Abortion laws in Northern Ireland are set to be reformed for the first time in 70 years, to allow Pregnancy terminations in limited cases. Northern Ireland's Justice Minister, David Ford, announced that he will propose that pregnancy terminations are made available in the case of a fetus suffering from a fatal abnormality, that wouldn't survive when outside the womb.

After opening a public consultation, in January, asking the people to submit their views on a possible reform of the abortion laws in very specific cases, the Justice Minister and Alliance Party leader, David Ford, was convinced that "changing the law is the right thing to do".

The Justice Minister will now ask the North Ireland Executive for approval to draft the legislation, which will then require a vote by the Northern Irish Parliament, in Stormont.

Minister David Ford explained that his department won't be asking to allow terminations in the case of a victim of rape or incest. This law to allow pregnancy terminations would only apply to "the limited cases of a fetal abnormality which is likely to cause death either before, during or just after birth, and where no treatment other than palliative care could be offered to improve the chances of survival". He added that in a circumstance like this one, his view is that "the health and well-being of the woman must take priority and the law should make that clear and offer certainty".

The catholic party Sinn Féin, led by Gerry Adams, active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, had already dropped its "unconditional opposition" to abortion, last month, during its annual conference in Derry, by voting in favour of changing the party's view and policy to allow pregnancy terminations in cases of a fatal fetal abnormality as well.

Northern Ireland is still the only part of the UK that doesn't apply the 1967 Abortion Act but the public and political support to introduce some minor reform to abortion laws, in the region, seems to now be in place.