Time Running Out for Unborn Children in Northern Ireland
Thursday, October 17, 2019

The final countdown for the political parties in Northern Ireland (NI) to re-establish an Executive government and follow legislative procedure to determine any changes to the law on abortion expires in a few days.  If no power-sharing Executive is functioning by Monday October 21 the abortion regime passed by MPs in the United Kingdom will be imposed on unborn children in NI allowing their death until the 7th month of pregnancy.

Of the two political parties engaged in the long standing disagreement, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has successfully called for the National Assembly to return to Stormont in a last-ditch attempt to stop the imposition of abortion on NI. The petition signed by 31 MLAs resulted in Speaker Robin Newton informing all 90 MLAs of the petition and that a special sitting of the Assembly will take place on Monday.

Return of the Northern Ireland Assembly is not enough, however, to stop the violence of abortion from ending lives in NI as the Northern Ireland Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions Act specifically states that positions within the Stormont Executive must be filled on or before October 21 2019 in order for the new laws passed by the UK Parliament not to take effect.

The other power-sharing political party, Sinn Féin, continues to obstruct formation of the Executive and is the source of a pro-life lobby effort led by Precious Life. The organization is urging protest calls to Sinn Féin representatives against its support for the new abortion law.  Its website states: “With the DUP ready to return to Stormont to form a power-sharing Executive to halt this law, the blame for the introduction of the most extreme abortion law in Europe will lie at Sinn Féin's door. If it does not agree to reconvene Stormont by this Monday, October 21st, the most cruel and extreme abortion law in Europe will be thrusted upon Northern Ireland against the democratic will of the people here.” 

“Let Sinn Féin know that they will be responsible for the legalisation of abortion up to 7 MONTHS in Northern Ireland if they do not stop this atrocious law.  Let them know that the blood of hundreds of thousands of future Irish babies will be on their hands if they do not intervene. Sinn Féin have claimed time and time again that they "do not support the extension of the 1967 abortion act" however, they DO support a law which is even MORE cruel and more extreme than this law, stripping unborn children of all human rights.”

Recent polling demonstrated that 57% of people in Northern Ireland oppose legalizing abortion, including a majority of women. Dawn McAvoy, a spokeswoman for the Both Lives Matter which commissioned the poll, explained that as October 21 approaches, “the public is realising just how bad the law imposed by Westminster is”.

 “The majority of people of Northern Ireland do not want these changes, no Northern Ireland MP voted in favour of the abortion amendment proposing these changes, and the majority of councils in Northern Ireland have now voted against these changes,” she said.

“None of the 20,000 babies born every year in Northern Ireland will be protected in law until they are capable of being born alive. After that, we may be left with the most liberal abortion regime in Europe — the details of which are up to one man — the MP for Skipton and Rippon – who also happens to be the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.”

In remarks to SPUC’s national conference DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson passionately explained the effort to impose abortion on pro-life NI:

“The pro-abortion lobby, very skilfully and deviously use language, they never talk about the unborn child. The unborn child does not exist in their narrative. They have tried to narrow down and close the debate down. In Northern Ireland, we do not conform to this narrative. We have established our own narrative which is winning hearts and minds. We focus on both lives.”

“Northern Ireland has been a battleground on these issues. We resisted the 1967 Abortion Act. Because of that, in my part of the United Kingdom, there are 100,000 of my fellow citizens alive today, who would not be, if we did not stand for their right to Life. We now have a situation where if devolution is not restored by the 21st of October this year, abortion will be decriminalised.

“They are now prepared to impose an extreme abortion regime. Which not a single person in Northern Ireland voted for. Which not a single peer in Northern Ireland voted for. And they call that democracy. They call that the will of the people. Let’s get Stormont back up and running. Let’s stop this now.”

In previous posts, PNCI has written about the claim by pro-abortion MPs in the UK that abortion has to be legalized in Northern Ireland so the UK could be “CEDAW-compliant”.

As the world prepares for the 25th anniversary of ICPD and the agreement that abortion policies need to be determined “according to the national legislative process” the UK appears nonchalant that it is acting in a shameful and heavy-handed way to deny the people of Northern Ireland and their representatives in the Assembly a voice on a core moral issue that will impact the lives of children, women and families for generations to come.