People in Northern Ireland overwhelmingly agree that in a pregnancy, the life of the child as well as the mother is important, it has been revealed.
Polling by ComRes also found that nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of Northern Irish adults agreed that changing the law on abortion should be a matter for the people and their elected representatives.
The results come ahead of two attempts this week in Westminster which seek to make sweeping changes to abortion law in the UK.
‘Sad vision for women’
The ComRes poll found that 93 per cent of Northern Irish adults think both lives are important, with only 2 per cent saying the life of the baby is not important.
At a special event held in Stormont last week, Dawn McAvoy, co-founder of Both Lives Matter, said weakening abortion law “is not supported by the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland”.
“It is a tired and sad vision for women which says they can only be free and equal when they have the ability to end the lives of their children at will.”
Both lives matter
McAvoy said the campaign to impose abortion on Northern Ireland goes far beyond so-called ‘hard cases’ of abortion in cases of rape, incest and severely life-limiting conditions.
Instead, it would replicate UK law, where, she said, 98 per cent of abortions involve “physically healthy women aborting physically healthy babies”.
She concluded: “This poll shows that most people in Northern Ireland believe that both lives matter when it comes to pregnancy.”
Ten Minute Rule Bill
Tomorrow, a Ten Minute Rule Bill is being introduced by Diana Johnson MP which seeks to allow abortion on demand up to 24 weeks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Johnson wants to remove current legal protections, such as abolishing the existing requirement for the consent of two doctors.
“only 2 per cent say the life of the baby is not important”
Removing the protections would also serve to impose abortion up to 24 weeks on Northern Ireland, where the 1967 Abortion Act does not apply.
Ten Minute Rule Bills rarely become law. However, if MPs vote in favour, it is expected be used by activists to push even more strongly to remove protections for the unborn.
This Wednesday, a separate attempt may be made to introduce both abortion and same-sex marriage by amending the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill.
The Observer newspaper said that any such a move would be a “parliamentary ambush”.
The Christian Institute branded the move “a direct assault” on the Province’s good laws protecting the both life of the unborn and traditional marriage which have been consistently backed by local politicians.
Institute Deputy Director Ciarán Kelly said the proposed amendments “fly in the face of the will of Northern Ireland’s public who want the issues to be decided by their locally elected representatives – not Westminster”.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that 72 per cent of Conservative MPs are similarly against devolution being undermined by imposing abortion laws on Northern Ireland.
Since abortion first became legal, over 9 million babies have been aborted.
It is estimated that Northern Ireland’s strong pro-life protections have protected many from abortion, meaning over 100,000 people are alive today who otherwise might not have been.