Extreme abortion law introduced in Northern Ireland

21 Oct 2019

The most liberal abortion law in Europe has been introduced in Northern Ireland. Pro-life organisations had been anxiously waiting to see if the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly would reconvene by 21st October, the only way to stop the extreme abortion law, imposed by Westminster, being introduced. However, on 21st October SPUC reported: "The final attempt by Unionist MLAs to stop abortion law being imposed upon Northern Ireland has failed, with the law set to change at midnight. Unionist parties triggered the assembly’s recall with a petition and attempted to introduce the ‘Defence of the Unborn Child Bill 2019’ which they had hoped to have passed by midnight. Sinn Fein deliberately shunned all proceedings. However, MLAs were informed that no Bill could be passed until a speaker was appointed with cross-community backing. This aim was then rendered impossible when the nationalist SDLP party walked out of the chamber. With no Nationalist support remaining, no speaker could be elected resulting in the suspension of the sitting which lasted less than 1 hour. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) then left the chamber with DUP leader Arlene Foster describing the proceedings as a “shameful day.” (As quoted by SPUC)

Aisling Dundee from NI Life Charity has commented saying: "The failure of politicians to return to Stormont today, in the face of a huge public outcry and opposition to the imposition of abortion on the people of Northern Ireland, is an absolute disgrace. The removal of abortion from legal regulation shows a complete disregard for the will of the people of Northern Ireland. It represents a betrayal of trust by those elected to represent the people who have facilitated this by refusing to reconvene the Assembly and Executive. History will judge them and the political allies of the abortion industry harshly, for paving the way for tens of thousands of unborn lives to be lost and the exploitation of women. Today’s dictatorially enforced change in the law by Westminster sets Northern Ireland on a dangerous path to abortion for any reason, under any circumstances, at any time. We are moving into an interim period where there is little to no firm guidance on the procurement and use of abortion pills, the position of conscientious objectors in the medical field, or the future availability of abortion services. At Life Northern Ireland these changes in the law, heinous as they are, will not stop us standing with women and offering them the help and support they and their babies deserve. There has never been a greater need for widespread access to perinatal care and practical support for those facing difficult or unexpected pregnancy, and we will endeavour to provide these services to women and make sure they are aware of all the options available to them.” (As quoted by Life Charity)