The Scottish Parliament is expected to be given control over abortion law, the UK Government has announced.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said there was no “convincing constitutional reason” for why the law should not be devolved to Holyrood in the Scotland Bill, which is currently being debated by the UK Parliament.
The Smith Commission report on further devolution last year recommended that serious consideration should be given to its transfer to Edinburgh.
Mr Mundell today told the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster that an amendment would be made to the Scotland Bill to bring forward the move.
He said: “Holyrood already has responsibility for dealing with end of life issues. It has responsibility for the NHS and for criminal justice in Scotland.
“I do not see a convincing constitutional reason for why abortion law should not be devolved and that is what has led me to this decision.
“What will follow is proper engagement with interested parties as we take this matter forward.”
There has been ongoing discussions between the UK and Scottish governments on the issue.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs last month that the Scottish Government has no plans to change the law but believed it should be devolved to “bring it into line with almost all other health matters”.
Mr Mundell confirmed that he had spoken to Deputy First Minister John Swinney today to inform him of the decision.