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4 out of 5 Tory leadership hopefuls support devolution and not imposing abortion on Northern Ireland

None of the five candidates who are standing to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom have said they are in favour of directly undermining devolution and forcing abortion on the people of Northern Ireland.

There are strong pro-life protections in Northern Ireland where abortion remains a devolved issue. This means that the 1967 Abortion Act does not apply and there are 100,000 people alive today because of this. None of the leadership candidates have given any indication that they are in favour of directly undermining devolution in this area.

This is a position supported by 72% of Conservative MPs and the majority of women in Northern Ireland.

The Conservative leadership hopefuls were asked whether they would impose abortion on Northern Ireland from Westminster. Here’s what each candidate said:

Boris Johnson – did not respond to a request for comment.

Rory Stewart –  A spokesperson said the “fundamental point is that Rory is passionately committed to women’s right to choose” but he “also believes that ideally devolved issues should be settled by devolved administrations.”

Michael Gove – a campaign source said: Michael’s preference is that we should have the same laws on such issues across the whole of the UK, but under the devolution settlement, changes in laws affecting Northern Ireland should be a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive.”

Sajid Javid – A source close to the minister said: “Saj recognises this is a devolved matter and we have to respect that.”

Jeremy Hunt – a spokesperson said:“This is a devolved issue and is yet another reason why we must get Stormont up and running again. Jeremy would support any changes locally accountable politicians wished to implement.”

Jeremy Hunt has made clear however that he would be supportive of a law to reduce the abortion limit from 24 weeks to 12 weeks.

Clare McCarthy of Right To Life UK said: “It is very good news that almost all of the Tory leadership hopefuls intend to respect devolution and would not impose abortion on Northern Ireland from Westminster.”

“Abortion is a devolved issue and it is not for Westminster to force extreme abortion laws onto the region. The most recent vote on this in 2016, showed that a clear majority of the Northern Ireland Assembly, upheld the law on abortion as it currently stands.

“There are 100,000 people alive in Northern Ireland today because Northern Ireland did not adopt Britain’s abortion law when it was introduced. Laws do make a difference.”

To see a full record of how all the leadership hopefuls have voted on abortion click here.

(Photo credit Adobe Stock:Pineapples)

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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