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Health officials project potential 497% increase in abortions in NI under new abortion regime

Health officials in Northern Ireland project up to 6,500 abortions annually under the new abortion regime, representing a 497% increase in the number of abortions versus numbers before the introduction of the new new abortion regime.

According to information gained from an FOI request by the Centre for Bioethical Reform (CBR), Health Officials in Northern Ireland met in December to discuss how many abortions the region should expect after Westminster voted to impose abortion on the region in July 2019. 

Officials estimate that the region could see up to 6,500 terminations annually. 

According to notes from the meeting: “Service needs to be scaleable [sic] (if service take-up reaches […] England and Wales levels that figure could be 6,500).”

According to figures from 2019, 1,089 abortions were performed on women who claimed residence in Northern Ireland. Most women traveled to England and Wales to have abortions, totalling 1,014, while a few (67) travelled to the Republic of Ireland for the procedures.

If the 6,500 number is accurate, this would mean a 497% increase in abortions for women from Northern Ireland. 

Public consultation

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Health Minister, Robin Swann, has previously told Irish News they have “publicly stated” that its legal advice says that, while the department is “not required to commission the relevant services”, the law now allows registered medical professionals to carry out abortions.

“The regulations require such terminations to be carried out on Health and Social Care premises.” he added.

“Decisions remain to be taken on the commissioning of abortion services in NI’s health service. Commissioning is a significant process that will require a public consultation. It will clearly be [a] matter for the Executive and Assembly as well as the Department.”

‘Extreme abortion regime’

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

“Tragically, the extreme abortion regime being forced upon the people of Northern Ireland has already resulted in the abortion of at least 719 unborn babies.

“The estimate that potentially 6,500 babies will now be terminated annually in the country, an increase of nearly 500%, represents a failure to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies.

“Northern Ireland is a country where 100,000 people are alive today because they chose to protect unborn babies over accepting the same abortion law that was introduced into Britain in 1967.

“The people of Northern Ireland did not want these extreme abortion regulations imposed on them and still do not want them.

“Northern Ireland politicians must urgently repeal this extreme abortion legislation imposed upon them and begin conversations on how they can better support women and unborn babies.”

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:

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

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