The Conservative Government appears to have abandoned its neutral policy in regard to abortion as it promotes legislation which would force abortion on Northern Ireland.
For various legislative reasons, an abortion amendment added to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill will not function as intended and would not implement abortion in Northern Ireland.
However, the Government has since made clear that it is working to redraft the abortion clause so that the Bill will force abortion onto Northern Ireland.
On behalf of the Government, Lord Ian Duncan said: “I have just met [the MPs who proposed the amendments] to discuss how best to take this forward and to ensure that [the amendments] can be delivered.”
Commentators have reported that the outgoing Prime Minister, Theresa May, is concerned to leave a strong legacy. Currently, it looks like she will head the first Conservative Government, not only to actively change abortion legislation but to do so against the expressed will of 100% of MPs representing Northern Ireland, all of whom voted against the abortion amendment.
Whilst the original amendment to force abortion on Northern Ireland came from Stella Creasy MP and a number of other MPs, the Conservative Government have since committed to redrafting the amendment. Should it succeed, they will be directly responsible for the imposition on abortion on Northern Ireland.
Due to the pro-life laws in Northern Ireland 100,000 people are alive today who would otherwise not be. The Government are now actively attempting to remove those legal protections that protected the lives of these people.
Clare McCarthy from Right To Life UK said:
“Polling shows that two-thirds of Tory councillors oppose Westminster forcing abortion on Northern Ireland, which likely reflects the sentiment of grassroots Conservative voters.”
“It is truly disappointing that this Conservative Government look set to be the first, not only to change abortion legislation, but to break the devolution settlement and impose it on a region that does not want it.”
“As Lord Shinkwin said last night, Theresa May will leave a “burning injustice” as her legacy if she continues to support forcing abortion on Northern Ireland.”