Bid for party pol­icy to de­crim­i­nalise abor­tion

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By PARIS GOURTSOYANNIS

Scot­tish Lib­eral Democrats will lead a bid for to make their party the first ma­jor group at Westminster to sup­port the de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of abor­tion across the UK – in­clud­ing in North­ern Ire­land.

Lib Dem del­e­gates will vote on a mo­tion call­ing for the re­peal of sec­tions of the 1861 Of­fences Against the Per­son Act. The Vic­to­rian law re­mains on the statute book, with the 1967 Abor­tion act cre­at­ing ex­emp­tions for women in Scot­land, Eng­land and Wales. How­ever, abor­tion re­mains il­le­gal in North­ern Ire­land, and 724 women trav- elled to the UK in 2016 to seek abor­tions. The DUP strongly op­pose any change de­spite cross-party pres­sure from dozens of MPS.

Katy Gor­don, a Lib Dem ac­tivist and former can­di­date in Glas­gow, putting for­ward the mo­tion said: “This is a woman’s health­care is­sue, and there are steps we can take to make it less painful.”

Ed­in­burgh West MP Chris­tine Jar­dine said North­ern Ir­ish women shouldn’t be de­nied rights avail­able else­where. “We are 100 per cent be­hind the women in this coun­try who want this ridicu­lous 19th cen­tury anom­aly re­moved from the statute books.”

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