Ministers questioned about decriminalisation of abortion

23 July 2019

Kingston upon Hull North MP, Diana Johnson, asked an urgent question in the Commons on the decriminalisation of abortion in England and Wales.

The urgent question is being asked on abortion law in England and Wales, due to recent Parliamentary proceedings on decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland. This was debated by MPs when Lords amendments were being considered to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill in the Commons on Thursday 18 July 2019.

Replying on behalf of the Government, Jacki Doyle Price, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care told MPs;

"The Abortion Act and the legislation that affects England and Wales is in itself an amendment of the Offences Against the Person Act, and not withstanding the issues in Northern Ireland, the Government currently has no plans to amend sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act in England and Wales."

In response, Diana Johnson said;

"Any woman who ends a pregnancy without the permission of two doctors faces up to life imprisonment. This includes women who obtain pills online, so that's women who are in abusive or coercive and controlling relationships, women living in rural areas, women who have childcare responsibilities and cannot access services in clinics."

"Abortion should no longer be part of our criminal law, but a regulated health decision between a woman and her doctor."

Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

Image: Zack Minor

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