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Action Alert: Oppose Diana Johnson MP’s Extremist Abortion Bill

On the 13th of March, Diana Johnson MP will be proposing her Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Ten Minute Rule Bill. This used to be called the ‘Abortion (Decriminalisation) Bill’, and would seek to introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, and even potentially up to birth.

‘Decriminalisation’ means the removal of an activity from criminal law, and this shows what the Johnson Bill would seek to cause: the removal of most if not all right-to-life protections for unborn children.

Currently, abortion is illegal, unless it is allowed under specific exemptions granted by the Abortion Act 1967. Two earlier Acts, the Offences Against The Person Act 1861, and the Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929, created legal penalties for people causing the death of a baby either through miscarriage, or through direct ‘Child Destruction’.

The Johnson Bill would seek to repeal the provisions of one or both of these Acts. If such a Bill were to be passed, this would allow abortion to happen under any circumstances and for any reason without legal sanction, including sex-selective abortion, potentially even into the third trimester when the baby can be born alive.

If the provisions of the 1861 Act were repealed, abortion would be freely legal up to 28 weeks, and if the 1929 Act were repealed as well, it would be legal up to birth.

This would make the UK join a small handful of countries with such extreme legislation including China, Vietnam, and Canada. Illustrating what happens when you allow abortion for any reason, the Canadian Medical Association Journal have described the situation in their country as “a haven for parents who would terminate female fetuses in favour of having sons”.

All this is proposed despite the fact that 2012 polling shows that only 2% of women want the upper limit for abortion raised, whereas 59% want to see it lowered. Meanwhile, 2014 polling tells us that 86% to 88% of women oppose the legality of sex-selective abortion.

For more reasons against decriminalisation, see the excellent piece by Georgia Clarke of Oxford Students for Life last year on the RTL website.

The backers of the Bill, abortion provider BPAS, have made it explicit that they are campaigning for removal of all gestational time limits for abortion. At the launch of the campaign, BPAS CEO Ann Furedi emphasised this, saying ‘I want to be very, very clear and blunt… there should be no legal upper limit’.

It is absolutely imperative that everyone who cares about the humanity and dignity of unborn children contact their MP, asking them to attend the debate in the Commons on the 13th of March, and to vote against this extreme Bill. To do so by e-mail, go to the e-mail facility on the website of the ‘Not In Our Name’ campaign.

Please act now to defend the right to life of the most vulnerable members of our society: unborn children.

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:

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