A campaign has been launched to extend Great Britain’s abortion law to Northern Ireland, even though the move is opposed by all four of the Province’s major political parties.
Currently, the Abortion Act 1967 does not apply in Northern Ireland, where abortion remains illegal unless the mother’s life would be threatened by continuing the pregnancy.
Just 3,000 Northern Irish women travel to Great Britain every year to access abortion. By comparison, 200,000 terminations are carried out on the mainland, where abortion services can be accessed with relatively few checks.
The campaign has the support of a minor party called the Progressive Unionist Party, but all four of the Province’s major parties are opposed to the move.
However, a number of MPs representing constituencies in Great Britain have tabled an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which would impose legalised abortion in Northern Ireland.
The DUP’s health spokeswoman, Iris Robinson, said: “I and my party believe in the rights of the unborn child. We will resist any and all attempts to introduce a liberalised abortion regime here.
“At the time the 1967 Abortion Act was introduced, the pro-abortionists promised us it would be a panacea to solve many of society’s social ills.
“Looking to what 40 years of abortion has produced on the mainland we can see just how false those claims were and why we should all oppose the introduction of such a regime to the Province.”
An anti-abortion rally took place in Belfast last night, with protestors opposing any move to legalise the procedure in Northern Ireland.
Pro-life campaigner Bernadette Smyth said: “We value life here – the UK needs to look to Northern Ireland to see how many women in crisis are supported and helped.
“I think the UK must change their law to come in line with Northern Ireland to ensure that all unborn children in the UK are protected,” added Ms Smyth.