Poll shows majority of Sinn Fein and DUP voters reject Conservative Government’s proposed abortion framework for Northern Ireland

A new poll organised by the University of Liverpool and Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council has shown that 58% of Sinn Fein voters and 54% of DUP voters  want their country’s new abortion framework to only allow abortions when the mother’s life is at risk. This is a clear rejection of the extreme proposed abortion framework that the UK Government wants to impose on the people of Northern Ireland.

The polling demonstrates that the Conservative Government has no mandate from the people of Northern Ireland to go further than legally required when introducing Northern Ireland’s abortion framework.

The poll of 2,000 people showed that:

  • 58% of Sinn Fein voters supported abortion being available only where the mother’s life is in danger.
  • 54% of DUP voters supported abortion being available only where the mother’s life is in danger.
  • Only 5% of all voters support introducing abortion through to 24-weeks – which is in-line with what the Conservative Government has proposed introducing to Northern Ireland.

The current Conservative Government are legally required, by the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, to introduce a limited abortion framework in the province.

The Government has launched a consultation on a proposed abortion framework for Northern Ireland which goes far beyond the limited changes strictly necessary for the Government to comply with the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019.

The proposed framework drops many of the current legal safeguards provided by the Abortion Act in England and Wales. The proposals open up abortion provision to any healthcare professional, which could include pharmacists, nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants, art therapists and dieticians. It also drops the requirement that two doctors sign off on an abortion.

The proposal includes virtually no legal limit on the locations on where abortions can take place, potentially allowing for the home use of both abortion pills along with abortion provision in pharmacies, GPs surgeries, school nurse clinics, mobile abortion clinics and ‘telemed’ abortions.

In practice, abortion on demand would be available to either 22 or 24 weeks under mental health grounds. Abortion without certification would be available to either 12 or 14 weeks. This would allow sex-selective abortions to be available on-demand through this period with no specific provision banning sex-selective abortion through 22/24 weeks. 

The proposal would also see abortion for disabilities, including cleft lip, club foot and Down’s syndrome introduced to Northern Ireland, and possibly available right through to birth.

In England and Wales – where abortion is available up until birth if a baby has a disability – people with disabilities are unjustly and disproportionately targeted by abortion legislation.The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

Northern Ireland has a very different approach. Disability-selective abortion for Down’s syndrome is not permitted and there is a culture of welcoming and supporting people with this disability rather than screening them out.

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 the same year, only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales.

This very large discriminatory change was highlighted in a speech by disabled peer Lord Shinkwin in the House of Lords when he was speaking against the proposed changes.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“This polling shows a clear rejection from the people of Northern Ireland for the UK Government’s plans to impose an extreme abortion framework on Northern Ireland.

“Only last month, Sinn Fein and the DUP put aside their differences which allowed the Northern Irish Executive to be restored. This was celebrated across all communities in Northern Ireland, and by the UK Government, as an opportunity for the people of Northern Ireland to get their voice back. 

“One issue which unites the majority of both Sinn Fein and DUP voters is the rejection of the UK Government’s proposed extreme abortion framework. If the devolution settlement of Stormont is to be respected, the cross-community view against this extreme abortion framework must be respected.

“If the UK Government pushes ahead with their extreme abortion framework proposals, they would be undermining the devolution settlement at a time when it is already fragile. 

With Stormont restored, it is vital that the people of Northern Ireland have a say on their country’s new abortion framework through their elected representatives in the Northern Irish Assembly. 

The law sadly requires the UK Government to introduce a new abortion framework in very limited circumstances. Going further than what they are legally bound to do demonstrates a will from the UK Government to impose their abortion-on-demand ideology on Northern Ireland, which would be surprising considering the Conservative Party claims abortion is a matter of conscience. 

To stand up for the devolution settlement; to show that they are listening to the voters of Northern Ireland; to be consistent with their party’s own position; and ultimately to protect the unborn child, I urge the Conservative Government to drop their proposed extreme abortion framework for Northern Ireland, and only implement what that they are legally bound to do.” 

