MLAs in Northern Ireland have rejected a pro-abortion attempt to legalize abortions on disabled babies. Stormont members voted by a majority of 59 to 40 against amending legislation to legalize such abortions.
The Assembly rejected an attempt to make it lawful to abort children diagnosed with a life limiting condition by 59 votes to 40, and also voted 64 to 30 against an amendment which would have made it lawful to abort those said to have been conceived through criminal sexual activity.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, a UK pro-life group, welcomed the vote.
Liam Gibson, SPUC’s Northern Ireland development officer, told LifeNews: “It would be difficult to overestimate the significance of this vote by the Northern Ireland Assembly. Had these proposals become law, their effect would have been devastating. Although they were presented as allowing abortion only for a limited number of so-called hard cases, in reality they were an attack on some of the most vulnerable of children and would have led to widespread abortion.”
Gibson continued: “Experience around the world shows that this kind of proposal is only the thin end of the wedge, and that abortion activists seek to exploit any loophole in the law, to discredit pro-life laws and deny legal protection to all unborn children. Their aim is to erect a false ‘right to abortion’ in law.
“International law recognises that all members of the human family share the right to life, and that children deserve special protection, including legal protection before as well as after birth. This vote is a clear rejection of the idea that some children are less worthy of the protection of the law,” he said.
LIFE Northern Ireland told LifeNews.com it welcomes the outcome of the NI Assembly votes on the amendments to the Justice Bill which sought to introduce legislation to allow for abortion in the cases of fatal foetal abnormality, rape and incest.
Marion Woods, LIFE NI Public Policy Spokesperson, said, “LIFE NI believes in the intrinsic value of life from conception no matter the circumstances of that conception or the condition with which an unborn child may have been diagnosed. LIFE NI is satisfied that the outcome of the vote last night reflects an understanding amongst the MLAs in the NI Assembly that these emotional and in some cases heart-breaking situations will not be made easier by legislation which allows for the termination of a pregnancy with little or no thought given to the life of the unborn child.”
The group now “calls on the MLAs in the NI Assembly to commit to overseeing the development of effective peri-natal hospice care in Northern Ireland which will be an invaluable service to women in difficult circumstances.”
The Christian Institute said: “It is heartening that the majority of MLAs have voted to uphold the sanctity of life today at Stormont.”
Callum Webster of the Christian Institute said: “It is heartening that the majority of MLAs have voted to uphold the sanctity of life today at Stormont.
“There has been a media campaign to undermine the legal protections afforded to our unborn children, but thankfully politicians have resisted that co-ordinated pressure.”
Unlike other parts of the UK, the 1967 Abortion Act does not extend to Northern Ireland, where abortions are banned except where the life of the mother is in danger. Anyone who performs an illegal termination could be jailed for life.