DUP urges action to fill abortion ‘vacuum’

The DUP has called for action to fill a “dangerous vacuum” in the law around abortion in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s largest party is opposed to the planned liberalisation of a near-blanket ban on terminations following a vote at Westminster earlier this year.

It is expected to promote a culture of “choosing life” through better perinatal services and “valuing children” through improved childcare.

During an event on Tuesday, the DUP will outline further pledges including:

– Re-establishing the Assembly at Stormont to protect welfare payments

– Investing in GPs and health staff while tackling waiting lists for medical care

– Lifting the burden of bureaucracy on principals and schools

– Leading the way on tackling paramilitary criminality

– Bolstering social housing

Party leader Arlene Foster is expected to outline a “road map” to get Northern Ireland moving again.

She is set to say her party is working to restore the Assembly and Executive and has ambitious plans to transform public services including health and education.

She wants to get decisions taken in Northern Ireland on the issues that matter most to the public, but believes she needs other parties to join with her and nominate ministers.

The DUP believes the life of the unborn child is sacrosanct. It has blocked efforts in the Assembly to liberalise Northern Ireland’s strict laws banning terminations in most cases.

Stella Creasy
Stella Creasy (Niall Carson/PA)

Campaigners have fought a long battle to allow the procedure and it is set to be freely permitted during early pregnancy following legislation piloted through Westminster.

Labour MP Stella Creasy led a successful push in the Commons earlier this year to extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland.

The DUP is expected to urge on Tuesday: “The dangerous vacuum of law and guidance created by Creasy needs fixed.”

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