Find out how your MP voted on the extreme abortion vote

As you may have heard, the abortion amendment (NC10) that was brought forward to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill was passed by 332 – 99.

If the amendment is successful in forcing the UK Government to remove sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against The Person Act, this would introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to 28 weeks to Northern Ireland.

This could also have repercussions for the operation of sections 58 and 59 in England and Wales, possibly resulting in widespread changes to abortion legislation in these parts of the UK, removing almost all legal safeguards around abortion.

You can see how your MP voted by using the function we have set-up on our website by clicking the button below.

You will also have the option of sending a short letter to your MP to thank them if they voted the right way and to let them know your disappointment if they voted the wrong way. Giving this feedback to your MP is very important as it could impact how they vote on abortion in the future. 

BBC calls abortion amendment ‘exciting titbit’

The BBC have revealed a deep pro-abortion bias by referring to controversial amendments, including an amendment attempting to introduce abortion to Northern Ireland, as “exciting titbits” (a phrase which has since been removed).

In the build-up to yesterday’s debate on the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, the BBC drew attention to three amendments which were the subject of much debate. After explaining that it is the Speaker of the House who has the authority to decide which amendments are accepted, the BBC article said

“But, if chosen, there are three exciting titbits that could make this bill more than just a straightforward government measure.” [emphasis added]

One of the “exciting titbits” to which the BBC refer was an amendment concerning abortion in Northern Ireland.

For reasons unknown, the BBC has subsequently changed this sentence to say:

“But, if chosen, there are three amendments that could make this bill more than just a straightforward government measure.”

Right To Life UK’s Clare McCarthy said: “The pro-abortion bias of the BBC is on clear display in this statement and its hurried revision. The national broadcaster has a duty to remain neutral in its dissemination of news, and this kind of statement speaks volumes about their attitude to abortion.”

“Referring to a radical abortion amendment is an ‘exciting titbit’ trivialises an immensely important issue with far-reaching consequences not only for mothers and their unborn babies in Northern Ireland but also potentially for the rest of the UK.”

“This ‘exciting titbit’ also threatens to undermine devolution, makes a mockery of parliamentary process, and the language stands in stark contrast to the BBC’s own style-guide which says ‘[a]bortion is a very painful topic’ and is ‘one of the most polarising moral issues’.

UK Parliament abortion fight now moves onto the Lords

MPs voted 332 – 99 in favour of undermining the sovereignty of Northern Ireland by voting for an amendment which has the potential to lead to widespread changes to abortion legislation in Northern Ireland and possibly also England and Wales.

Yesterday evening (Tuesday 08/07), several abortion related amendments were chosen to be debated in relation to a Bill intended to extend the period for the formation of an Executive in Northern Ireland. A number of MPs were deeply critical of the fact that these amendments were accepted by the Chair of the debate, Dame Eleanor Laing MP. The abortion amendments were not related to the substance of the Bill at all and so, it was argued, were “out of scope” of the Bill.

Ian Paisley MP said during the debate: “This Bill is called the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, yet the debate has been pretty thin on how an Executive could be formed again in Northern Ireland. In fact, we have had a debate about every other ​issue under the sun except what we are supposed to be debating.”

In addition to the abortion amendments being criticised for being beyond the scope of the Bill, MPs were keen to point out that the supposed ‘right to abortion’ to which those advocating for abortion in Northern Ireland appealed, does not, in fact, exist: as Mr Paisley said “there is no right to abortion in any international treaties.”

Abortion remains a devolved issue in Northern Ireland and pro-abortion MP, Maria Miller, made clear that she could not support these amendments because of their potentially wide-reaching effects on the whole of the UK and the devolution settlement in Northern Ireland. The DUP’s Westminster leader, Nigel Dodds MP, added that the amendments would “drive a coach and horses through the principle of devolution”.

In an unusual move, the Scottish National Party, which makes a point of abstaining in devolved matters (having their own devolved powers, they respect the devolved powers of other regions in the United Kingdom) abandoned its own principles and allowed a vote for its members on these amendments.

Having passed through the Committee stage with the abortion amendment accepted, the Bill will now proceed to the House of Lords in the coming days with the second reading this afternoon (10/07) and concluding with the Report stage on Wednesday (17/07).

Even if the Bill proceeds through all stages with the abortion amendment intact, the Bill contains a clause which means that should the Northern Ireland Assembly in Stormont return by 21 October 2019, the amendment will not have any effect and any changes to abortion law in Northern Ireland, England and Wales will not go ahead.