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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.”

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.