Northern Irish court says it cannot set abortion laws

The High Court in Belfast previously ruled the law breached human rights

The British government is to pay for abortions for women denied them in Northern Ireland.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said his government intends to fund abortions in England for women arriving from the North.

Mr Hammond made the announcement in the House of Commons in London.

It comes after Northern Ireland's Court of Appeal said it could not decide on abortion laws in the region.

It said abortion reform should be left to the Stormont Assembly.

It believes complex moral and religious questions behind the issue should be determined by a legislature, rather than a court.

Unlike other parts of the UK, abortion is only allowed there where the life or mental health of the mother is in danger.

As it stands, terminations are not allowed in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities and when a woman has been a victim of sexual crime.

In 2015, the High Court in Belfast ruled that the law breached the European Convention on Human Rights.

The current law on abortion was declared "incompatible" with human rights.

The ruling was appealed by Northern Ireland's Department of Justice and Attorney-General.