Women in Northern Ireland offered free abortions in England

The announcement came only a day before the UK Supreme Court begins examining whether Northern Ireland's strict abortion legislations breaches human rights.

Abortion is only permitted in Northern Ireland if a woman's life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.

The British government announced Monday it plans to fund free abortions for pregnant women from Northern Ireland. "The cost of this service will be met by the Government Equalities Office with additional funding provided by HM Treasury".

The hearing date coincides with pro-abortion campaigners receiving the Liberty Human Rights Award for their 50-year campaign for free, safe and legal abortions in Northern Ireland.

The Government said women on low incomes will also have their travel costs covered by the end of the year.

Ms Greening said that all Northern Irish women accessing abortion would also receive STI testing, contraception offers and support with travel costs in cases of financial hardship.

The three biggest abortion providers in the United Kingdom haven't been making women from Northern Ireland pay for their abortions since June, Greening said.

The funding plan comes after the United Kingdom government announced it would provide free abortions in late June. "The Scottish government believes that a woman from Northern Ireland, in Scotland, should be able to access an abortion for free on the same basis as women in Scotland and we will set out shortly how that can be achieved", Sturgeon added.

Walthamstow MP Creasy welcomed the announcement, but said she would not end her campaign until women in Northern Ireland could access services close to their own homes.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), which launched a judicial review proceedings in 2014, argues that the current law's effect on women contravenes their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

But she said the government had not changed its position on granting access to abortion within Northern Ireland itself, "which is a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive and the Northern Ireland Assembly". "Our proposals do not include the provision of any services in Northern Ireland".

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