Response to Welsh Government's Consultation Document on
 Termination of Pregnancy provision for women from Northern Ireland.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the Welsh Government’s Consultation Document on Termination of Pregnancy provision for women from Northern Ireland.

I am entirely opposed to this proposal for several reasons:

1]  The political reason.  The Welsh Government’s proposal undermines the rule of the Northern Ireland Assembly.  The 1967 Abortion Act has never applied to Northern Ireland and its Assembly and its people have consistently voted against liberalising the Province’s law on this issue.  The Welsh Government’s proposal destabilises that democratically-determined rule.

2]  The pro-life reason.  Northern Ireland has a long tradition of respect and protection of pregnant women and their unborn children.  The Welsh Government’s proposal would damage that pro-life legal framework, which upholds the value of human life and which is supported by its healthcare professionals.

3]  The medical reason.  Abortion, or termination of pregnancy, is not healthcare.  It is an unethical medical response for vulnerable women with often serious physical and psychological consequences.  The Welsh Government should not be promoting such sub-standard medicine.

4]  The financial reason.  The Welsh Government’s proposal would require Welsh taxpayers to fund these terminations of pregnancies.  NHS Wales is already struggling to meet its current commitments without the extra financial, bureaucratic and medical burden of providing additional ‘health tourism’ services.

5]  The residence reason.  The Welsh Government’s proposal to permit Local Health Boards to grant temporary residence to Northern Ireland women is a misuse of its powers.  It is a fudge for ideological purposes.

6]  The inopportune reason.  Instead of contesting the law of another devolved institution the Welsh Government should use this opportunity to join with the people of Northern Ireland and support projects that assist women in the Province to continue their pregnancies and avoid the sequelae of abortion.

It is for these six main reasons that I hope the Welsh Government will reject its original and misconceived proposal.

Dr John R. Ling,
9 February 2018.

Dear John Ling,
Thank you for your email about the Welsh Government proposal to fund abortions for women from Northern Ireland.  I cannot speak for my colleagues but, in all my years as an MP, I always voted against liberalisation of abortion and was a solid supporter of SPUC, which I remain.
It is an outrage for the Welsh NHS to propose funding abortion tourism when we have such massive deficiencies in healthcare in Wales.
With best wishes,
Yours sincerely,

Mid & West Wales.

Dear Dr John Ling
Thank you for your email. I do not believe that this matter will be subject to a vote in the Assembly as I believe it is an executive decision of the Welsh Government.
In any case, I support the proposal of the Welsh Government in this regard. You will be aware that abortion legislation is not devolved to the Assembly and I support access to the same healthcare for all those UK residents who are in Wales.

Simon Thomas
AC Canolbarth a'r Gorllewin
AM Mid and West