Hundreds of doctors, nurses and midwives have written to the Northern Ireland Secretary to express their opposition to removing protections for unborn life in the Province.
More than 700 health professionals told the NI Secretary Julian Smith that it is their sincerely-held belief that abortion is the “unjust and violent taking of human life”.
They also sought reassurances that as conscientious objectors they will not have to take any part in providing abortions.
In July, Westminster politicians voted to impose unregulated abortion on Northern Ireland if Stormont’s Executive is not restored by 21 October.
Politicians will be required to introduce a new law by March 2020, but this leaves a five-month period in which abortion will be completely unregulated.
Dr Andrew Cupples, a Northern Ireland GP, said the crux of the issue is: “do you have the legal protection and moral right to say: ‘I am sorry I am not happy with this’?”
Pro-life group Midwives for Both Lives has written to Royal College of Midwives and the Northern Ireland Office to highlight the disparity between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
They said there is “currently no conscientious objection in law in NI for midwives” and contrasted this with the rest of the UK where health staff “are protected under law and under the NMC code”.
The Royal College of Midwives told the BBC: “No midwife need be involved in the direct provision of termination services if they have a moral or ethical objection”.