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)

Nottingham pro-life student group barred from joining Students’ Union

A pro-life student group at the University of Nottingham have denied affiliation to the Students’ Union on the grounds of their pro-life stance.

In an increasingly long list of instances of discrimination against pro-life groups at British universities, Nottingham Students For Life (NSFL) has found itself unable to be recognised as a society by the Nottingham Student Societies Council on the grounds of the Student’s Union’s own pro-abortion policies.

Being denied recognition as a student society limits what the pro-life group can do on the university campus in terms of; booking rooms for events and being entitled to funding from the university to attend conferences and run events.

Speaking with Right To Life UK, NSFL president, Julia Rynkiewicz informed us that the pro-life group was denied affiliation on the grounds that it conflicted with the Students’ Unions’ support increasing abortion access in both the Republic and Northern Ireland.

The Student Society Council were also apparently concerned about protecting students from harassment, although the pro-life group made clear that that was not their intention.

The NSFL president explained that the group was formed to encourage debate and discussion or pro-life issues and to advocate for pregnant women on campus by ensuring they have options other than abortion available to them.

Some members of the Student Society Council, who are supposed to assess the fitness of any particular group in becoming a recognised society, are understood to have directly protested against Nottingham Students for Life, raising questions about their impartiality in this regard.

Julia Rynkiewicz, president of NSFL said:

“The Students’ Union are meant to reflect the diversity of our student body. However, in advancing their own extreme abortion agenda and rejecting any sort of pro-life opposition, they are going against their own policies.”

“The fact that the pro-life view is a minority one on campus should not take away our right to exist as a society at the university. We do not hate, harass, judge or condemn anyone. We want every woman to be able to choose life”

Nottingham Students For Life will appeal the decision.

Pain relief for unborn babies undergoing surgery but none for babies in a late term abortion

(Photo credit - Adobe Stock:Africa Studio)

Babies undergoing spinal surgery in the womb between 20 and 26 weeks gestation are routinely given pain relief prior to their operation. However, babies whose lives are ended by abortion after 20 weeks are given no pain relief.

At the same time as there have been developments in in-utero surgery to treat babies with spina bifida, there were also 3,602 abortions which took place after 20 weeks gestation in 2018 in England and Wales.

The Department of State for Health and Social Care now admit that while foetuses are given painkillers prior to their surgery – which takes place between 20 and 26 weeks gestation – foetuses at the same gestational age or older whose lives are ended by an abortion do not receive any pain relief.

This inconsistency came to light earlier this year when Sir Edward Leigh MP asked whether painkillers would be administered to babies undergoing spinal surgery in the womb. In response, Jackie Doyle-Price MP said:

“Pain relief for the unborn baby will be delivered intra-operatively. This is administered before the fetal surgery, after the uterus is opened… The surgery takes place between 20 and 26 weeks of gestation.”

This pain relief is administered on the assumption that the baby can feel pain, but babies at the same gestational age are not being given pain relief if their life is being ended in an abortion.

In an abortion after 22 weeks – a point at which children are known to have survived outside of the womb – potassium chloride is injected in the foetal heart. This is the same chemical used to execute inmates in the US (although in these cases painkillers are always given first).

Human Rights Watch describes potassium chloride as “excruciatingly painful if administered without proper anaesthesia. When injected into a vein, it inflames the potassium ions in the sensory nerve fibres, literally burning up the veins as it travels to the heart.”

Commenting on this inconsistency, Professor John Wyatt, an ethicist at University College London and a retired consultant neonatologist said:

The fact that death is imminent does not remove our ethical obligation to treat pain, even when we cannot be certain if it is present.

Clare McCarthy of Right To Life UK said:

“On the one hand, we have children who are undergoing spinal surgery in the womb and given painkillers during such a procedure. This is exactly what we would expect for anyone outside of the womb undergoing a serious operation and it is absolutely right that babies in the womb are given this kind of care.”

“On the other hand, babies destined for abortion, at the same gestational age and therefore able to feel pain to the same degree, are not given any pain relief before their lives are ended.”

“There are about 10 abortions after 20 weeks every day in Britain. Every abortion is a tragedy, and the continued refusal to give pain relief to babies destined for abortion adds to that tragedy further.”

(Photo credit – Adobe Stock:Africa Studio)

Mother beaten and tortured by her boyfriend in attempted forced abortion

Three people forced laundry detergent into a pregnant teenager’s mouth as they tried to make her have a miscarriage, a court has heard. The teenager’s boyfriend, Harief Pearson, 22, orchestrated the attack “because he did not want to be a father”.

Prior to his attempt to end the life his unborn child, Pearson had searched “how to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy” and “what can heroin do to an unborn baby” on his phone.

As his two accomplices punched, stamped and kicked the girl on her stomach, back and chest, then ripped off one of her nails and poured alcohol over her face. He told the pregnant victim “it didn’t have to be like this.”

Fortunately, despite this torture, both the mother and her child survived the attack.

Right To Life UK has previously raised concerns about forced abortions in relation to abortion pills being made available to take at home, because it could make them far more difficult to detect.

Clare McCarthy of Right To Life UK said:

[Making the second abortion pill available to take at home] poses a threat to vulnerable girls who are at risk from sex-trafficking or child-sex abuse, as the ‘home’ abortion could be used by their abusers as a means to more easily cover up trafficking or abuse scandals.

In 2018, the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, made it possible to take the 2nd pill used in a medical abortion (misoprostol) at home. In this case, it was the especially violent nature of  Pearson’s attack his girlfriend that made his crime so clear.

However, the use of the abortion pill at home without any supervision, could make forced abortions far more difficult to detect.

(Photo credit: CPS)