In response to a petition in opposition to the imposition of abortion on Northern Ireland, the Government in Westminister has conceded that abortion remains “within the competence of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive” but they’re intent on forcing abortion on Northern Ireland anyway.
The Government’s affirmation of the sovereignty of the Northern Ireland Assembly in making decisions on this matter has been greatly undermined by the Parliamentary vote in July to force abortion on the region.
Unless Stormont reconvenes by the 21st October, the legislation will come into effect in Northern Ireland immediately. It will permit abortion up to 28 weeks for any reason, including abortion on the grounds of the sex of the baby. In fact, the new law removes all regulations and safeguards on abortion throughout the first 7 months of pregnancy. In which case, abortions could be performed in almost any setting and on children without the knowledge or consent of their parents.
The Government response to the petition came just a few days before an MP in the House of Commons demanded that the people of Northern Ireland not be consulted in regard to the implementation of new extreme abortion law.
As part of their response to the petition, the Government has said that its “preference therefore remains that any change to law on abortion… is taken forward by a restored Executive and functioning Assembly.”
In a debate earlier this week however, MPs from Northern Ireland pointed out that the Government’s response is a “non-solution”.
Sammy Wilson MP said:
“[The Government] cannot run away and hide behind the statement, “It is up to the parties in Northern Ireland,” as one party that is essential to the setting up of the Administration [Sinn Féin]… have been driving the pro-abortion agenda in Northern Ireland…”
“[The Government] knows that as long as [Sinn Féin] remain in a position where they veto the formation of an Assembly, the solution that [the Government] says is in the hands of the people of Northern Ireland is not a solution at all.”
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said:
“The Government response to this petition which gathered almost 15,000 signatures, as well as statements in Parliament, shows the low regard Westminster has for the sovereignty of Northern Ireland Assembly in this regard.”
“In fact, from early July when this debate was fast-tracked through Parliament, the will of the people of Northern Ireland has been consistently ignored and disregarded. The majority of women in Northern Ireland (66% in general and 70% of 18-34 year olds) do not want abortion law imposed on the region from Westminster. There are also 100,000 people alive today who would otherwise not be, had the Abortion Act 1967 in the rest of Britain, been extended to Northern Ireland.”