Tory MPs who back abortion reform visiting Belfast

Anna Soubry (left) and Nicky Morgan will be in Belfast today
Anna Soubry (left) and Nicky Morgan will be in Belfast today

Three Conservative MPs who back abortion reform in Northern Ireland will be in Belfast today to hear experiences of women impacted by the Province’s restrictive laws.

During a day of meetings, Anna Soubry, Huw Merriman and Nicky Morgan will also speak with midwives, doctors, politicians and lawyers challenging the current regime in the courts.

The visit comes on the same day that senior figures in Sinn Fein, the SDLP, the Ulster Unionists and the Alliance Party issued a joint statement urging reform.

Abortions in Northern Ireland are illegal in all but exceptional medical and mental health circumstances.

The government has resisted calls to step in to legislate for reform in the wake of a recent Supreme Court judgment that found the current legal framework incompatible with human rights laws.

In June, a majority of Supreme Court judges said the ban on terminations in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality needed “radical reconsideration”.

Ahead of the visit to Belfast, Ms Soubry said: “Women and girls in Northern Ireland are not second-class citizens.

“They deserve access to free, safe and legal abortion services without having to travel to other parts of the UK.

“Our government must prioritise their rights and there is now significant support in Westminster for reform.

“We will continue to push for it to ensure that long and overdue change happens.”

The visit is being hosted by pro-choice advocates Amnesty International UK and the Family Planning Association as part of a series of events with Westminster political parties.