In June, Theresa May's government at Westminster, were bounced into a dramatic last-minute climb down, just hours before a crunch vote threatened to derail the Queen’s Speech. More than 50 MPs, from the major parties, led by Labour MP Stella Creasy, had backed a call for women from Northern Ireland to be given free access to NHS abortions in England. This led to the Westminster government making a concession on the issue rather than risk a possible defeat in the House of Commons on the Queen's Speech.
Hundreds of women travel across the Irish Sea for an abortion each year, as Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where abortion remains illegal, except in very limited cases. As a result of the change in June women from Northern Ireland will no longer have to pay for NHS abortions in England.