The DUP is seeking to amend Northern Ireland's abortion laws in order to prevent terminations being carried out in cases of non-fatal disabilities.

The Private Members' Bill is proposed by DUP Lagan Valley Paul Givan and may be discussed in the Assembly later this month.

While Stormont was closed the British government moved to introduced abortion legislation for Northern Ireland.

Those provisions set that that there is no time limit for terminations where there is "a substantial risk" that a foetus would suffer a severe mental or physical impairment.

Some campaigners have argued that the law allows abortions without a time limit for conditions such as Down's syndrome.  

Paul Givan said his amendment would seek to overturn this element of the legislation.

Since power-sharing was restored earlier this year, Northern Ireland's Health Minister has not brought the Westminster-created legislation through the Stormont decision-making procedures.

Some Health Trusts are providing interim services and Department of Health statistics suggest that since 31 March 2020, it has received 1,091 notifications of terminated pregnancies.

It is far from clear how the proposal of Mr Givan, might fare if put to a vote in the 90 member Assembly.

In one respect, if successful it would bring Northern Ireland's provisions closer to the legislation in the south. But it is likely that a number of amendments might be proposed at Assembly debate stage.

A Sinn Féin sub-group with members from both sides of the border is to study the DUP amendment.

The SDLP will also take time to consider the proposal and its leader, Colum Eastwood, said it is party policy to allow Assembly members a free vote on the issue.

It was in July 2019 that Westminster MP's voted to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland and to create new laws.

At the time Stormont was closed, during what became a three-year stand-off between the main parties.  

In the absence of a power-sharing Executive, the Northern Ireland Office took responsibility for drafting the framework for abortion services and the provisions took effect on 31 March this year.

The legislation made terminations legal in all circumstances within the first 12 years of pregnancy.  A 24 week limit applies in situations where continuing a pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the woman's physical or mental health.  

There is no time limit in cases of fatal foetal abnormality where there is a substantial risk that the foetus would die or, if born, would suffer a severe mental or physical impairment.