This bill has a tightly defined objective and there remains much work to be done, to restore lost protections for women and unborn children but this could be a small but significant step in the right direction. 

At www​.equal​ly​hu​man​.org you will find a tool to enable members of the public to easily email their MLAs asking them to support the Bill.

There is also an open letter to the leaders of NI political parties specifically for those with Downs Syndrome and their families, although anyone can sign it. You can sign the letter here: www​.dontscreenu​sout​.org

Laws matter because law shapes culture. We can see from Great Britain that when laws discriminate, culture changes. Society is given permission and families are encouraged to choose to reject those deemed less worthy. A law rejecting discriminatory abortion practices, doesn’t on its own enable lives to thrive. Every area of society has a part to play. But that raises significant questions for all of us. What message is sent to those living with disability; are their lives not equally valued and equally worthy of legal protection? What is the impact on those families who choose life for their unborn children? How might that law change affect the care and support services provided for those with disabilities? How can the Church help to build a better story and form a better counter-community?

For more information and further resourcing in the areas of abortion, disability, and the church’s response please contact; 

Dawn McAvoy, Both Lives Matter; stand@​bothlivesmatter.​org

Donna Jennings, Church & Mission co-ordinator, Evangelical Alliance NI; d.​jennings@​eauk.​org

Jill Harshaw, Director of Tio; jill@​tioassociates.​org

Tio is a network of professionals, practitioners and theologians working to equip the Church to welcome, nurture and support people who have intellectual disabilities and their families, through training, resources, and practical engagement.