Peer: ‘Disability discrimination now officially Government policy’

Conservative Peer Lord Shinkwin has criticised his party for pushing forward with a liberal abortion regime for Northern Ireland. He said it makes disability discrimination “officially Government policy”.

Lord Shinkwin, who has brittle bone disease, said that allowing abortion up to birth for non-fatal conditions is an “extremist, outdated ideology of death for disability”.

It comes as the House of Lords voted 355-77 in favour of the revised abortion regulations yesterday.


Lord Shinkwin said the regulations allow “disabled human beings like me to be denied, right up until the point of birth, the equal right to be born”.

He said that the Government has deliberately chosen to impose “overtly discriminatory regulations” which “perpetuate stereotypes” by specifically allowing abortion up to birth for unborn babies diagnosed with non-fatal conditions.

Lord Shinkwin added: “It is not easy to accept that your own Party would, in effect, not only rather you had never been born, but that it is actively trying to ensure that, in 2020, you could not be.”

The abortion regulations are expected to be voted on in the House of Commons tomorrow.


In yesterday’s House of Lords debate, pro-life peers including Baroness O’Loan urged the chamber to “listen to the people of Northern Ireland” and reject the framework.

Abortion is legal only because babies cannot vote

Many of her colleagues agreed. Lord Empey said: “Legislation should never have been allowed onto the statute book in the first place”.

And in a short but passionate speech Lord Taylor noted: “Abortion is legal only because babies cannot vote”, adding: “Life is a civil right while abortion is a moral wrong”.

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Baroness O’Loan’s motion to reject the regulations was defeated by 388 votes to 112.


Last week, a Westminster committee confirmed its intention to impose revised abortion regulations on Northern Ireland, ahead of a vote in the House of Commons.

Despite the Northern Ireland Assembly rejecting the liberal regulations, the Delegated Legislation Committee voted 15-2 for them to move on to the vote in the House of Commons.

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