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David Ford resubmits private member's bill on abortion reform

Alliance MLA David Ford has resubmitted his private member's bill on abortion reform. Picture by Matt Bohill

ALLIANCE MLA David Ford has resubmitted his private member's bill on abortion reform.

The former justice minister presented his proposal to the speaker's office late on Monday shortly after he signed the assembly's membership roll.

Mr Ford's proposals seek to allow women carrying a foetus with a fatal abnormality to have a legal abortion in the north.

The proposals were first raised several years ago after Sarah Ewart spoke out in 2013 to say she had been forced to travel to England to have an abortion after doctors told her that the baby she was carrying had no chance of survival.

"A number of years ago, I made a promise to Sarah Ewart I would try to change the law to allow women such as her who wished to have a termination in a case of FFA (fatal foetal abnormality) to do so in Northern Ireland," he said.

Mr Ford's initial plans for legislation were blocked in the assembly and the collapse of power-sharing in January also halted his previous private member's bill.

"The surveys and statistics all show the desire is there in Northern Ireland to change the law. We need to help these women and we need to help them now," he said.

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