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Northern Ireland’s children’s commissioner calls for abortion to be compulsory school curriculum

Northern Ireland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People has called for abortion to be promoted to adolescents in Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) lessons, it has emerged.

Koulla Yiasouma has told the Northern Ireland Office that “access to abortion” should be taught as a “compulsory component” of the school curriculum.

Her comments were made in response to a consultation on the UK Government’s extreme abortion framework for Northern Ireland.

Currently, the content of the Relationship and Sexuality Education curriculum in Northern Ireland is advisory and children and parents can opt-out.

However, the children’s Commissioner has said she looks forward to seeing proposals become a compulsory part of Northern Ireland’s school curriculum.

Extreme abortion law imposed on Northern Ireland

In June, Westminster voted in favour of motions approving the Government’s decision to impose an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland.

Despite the Northern Ireland Assembly passing a motion rejecting the regulations, peers in the House of Lords voted to approve the motion by 355 votes to 77. Just two days later, MPs in the House of Commons voted to do the same with 253 votes in favour and 136 against.

Under the new regulations, abortion is allowed up to the point of birth for all disabilities, including cleft lip, club foot and Down’s syndrome.

The regulations also introduce de-facto abortion on demand through to 24-weeks and allow sex-selective abortion through 12-weeks.

‘Deeply troubling

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: “The role of a children’s commissioner is to protect the rights of children and young people. Yet, in wanting to promote abortion to adolescents, the children’s commissioner is failing to recognise and protect the unborn child’s right to life. The commissioner is also attempting to run roughshod over the rights of parents to decide when to have an age appropriate conversation about the issue of abortion with their children rather than this being forced on their children by the state as a compulsory part of the curriculum in schools.”

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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