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Parliament update and find out your MP voted on the Johnson abortion Bill

Thank you to everyone who wrote to a peer ahead of the debate in the Lords on Tuesday evening.

The debate went well into the evening on Tuesday. The amendment brought forward by Lord Adonis was debated during Committee Stage at around 10:30pm. This amendment would have severely worsened the impact in Northern Ireland of the Stella Creasy amendment that was introduced in the Commons.

THE GOOD NEWS

A number of peers gave excellent speeches in opposition to the amendment and at the end of the debate, Lord Adonis announced that he would withdraw his amendment and it would not be voted on!

One of the stand-out speeches from the evening was from Lord Shinkwin, who was born with brittle bone syndrome. He gave a courageous speech outlining the big impact that disability selective abortion would have on Northern Ireland if Stella Creasy and colleagues had their way and a change to the law was made from Westminster. This change would introduce abortion for disability right through to 28-weeks gestation. Currently, abortion for disability is illegal in Northern Ireland. You can see a video of Lord Shinkwin’s full speech by clicking here, it is well worth sharing with friends and family.

Thank you again for your work with emailing peers this week, we are obviously very pleased that this amendment was not successful.

THE BAD NEWS

Unfortunately, Stella Creasy’s amendment to the Bill has stayed. Although this amendment does not change abortion law, it will mean that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will have to provide guidance to civil servants. The Minister will also be required to produce quarterly reports to Parliament on the supposed ‘incompatibility’ between human rights law and law on abortion in Northern Ireland.

This puts more pressure on the Government in Westminster to intervene and change abortion law in Northern Ireland.

FIND OUR HOW YOUR MP VOTED ON THE JOHNSON BILL

Today we have launched a useful little function on our website that will allow you to see how your MP voted on Diana Johnson’s Ten Minute Rule Bill last week. You can access this by clicking the button below.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW YOUR MP VOTED

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:

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