Abortion law is pawn in a Tory-SNP power game

The Herald reports that the Conservatives are thinking about devolving abortion law to Scotland where a strong Catholic lobby is opposed to the 1967 Act. What the point of doing it unless the aim is to repeal it? Not necessarily apparently. It’s really about the power game between Westminster and Holyrood, not about little matters such as rights, ethics, women and embryos.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government quietly dropped a demand for new powers over abortion, saying it had other priorities.

But Nationalist MPs made clear during the debate they supported the devolution of abortion law to the Scottish Parliament and a party spokesman noted: “As the Smith Commission reported, the parties were ‘strongly of the view’ that responsibility for abortion should be devolved, given that health as a whole is devolved.”

A senior SNP source stressed that while the party did not want to change the current law on abortion – the termination limit in most cases is 24 weeks – he added: “We’re in the more powers business.”

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

Living History 1968-74

A unique, once-in-a-lifetime 10-week course at Stranmillis University College Belfast featuring live, in-depth interviews with leading figures from this tumultuous era in Northern Ireland’s cultural and political history.

Live interviews with: Bernadette McAliskey, Austin Currie, Brid Rogers, Baroness Blood, Dennis Bradley, Baroness Paisley, Lord Kilclooney, Tim McGarry, Danny Morrison, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and others…

Find out more…