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Activists plan legal action against NI DOH for not rolling out abortion service during Coronavirus crisis

Pro-abortion group Alliance for Choice is considering legal action against the Northern Ireland Department of Health because five of the health trusts it governs are not offering abortion services.

The Northern Ireland Department of Health is currently facing the largest public health crisis in a generation and have ensured their focus is on saving lives from Coronavirus. 

Services such as vital cancer screening, leukaemia treatment, and occupational therapy for a baby with a heart defect have been put on hold

It also appears that this has meant that they have not had the time and resources to roll out the extreme abortion regime that the UK Government has imposed on Northern Ireland.

The regime, which became lawful on March 31 2020, could cost an estimated £5 million per year with a senior economist warning it would place further “strain” on an “already over-stretched health service”.

Despite this, Naomi Connor, a co-convenor of the pressure group Alliance for Choice, claims that in law abortion is classed as “essential healthcare” and that the health trusts are, therefore, obligated to provide terminations. 

However, while it didn’t address any potential legal challenge directly, the Department of Health told News Letter that “given the significance and sensitivity of the issue, it will be a decision for the Executive.”

Alliance for Choice claims its lawyers are trying to determine whether the Department of Health or the Executive as a whole should be the respondents in any legal case.

It appears, in this time of crisis, some officials in Northern Ireland want to focus on saving lives first and foremost. Meanwhile, abortion activists continue to push for abortion at any cost despite seemingly little backing from those actually living in the country.

The Northern Ireland Office, which drafted the extreme abortion framework, revealed 79% of its over 21,000 respondents to a public consultation had “expressed a view registering their general opposition to any abortion provision in Northern Ireland beyond that which is currently permitted”.

Additionally, a poll has shown that 58% of Sinn Féin voters and 54% of DUP voters want their country’s new abortion framework to only allow abortions when the mother’s life is at risk.

Only 5% of all voters support introducing abortion through to 24 weeks, which is in line with what the Government will be introducing to Northern Ireland.

Pro-life MP Carla Lockhart has said the Government’s decision to impose its abortion regime “ignores the devolution settlement and the overwhelming viewpoint of the Northern Ireland people”.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland MLAs have called for an opportunity to introduce new legislation to repeal the new extreme abortion regime.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: 

“The thousands of pounds that pro-abortion activists plan to spend on trying to force the Northern Ireland Department of Health to prioritise abortion could instead be spent supporting women facing crisis pregnancies.

Just last month it was revealed the Government had spent over £1 million of taxpayer money on flying women to England to have an abortion. The Government funding for abortion is in stark contrast to the lack of help offered to women facing an unplanned pregnancy, leaving pro-life charities to step in and provide help.

What this shows yet again is that the so-called ‘pro-choice’ lobby is really just pro-abortion. The pro-abortion lobby is all about forcing abortion on Northern Ireland at any cost, with absolutely no interest in providing real practical support to Northern Irish women facing crisis pregnancies.”

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.