Northern Ireland abortion regime consultation released

On Tuesday 5 November the UK Government announced a consultation on a proposed abortion framework for Northern Ireland. The proposals go well beyond what the Government was required to do by the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 and existing laws in GB and Ireland.

Peter Lynas, NI director of Evangelical Alliance and former barrister commented, “This is the worst of all worlds and goes far beyond what Westminster legislated for. The framing of the consultation is deeply concerning. The proposals suggest the British requirement that two doctors sign off on an abortion should not be adopted and instead look to open up provision to any healthcare professional, operating in almost any location.

“Lots of people don’t realise that GB has one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe. The NIO proposals read like a pro-abortion charter attempting to make Northern Ireland the abortion capital of Europe. The NIO have put out a 6 week consultation, the shortest they could, launched the day before purdah, meaning the consultation will run while everyone is distracted by the election. The process and timing is incredibly concerning.

“The proposals include allowing abortion up to 12 or 14 weeks without certification, for almost any reason up to 22 or 24 weeks on grounds similar to GB and up to birth for a disability that would have a ‘profound impact’ on the quality of a child’s life. The blatant disregard for disabled rights is staggering.

“100,000 people in Northern Ireland are alive today because Northern Ireland did not accept the same abortion law that was introduced into Britain by the Abortion Act 1967. This proposed abortion framework is a blatant attempt by the Government to undermine the will of the people of Northern Ireland, the majority of whom oppose these laws. We acknowledge that this is a consultation and not yet law, but these proposals exceed our worst fears. We are encouraging as many people as possible to respond to the consultation.”

Media enquiries

Peter Lynas
Email: [email protected]

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