More than 600 medical abortions have been carried out in Northern Ireland since the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on the province.
In total, 664 terminations have taken place since March 31 according to official figures seen by The Belfast Telegraph.
Last year, in the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly, politicians in Westminster’s House of Commons and House of Lords voted to force radical abortion legislation on the province.
The new regime allows abortion up to the point of birth for all disabilities, including cleft lip, club foot and Down’s syndrome.
Abortion is available de-facto on demand through to 24-weeks and available on-demand, without conditionality up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, for the first time in the UK, allowing for sex-selective abortion to be available on-demand.
Push for ‘DIY’ home abortions
Abortion activists are hoping to push the already extreme legislation further and want ‘DIY’ home abortions to be commissioned across the province, despite serious safety concerns across Great Britain following the death of two women and the potential murder of a baby unexpectedly born alive.
Turning a blind eye to the serious safety concerns, Belfast Alliance for Choice co-convenor Emma Campbell said that travelling to a hospital or healthcare centre was “unnecessary” and complained that Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK and Ireland not to have officially commissioned ‘DIY’ home abortion services.
Despite assurances there would be “no change” to abortion regulations and that in-person consultations remain “an essential safeguard” for women, the UK Government announced on 30 March it would temporarily allow ‘DIY’ home abortions, for the next two years or until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
All three Governments made the very substantial change without any public consultation, parliamentary scrutiny or debate.
The Northern Ireland Assembly, which had reconvened by this point, did not commission ‘DIY’ home abortions, despite pressure from abortion providers BPAS and Marie Stopes International – with the former launching an illegal at-home medical abortion ‘service’ in the province.
A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Health Minister, Robin Swann, told Irish News they have “publicly stated” that its legal advice says while the department is “not required to commission the relevant services”, the law now allows registered medical professionals to carry out abortions.
“The regulations require such terminations to be carried out on Health and Social Care premises. This advice was communicated to Trusts in April,” he added.
“Decisions remain to be taken on the commissioning of abortion services in NI’s health service. Commissioning is a significant process that will require a public consultation. It will clearly be [a] matter for the Executive and Assembly as well as the Department.”
A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:
“Tragically, the extreme abortion regime being forced upon the people of Northern Ireland has already resulted in the abortion of at least 664 unborn babies.
“Every one of these abortions represents a failure to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies.
“Northern Ireland is a country where 100,000 people are alive today because they chose to protect unborn babies over accepting the same abortion law that was introduced into Britain in 1967.
“The people of Northern Ireland did not want these extreme abortion regulations imposed on them and still do not want them.
“Northern Ireland politicians should now look at repealing the extreme abortion legislation imposed upon them and begin conversations on how they can better support women and unborn babies.”