Majority of Americans want new legislation protecting unborn babies, wide-ranging poll reveals

The majority of Americans want to protect unborn babies from abortion after the first three months of pregnancy, a new poll has found. 

The new Marist Poll, shows seven in ten Americans want to protect unborn babies from abortion after the first three months of pregnancy. Nearly half (47%) of respondents who identify as ‘pro-choice’ agreed. 

Additionally, the survey found that almost two-thirds of Americans (65%) say they “are more likely to vote for” candidates who would protect unborn babies from abortion after the first three months of pregnancy. This includes more than four in 10 (44%) people who identify as Democrat voters – despite the party trying to introduce abortion up to birth in some US states. 

A new Gallup poll, released this week, also found a record number of Americans are unhappy with the nation’s abortion laws – a shift mostly caused by growing dissatisfaction among Democrats. 

Additionally, six in ten Americans oppose the use of tax dollars for abortion in the US, while an overwhelming three-quarters of Americans oppose funding overseas abortion. 

The January 2020 poll finds that, by a margin of more than five to one (80% to 14%), Americans say that laws can protect both a mother and her unborn child. 

By more than 10 percentage points (52% to 41%), a majority of Americans, believe that women should be required to have an ultrasound prior to having an abortion.

The results of the polling were released ahead of the 47th annual March for Life in Washington DC, which attracted hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers yesterday. 

Yesterday, President Trump became the first-ever president in history to speak at the march.

The results echoes what we see in the UK where polling, from Savanta ComRes on whether time limits for abortion should be increased showed only 1% of women wanted the abortion time limit to be increased right through to birth. In contrast, 70% of women who favoured a reduction in time limits.

Similarly, to the US, there seems to be a growing dissatisfaction among voters towards candidates more likely to vote for abortion policies. Analysis, conducted by Right To Life UK, shows the current number of pro-life MPs has increased while the pro-abortion lobby has lost a large number of MPs.

Catherine Robinson, a spokesperson for Right To Life UK said: 

“Surveys like these show the limitations and illusion of the ‘pro-choice’ label and how misleading it can be. Polling consistently shows a significant number of people who identify as pro-choice also support a variety of pro-life positions.

“Pro-abortion activists, around the world, often conflate the pro-choice label to claim support for a whole host of extreme abortion measures that in reality very few people want to see. We see this in the UK with Marie Stopes International, BPAS and other activist groups aiming to hoodwink the general public and lawmakers in their push for more extreme abortion laws. 

“However, in the UK, over 70% of women want the abortion limit to be reduced to 20 weeks or lower. Only 1% of the population want abortion to be available up to birth.”

Thousands march for life in the Netherlands following poll showing youth now most pro-life generation

Over 11,000 people joined the Netherlands ‘March For Life’ 2019 to proclaim the right to life of unborn babies and highlight the suffering that abortion brings.

Campaigners marched in silence through the city of Utrecht carrying signs that said: “we stand up for the rights of the unborn child,” “we love them both” and “I am the pro-life generation”

The organisers of the event, noted that a “striking” number of young people were in attendance.

The Leader of the Reformed Political Party, Kees Van der Staaij, also noted the young crowd, saying: “more and more younger people say that it has gone too far how that is arranged in the Netherlands”. He added: “There is change in the air”.

Gert Jan Maarten Segers, a member of the Christian Union Party, said: “It is 2019, not 1970. Young people think more critically about abortion and are open to arguments. How encouraging is that!”

Researchers at Tilburg University found that Dutch people in their 20s and 30s are more likely to be pro-life than those who are older than them.

The study, due to be published in the journal Mens en Maatschappij, is based on data from a European study that has been ongoing for almost 40 years. Over 7,000 Dutch people are part of the research project, answering questions on issues such as abortion and euthanasia.

The difference between younger and older generations is only getting bigger, the Tilburg researchers say.

This is an emerging trend across Europe and around the world.

UK polling, conducted in London earlier this year, shows that 18-34-year-olds were also more likely to be pro-life than those older than them.

Gallup’s annual public opinion poll on abortion revealed younger generations were more likely to call for Roe v. Wade’s overturn than older survey respondents.

