UK announce NI women will have access to free abortions on NHS

The British government will fund abortions for Northern Irish women who travel to England, it was today announced.

The news, announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond, comes following mounting pressure from MPs calling for the government to provide funds to those women who are forced to travel for terminations.

Northern Ireland remains the only county in the United Kingdom where abortion is illegal, expect in cases where the life or mental health of the mother are at risk.

Should a woman wish to have an abortion, she must do so privately and travel to England at her own expense, despite paying UK taxes, which contribute to the NHS.

A proposed amendment to the Queen's Speech, coordinated by Labour lawmaker, Stella Creasy, gathered widespread support throughout the House of Commons.

The proposal asked the government to ensure "the provision of adequate funding and guidance so that all UK citizens including those from Northern Ireland may access medical services including abortion procedures in England if they so wish without charge."

However, it is thought that today's announcement will be enough to satisfy Tory MPs enough to ensure that Ms Creasy's amendment does not pass, or she withdraws it.

The Labour MP took to Twitter to react to today's announcement:

Charities across the UK and Ireland have also welcomed the move with a spokesperson from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service saying:

"We are absolutely delighted that the government has committed to funding abortion care for women who travel from Northern Ireland to England."

"This is a landmark moment: for years the women of Northern Ireland, despite being UK citizens and taxpayers, have not been entitled to NHS-funded treatment."

Stella Casey has also vowed to help the women of Northern Ireland to fight for their rights in their own country