Dangerous abortion bill must not be allowed to progress, say campaigners

SPUC's picture

10 October 2018

 

A pro-life organisation has reacted angrily to plans by abortion campaigners to radically change the law across the UK, including in Northern Ireland, in a move they say will put vulnerable women at risk and leave no protection for unborn children.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) are responding to the text of an abortion Bill drafted with support of Amnesty International UK, the Family Planning Association, and BPAS, which is due to be introduced by Diana Johnson, the Labour MP for Hull North. Amnesty have today also released polling which they say supports the imposition of abortion on Northern Ireland.

SPUC Deputy Chief Executive John Deighan said: “This extreme bill would remove abortion from the criminal law in England and Wales, and also impose abortion on Northern Ireland by overruling devolution.

“Decriminalising abortion treats it like a medical treatment which should be regulated by the healthcare profession – it is not. Abortion does not cure any disease, but is the deliberate ending of an innocent human life. There is strong social controversy about abortion, particularly around allowing it on demand, at the expense of the taxpayer. It is thus ridiculous to suggest that the power to regulate it be taken away from elected politicians and handed to factions of the medical profession, who won’t have to answer to anyone. It is vital that the democratic link be maintained and the public can lobby their accountable politicians about this matter.”

Mr Deighan continued: “Our supporters are doing just that – asking their MPs to vote against this dangerous Bill. We already knew that decriminalising abortion would put vulnerable women in danger. We suggest that these abortion campaigners read the research on abortion and women’s health, especially mental health, rather than use their taxpayer funding to lobby for a change in the law. The risks are profound and range from increased risk of death, including by suicide, among women who undergo abortions to increased psychological harm for women including those who terminate because of foetal anomaly. The evidence shows that there are links between abortion and depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Now that the text of the Bill has been published, we will be campaigning all the harder. As well as the dangers for women and unborn children, the Bill as it stands has very alarming clauses about making it legal to conceal the birth of a child and about conscientious objection. It must not be allowed to progress.

SPUC spokesman in Northern Ireland Liam Gibson also slammed the attempt by MPs outside Northern Ireland to impose abortion on the Province. He said:

“The pro-life people of Northern Ireland are being attacked on all sides. What is being proposed would leave unborn children with absolutely no legal protection. That idea is shocking in itself but the way the pro-abortion lobby in the House of Commons is going about this flies in the face of the democratic rule of law. Diana Johnson represents no one in Northern Ireland, her party doesn’t even stand candidates for election here. Now, they think they can ride roughshod over the devolution settlement and impose their metropolitan elitist views on us while the Stormont Assembly, where legal authority over abortion law actually lies, remains in limbo.

“In joining with militant abortion providers to draft this bill, Amnesty is pushing the extremist agenda of the abortion industry rather than promoting genuine human rights,” Mr Gibson continued.

“They claim to be defending human rights but abortion is not a human right. No such right has ever been recognised in international law. The right to life, on the other hand, is the fundamental right shared by all members of the human family, regardless of disabilities or the circumstances of their conception.

“Amnesty’s demands for the legalisation of abortion for any reason would deny legal protection to the most vulnerable members of our society - innocent unborn children. It would mean that a baby could be aborted simply because she was a girl, or even after a child was capable of surviving outside the womb. That is what decriminalisation means and when people understand that they will reject it.”

Mr Gibson concluded:

“Northern Ireland’s law has saved the lives of an estimated 100,000 babies who would never have been born had the Abortion Act been introduced in 1967. It has also saved countless women from the terrible consequences of abortion. Rather than benefit them, abortion has been shown to cause serious harm to some women both physically and psychologically. People in Northern Ireland should be proud that their law seeks to protect women and children from the violence of abortion.”

Notes to editors:

  • Text of Diana Johnson's bill
  • Abortion and Women’s Health is a fully referenced review based on global research and lists a catalogue of physical and mental health problems linked to terminations. It was carried out by Dr Gregory Pike, a medical researcher and the Founding Director of the Adelaide Centre for Bioethics and Culture.
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