Heidi Crowter, the 24-year-old disability campaigner, has spoken out (see Belfast Telegraph article here) against the proposal of the British Government to impose on Northern Ireland abortion up till birth in cases of disabilities like Heidi’s own, Down’s syndrome.
Heidi has written to the Party Leaders at Stormont within the last week, asking them to take a lead and do everything they can to oppose abortion on the basis of disability up until birth. She said: “Please do not let a law come into practice which will end lives on the basis of disability and stop people like me coming into the world.”
Now that the Assembly is meeting two days a week, it is vital for MLAs to press their Party Leaders and Chief Whips for time to be set aside for an urgent short debate and vote on a motion that demonstrates to Heidi and other people with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, that Northern Ireland opposes any move to allow babies with Down’s syndrome to be aborted up until birth. While this will not change the law at this stage, it will send a very important message.
In the last week the Assembly found time to debate regulations relating to electric pedal cycles. The British Government announced on 25 March that it was imposing on Northern Ireland abortion on the basis of disability up till birth, and yet in the middle of May the Assembly is happy to debate electronic pedal cycles, but still has not deemed it appropriate to find time to distance itself from Whitehall’s disability abortion proposal.
This is discrimination of the very worst kind which we should not tolerate for one minute in Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland Assembly is the voice of the people of Northern Ireland. Their silence on this matter to date has been deafening. Please write to your local MLAs asking them to seek an urgent debate and vote on a resolution to this matter, distancing Northern Ireland from Whitehall’s profoundly ill-conceived abortion disability proposal.
Further information on the new extreme abortion regulations introduced by these regulations is available here.