The Director of Netherlands’ March for Life, Kees van Helden believes it is important to have the freedom to offer support to women outside abortion clinics. He told the young March for Life audience: “At the clinics we still find women who cancel their abortions at the entrance to the clinic every week. As long as we stand there and people abort the abortion, that means that there is something structurally wrong… So something really needs to change.”

He revealed the pro-life organisation are busier than ever assisting women with unplanned pregnancies. In 2014, they had 100 requests for help, but last year received over 520 requests.

Over 30,000 abortions take place in the Netherlands each year.

(Image credit: Schreeuw om Leven)

52 years of abortion in the UK: 9,335,879 lives lost since 1967 — one unborn baby every 3 minutes

Sunday marked the 52nd anniversary of the Abortion Act receiving royal assent. Since the passing of the Act, a staggering 9,335,879* unborn babies have lost their lives to abortion — one death every three minutes; 20 lives ended every hour.

Last year, almost 1 in 4 (23.8%) of all pregnancies in England and Wales ended in abortion. The figure represents an increase from 2012 where approximately 1 in 5 (20.7%) of pregnancies ending in abortion.

Compared with 1969 – the first year with complete figures for a total number of abortions – where there were 54,819 abortions, there has been a 270% increase in the proportion of the total number of pregnancies ending in abortion in England and Wales.

Disabled unjustly targeted

In England and Wales, people with disabilities have been unjustly and disproportionately targeted by abortion legislation.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted and that 3,269 disability-selective abortions took place in 2018. 

There is also evidence of sex-selective abortions taking place in the UK. 

Lucrative industry

Since the passing of the Act, what was once a crime has become a lucrative industry. Abortion provider Marie Stopes International’s chief executive earned £434,500 last year, according to the latest accounts released by Companies House.

The accounts also show the abortion provider had a record income of £296.8 million, receiving over £48 million in 2018 from the Department for International Development (DfID), who remain their single largest donor.

The amount that Mr Cooke was paid in 2018 would put him in the top-10 highest earners in the charity sector. 38 of MSI’s employees were paid more than £100,000. BPAS, the UK’s largest abortion provider, paid 7 of its staff over £100,000 in 2017

The Department for International Development (DfID) has increased the UK Government’s financial contributions to Marie Stopes International for overseas abortions by over 5000% in the last 12 years. The figure rose from £905,000 in 2006 to £48,173,000 in 2018. 

Financial statements for the company found in Companies House reveal that since 2006 DfID has given over £300 million worth of taxpayers’ money to Marie Stopes International, with over three-quarters of that total given between 2014 and 2018. 

Majority want safeguards for unborn babies

Opinion polls repeatedly show that the public wants increased protections for unborn babies and the number of abortions reduced – rather than the wholesale removal of legal safeguards around abortion.

Only 1% of the UK population want abortion to be available up to birth and over 70% of women want the abortion limit to be reduced to 20 weeks or lower.

Polling from earlier this year revealed that over 41% of Londoners believe abortion should be illegal in almost all circumstances.

Polling also revealed that two-thirds of women and 70% of 18-34-year-olds in Northern Ireland did not want Europe’s most extreme abortion law imposed on the province by Westminster. 

The change in law will not only likely increase the number of abortions that take place in the UK, but will allow terminations to take place for any reason, up to 28 weeks, legalising sex-selective and disability-selective abortion – including abortion for Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

In Northern Ireland, there are an estimated 100,000 people who are alive today because of laws protecting unborn babies.

Spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: 

“The UK’s abortion law is failing both women and unborn babies. Over 9,000,000 lives have been lost since the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act, each one a valuable human being who was denied the right to life.

“We are always looking at how we can save more lives by ensuring that protections for unborn babies are introduced and safeguards are strengthened to protect both mothers and babies.”

* This figure is a projection for England, Wales and Scotland through to midnight on 26/10/19 and has been calculated based on the following assumptions

  • The same number of abortions will take place in 2019 in England, Wales and Scotland as  2018. 
  • The rate of abortions throughout the year is evenly distributed.