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Abortion amendments brought forward in attempt to hijack Northern Ireland bill

A Government Bill is being hijacked by abortion lobbyists to attempt to introduce extreme abortion legislation to Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, which has been brought forward to delay elections in Stormont while power-sharing talks continue, is likely to have radical abortion amendments added in an effort to undermine devolution and force abortion on Northern Ireland.

Abortion in Northern Ireland is only available in limited circumstances and as such there are around 100,000 people alive today who would otherwise not be, had the Abortion Act 1967 in the rest of Britain, been extended to that region.

Proposed changes to the abortion law in Northern Ireland were debated as recently as 2016 with 59 to 40 voting against any change. Should the abortion amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill be accepted in Westminster, the decisions on abortion laws in Northern Ireland would be taken out of hands of the people of Northern Ireland. 

In England and Wales, two doctors are required to approve a request for an abortion. This is an important safeguard which attempts to ensure that no woman is coerced into having an abortion. If abortion were to be imposed on Northern Ireland via an amendment, there would be no such requirement.

Furthermore, leaving aside the issue of whether or not an abortion amendment goes beyond the scope of the Bill, MPs have argued that such serious social change – as an amendment of this kind would promote – deserves full consideration and appropriate debate.

In 2018, the Republic of Ireland held a referendum on whether or not to change its abortion law, and in England and Wales, debates surrounding the abortion law have run late into the night on more than one occasion. The Bill in Northern Ireland however, is being rushed through all of the Commons stages in just two days allowing no time for substantive debate.

Right To Life UK has created a function to allow the public to quickly and easily email their MP about these abortion amendments to prevent them from coming into effect.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“This is evidently an attempt to subvert the normal democratic processes which have continued to be an obstacle to the abortion lobby.”

“Stormont has consistently rejected abortion and polling has shown that the majority of women in Northern Ireland (66% in general and 70% of 18-34 year olds) do not want abortion law imposed on Northern Ireland from Westminster.

“There are approximately 100,000 people alive today in Northern Ireland because the Abortion Act (1967) does not apply to the region.

“People with disabilities will inevitably lose the most if the abortion lobby are successful in undermining devolution. In 2016, 52 children with Down’s syndrome were born in Northern Ireland and in the same year, one child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales in the same year.”

“It’s really important that as many people as possible contact their MP to urge to speak against any amendment which might force abortion on Northern Ireland.”

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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