Women’s rights are being used as a bargaining chip by the Conservative Party in the Brexit process, Stella Creasy has said. She suspects that, in order to win over the DUP on Brexit, the government could go back on the commitment to extend abortion access to Northern Ireland.
The DUP has said today that it does not accept the Brexit proposal agreed between Boris Johnson and the EU. As a bargaining chip, Creasy believes that the Tories could offer to change the legislation passed in July that requires the UK government to extend access to abortion in Northern Ireland unless power-sharing resumes on Monday 21st October.
Speaking in the Commons last night, the Labour MP said: “What the minister has done tonight, by waving in front of one party in this place the opportunity to kill this measure through providing the role of the Assembly, is to create further confusion about how women in Northern Ireland will access their basic rights.”
She later added: “Women in Northern Ireland deserve honesty. From next week, if the Executive are not reconstituted, will those women be able to get an abortion and, if so, how? That is what the 2019 Act pledged — it pledged to treat them as equal citizens, just as we pledged to treat our fellow citizens who want to marry somebody of the same sex equally. Yet somehow one of those is being disposed of in favour of political gain. At least if the government were honest about that, women in Northern Ireland could prepare themselves.”
So that’s deal government has done to get @DUPleader support this week- they are going to wash their hands of responsibility to regulate abortion in Northern Ireland. It’s not in law they can whatever they say. Shameful using women as bargaining chips! #brexithaos #trustwomen
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) October 16, 2019
Appearing on Newsnight on Wednesday, Creasy concluded: “They’re going to let the churches write the rules on abortion in Northern Ireland and the DUP get up in parliament to confirm that if the Assembly was up and running, they would then have the power to write the rules. Sometimes in politics if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it’s a duck.”