a free abortion in another country is short-sighted as it neglects any mention of an offer of counselling or care for the woman, prior to or after the abortion.
Nola Leach, Chief executive, Christian Action Research and Education’s (CARE), London SW1