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Northern Ireland pro-lifers gather outside of Westminster. From left, front row: Councillor Roisin Lynch (SDLP), Anne Brolly (former Sinn Fein), Dawn McAvoy (Both Lives Matter), Carla Lockhart (DUP) Both Lives Matter

January 13, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — Pro-life politicians from across the United Kingdom have rallied in defence of unborn children and to reverse Westminster’s extreme Northern Ireland abortion regime. Phillip Lynn, SPUC Northern Ireland’s Development Officer said: “It was encouraging to now see pro-life politicians from across the political spectrum speak up for the rights of the unborn child and the devolved powers of Northern Ireland.”

The debate which took place last Wednesday evening in the House of Commons heard politicians discuss the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, which was implemented in 2019 and is set to fully come into effect by March 2020.

Politicians addressed the House with strong pro-life speeches raising multiple concerns regarding the infamous act.

What They Said

Carla Lockhart, a newly elected DUP MP used her maiden speech to call for a repeal of the abortion law. Ms Lockhart said: “I want today to make the point to this House, on behalf of the many thousands of people across Northern Ireland who take a pro-life stance, that we want to repeal section 9 with immediate effect… I want a society in Northern Ireland that values life, and I want to see services that will help women choose life. We want to see a perinatal palliative care centre, a maternal mental health unit and better childcare services, and that is my ask of this Government. Help us create a culture of choosing life, as opposed to killing an innocent little baby.”

In the build-up to the recent UK general election Carla Lockhart said that she and her DUP colleagues would seek to repeal the recent abortion legislation imposed on Northern Ireland by the UK government in Westminster. SPUC welcomes this pledge, but notes the concern from some pro-life campaigners in Northern Ireland that such a pledge was not outlined in the DUP’s election manifesto or its policy plan document.

Lisa Cameron, SNP MP, spoke of her concerns that the abortion regime would have on people with Down’s syndrome and their families. Ms Cameron said: “I have been contacted by the Don’t Screen Us Out community, who are particularly concerned about the scope of the regulations and the impact on families with Down’s syndrome children.”

Jim Shannon, DUP MP said: “The people of Northern Ireland do not want us to do this. Some 20,000 people — rich and poor, Protestant and Catholic, young and old — stood together at Stormont, rising above political opinion, religious divide and any other consideration, to beg this place not to do this awful thing. Yes, protect women, yes, find a better way, but abortion on demand taking place every two minutes night and day, as on the mainland, is not what we need in Northern Ireland. Some 100,000 people live today because of the legislation in Northern Ireland. We do not have to introduce this radical change.”

Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP said: “Law change has been imposed on Northern Ireland by a coalition of MPs representing seats in England, Scotland and Wales. I think that is inappropriate and wrong.”

The Regime

As reported by SPUC in 2019, the Act was fast-tracked through Parliament and forced on Northern Ireland by Westminster politicians.

The abortion regime is more extreme than the current existing abortion law in Scotland, England and Wales as it aims to impose abortion with ‘unrestricted access…available without conditionality’ which will permit abortions based on factors such as the sex of the baby.

SPUC’s breakdown of the “barbarous” abortion guidelines that are enabled by the Act can be found here

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. This article has been updated.