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DUP deputy leader clarifies position on commissioning of abortion in Northern Ireland

The new deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Paula Bradley, has clarified her position on the commissioning of abortion services, following an interview broadcast last night.

In the statement released this afternoon, Paula Bradley MLA said: “The issue of abortion is one of the most sensitive for any legislature to deal with and it is vital that everyone approaches it with compassion and care”.

“The DUP is a pro-life party, and our manifesto is clear in the desire to protect both mothers and unborn life. There has been some misrepresentation of the Party’s policy in this area but our stance is clear and has not changed”.

“Abortion legislation and any associated commissioning is a devolved matter. It should be decided upon by the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive rather than at Westminster. The DUP has not called for and will not call for the ‘full commissioning of abortion services”.

Proposals to introduce full commissioning of abortion services and ‘DIY’ home abortion to Northern Ireland

In March this year, the Irish Times reported that Sinn Féin had announced that it would bring forward a paper to the Northern Ireland Executive calling for Health Minister, Robin Swann, to commission full abortion services. The full commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland would include abortion up-to-birth for babies with disabilities, de-facto abortion on demand to 24 weeks and allowing sex-selective abortions on demand through to 12 weeks.

Last week it was reported by the BBC that Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann has also brought forward a paper on the commissioning of abortion services to the Executive. This included a ‘short-term’ option of introducing a telemedicine abortion service which would introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions to the region.

The DUP has blocked any papers from discussion at the Executive, ensuring that these proposals have not been introduced to Northern Ireland.

Paula Bradley interviewed on UTV’s View From Stormont

In an interview broadcast yesterday evening on UTV’s View From Stormont, the DUP’s new deputy leader, Paula Bradley, was asked about her position on abortion.

In the interview, Paula Bradley said: “Do I agree with abortion at full-term? Absolutely, I don’t. Do I agree that if a baby is less than perfect that they should be aborted? No, I don’t”.

Paula Bradley then appeared to contradict herself.

The presenter asked: “Do you believe then that the DUP should allow the paper on abortion services to go ahead? Because that is a legal right for women here in Northern Ireland, and they are not availing of it”.

Paula Bradley replied: “I think we do need to discuss this. I think it needs to be brought forward. We can’t run away from it. We can’t shy away from it. That discussion does need to take place because there are women there that are having to travel, that are being put under an awful lot more pressure because of decisions they have to make – the most difficult decisions in their life”.

Sinn Féin made it clear that its proposed paper called for the Health Minister, Robin Swann, to commission full abortion services, which would include the full commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland. This would include abortion up-to-birth for babies with disabilities, de-facto abortion on demand to 24 weeks and allowing sex-selective abortions. 

Similarly, given the early availability of Non-Invasive Pre-Natal Testing, Robin Swann’s proposal of a telemedicine service allowing for abortion on request through to 10 weeks would allow for babies with disabilities to be aborted using the service.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “We welcome the clarification from DUP deputy leader Paula Bradley, on her stance on the commissioning of abortion services”.

“Right To Life UK is a non-party-political organisation. We have consistently called out parties from all sides of the political spectrum when they have brought forward policies that would end the lives of more babies through abortion. Similarly, we applaud policies from any party that seeks to save lives from abortion, no matter which party they are from”.

“The DUP has consistently ensured that proposals to introduce the commissioning of abortion services have been blocked from the Executive. A very large number of pro-lifers in Northern Ireland have consistently voted for DUP candidates in elections because of their strong position opposing abortion. If the DUP were to depart from this position, it is likely that many more lives would be lost to abortion in Northern Ireland”.

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

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Dear reader

Thanks to the support from people like you, last year a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Domestic Abuse Bill with two extreme abortion proposals failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition.

We are currently facing major threats on five separate fronts:

  1. Pro-abortion MP Rupa Huq has brought forward an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to introduce a jail term of up to two years if a pro-lifer offers support or advice to a woman near an abortion clinic. This is a threat to unborn babies and to freedom of speech.
  2. The assisted suicide lobby has brought forward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 May.
  3. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland.
  4. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.
  5. The abortion lobby is expected to make another attempt to change abortion law to allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. 

Fighting both the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies over this period has already made a huge dent in Right To Life UK's limited resources.

To cover this gap and ensure we effectively defeat these proposals during this period, we must raise at least £200,000.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a significant difference.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

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

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