House of Lords votes to force abortion on Northern Ireland

The House of Lords has voted to undermine the sovereignty of Northern Ireland and force abortion on the region later this year.

In a vote last night (17/07), members of the House of Lords voted 182 – 37 in favour of Baroness Barker’s amendment to repeal sections 58 and 59 of the Offence Against the Person Act (1861) (OAPA) for Northern Ireland, which would likely make abortion available up until 28 weeks gestation.

This comes just less than two weeks after an abortion amendment added to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill was passed in the House of Commons. Since then, the Bill has been fast-tracked through both Houses of Parliament and set to come a final time before the House of Commons today.

There was some debate about the effects of repealing these sections of OAPA, and it remains unclear whether abortion will be available until 24 or 28 weeks in Northern Ireland.

Baroness O’Loan pointed out that due to the Infant Life Preservation Act (1929), which is not affected by this amendment, abortion would be made available up to 28 weeks.

There is a possibility that the Northern Ireland Assembly will reject these changes imposed on it by Westminster, but the Assembly has not sat since 2017.

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life UK said:

“The people of Northern Ireland have thirteen weeks to stop the introduction of one of the worlds most extreme abortion regimes to the province.

“Many thousands of people in Northern Ireland are deeply angered and distressed by this action by the Westminster Parliament. The manner in which MPs from Westminster have attempted to impose abortion on a people that do not want it, and who they do not represent, is grossly disrespectful and unconstitutional. 

“This horrific abortion law can be stopped. It is up to the people of Northern Ireland to ensure that Stormont reconvenes in order to protect the thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost if this extreme abortion law came into effect. 

Over just a couple of days, 19,000 people from Northern Ireland signed a letter that was delivered to Theresa May yesterday, asking her to intervene and not to allow abortion to be forced on Northern Ireland. It is the voices of those 19,000 Northern Irish people who need to be listened to now, by their own politicians, and in their own Government in Northern Ireland.  

It’s those 19,000 people, organisations and wider Northern Irish society that now need to come together as soon as possible to build a movement to ensure that Stormont is reconvened.”

Abortion amendment added to government Bill could introduce abortion until 28 weeks in Northern Ireland

A last-minute amendment, added to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, which would see abortion being forced on Northern Ireland up to 28 weeks gestation, is being debated today (17/07).

Baroness Barker has brought forward a series of amendments to this Bill, which, if passed, will implement an extreme abortion law in Northern Irelandm making abortion available up to 28 weeks. This is more extreme than the law in the rest of the UK which has legal abortion up until 24 weeks and the Republic of Ireland which allows abortion up until 12 weeks gestation.

In an on-going saga in the Houses of Parliament, a Bill designed to extend the period for the formation of an Executive, has been hijacked by pro-abortion politicians to force abortion on Northern Ireland.

The original amendments, brought forward by pro-abortion MP Stella Creasy and widely thought to be outside the scope of the Bill, were only introduced and made known less than  an hour before they were debated.

In spite of the fact that abortion remains a devolved issue in Northern Ireland, and the fact that every single MP representing Northern Ireland in Westminster voted against this amendment, 332 MPs in Westminister – who don’t represent Northern Ireland – voted to force abortion on Northern Ireland.

However, for technical legislative reasons, Creasy’s amendment to the Bill would have been unable to function as intended and therefore, would not have been able to introduce abortion into Northern Ireland.

Now pro-abortion campaigner Baroness Elizabeth Barker and colleagues have brought forward a series of amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill in the Lords which would make Stella Creasy’s abortion amendments from the Commons far worse.

Not only would it force abortion on Northern Ireland, it would not allow the Northern Ireland Assembly to have any say on the matter.

Baroness Barker’s amendments propose to remove sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act (1861). This would remove legal protections for the unborn child in Northern Ireland, and abortion would be legal up until 28 weeks under the Infant Life Preservation Act/Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Act (1929).

Right To Life UK have set up a function so that you can email a member of the Lords, urging them to vote against these amendments

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life UK said:

“If you can, it is vitally important that you email a member of the House of Lords. If this amendment is not defeated, abortion legislation could be imposed on a region which does not want it. Lives are at stake.”

“There are 100,000 people alive today because Northern Ireland rejected the 1967 Abortion Act, but the Houses of Parliament in Westminster apparently do not care about that at all.”