Bid for party policy to decriminalise abortion
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.”