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Majority in Northern Ireland oppose extreme new abortion laws

The majority of people in Northern Ireland oppose the Government in Westminster weakening protections for unborn babies in the province.

A poll, weighted to reflect Northern Irish society, has revealed that excluding those who were unsure 57% of people oppose the new abortion regime, with fewer than 43% in favour.

In July, in the absence of a functioning Stormont government, Westminster politicians voted to impose abortion on demand, up to 28-weeks, on Northern Ireland if Stormont’s Executive is not restored by 21 October.

Belfast pollsters LucidTalk asked 1,424 people in the Province if they agreed with the UK Government’s actions.

Opposition to the extreme abortion regime formed a majority among every age category, across both men and women.

In the 18 to 24-year-olds category, 59% were against any change in law, compared to just 41% in favour, making them more opposed to the abortion regime than the general population.

Over three-quarters of DUP supporters (82%), over half of SDLP supporters (66%) and over half of UUP supporters (58%) stated their disapproval of the move. 

The study was commission by Both Lives Matter which said “the public is realising just how bad the law imposed by Westminster is”.

Dawn McAvoy, a spokeswoman for the Both Lives Matter, told the Belfast Telegraph that as 21 October approaches, “the public is realising just how bad the law imposed by Westminster is”.

“The majority of people of Northern Ireland do not want these changes, no Northern Ireland MP voted in favour of the abortion amendment proposing these changes, and the majority of councils in Northern Ireland have now voted against these changes,” she said.

“None of the 20,000 babies born every year in Northern Ireland will be protected in law until they are capable of being born alive. After that, we may be left with the most liberal abortion regime in Europe — the details of which are up to one man — the MP for Skipton and Rippon – who also happens to be the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.”

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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