Northern Ireland news

Abortion poll shows majority of women reject Westminster 'interference'

Anti-abortion campaigner Dawn McAvoy

A NEW poll has revealed the majority of women in Northern Ireland believe that Westminster should not be involved in any changes to existing abortion laws.

The ComRes research, released at a parliamentary event in London yesterday, showed 64 per cent of the population in Northern Ireland agree that reform should be a decision for locally elected politicians.

The polling also showed a strong majority of women "reject interference" from Westminster, with those aged 18 to 34 most opposed.

Women from Northern Ireland spoke at yesterday's session, which was held ahead of a Ten Minute Rule Bill brought before Parliament which is seeking to change the law on abortion in the north from Westminster.

The event comes fives months after a referendum in the Republic where two-thirds vote to liberalise its laws. Since then, there has been increasing pressure to reform the north's strict legislation.

The pro-life group Both Lives Matter described the move by Westminster politicians as "an unacceptable and irresponsible attempt to override devolution in Northern Ireland".

Dawn McAvoy of the group said: "This polling clearly shows that this is not what the people of Northern Ireland, and in particular women, want."

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