Lawmakers in the United Kingdom pushed Northern Ireland to legalize abortion Tuesday, claiming the killing of unborn babies is “about dignity” for women.
The Belfast Telegraph reports Labour MP Stella Creasy made the remark during an “emergency debate” that she called in the House of Commons.
Fueled by Ireland’s repeal of its pro-life constitutional amendment in May, abortion activists now are pushing Northern Ireland to abandon its protections for unborn babies as well.
“There are many issues ahead of us here today – decriminalisation, devolution, domestic abuse but above all I want to say it’s about a particular ‘D’, dignity,” Creasy said. “The dignity of women to be able to choose for themselves what to do with their own bodies.”
Northern Ireland protects unborn babies and prohibits abortions except when the mother’s life is at risk. International abortion activists have been pressuring the country to legalize abortion for years.
British Prime Minister Theresa May also announced her support of abortion in Northern Ireland this week, The Times reports.
Karen Bradley, secretary of Northern Ireland, said she and the prime minister both would like to see the pro-life laws repealed.
“The prime minister has been clear in her support for women’s rights in respect of access to safe abortions and she welcomed the referendum result in Ireland,” Bradley said.
One political leader even issued an ultimatum to Northern Ireland in a tweet, saying “if you don’t” repeal the pro-life laws, “we will.” The tweet came from MP Penny Mordaunt, according to The Guardian.
However, Bradley insisted that Northern Ireland politicians should decide the matter, not the British parliament, the report states.
Meanwhile, pro-life lawmakers said they will continue to fight for unborn babies’ rights. MP Ian Paisley of North Antrim said there would be no protections for unborn babies if Northern Ireland repeals sections 58 and 59 of its Offenses Against the Person Act.
Creasy’s proposal is extreme. Paisley said the legislature “rejected totally” the same proposal in 2016, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
“By removing sections 58 and 59, there’d be no regulatory framework in Northern Ireland whatsoever to govern legal abortions,” Paisley said. “There’d be a massive hole left in the law in Northern Ireland and no right by the medical practitioners to actually exercise their conscientious objection to this.”
Precious Life in Northern Ireland explains just how extreme the proposal is:
Sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against The Person Act makes it a crime for any man or woman to procure or cause an abortion. Pro-abortionists try to claim the Act is “outdated” just because it was passed in 1861. But this Act is still very much in use today – covering other crimes such as conspiracy to commit murder; manslaughter; assault; child abduction, to name but a few.
While the debate was presented as a move to introduce abortion in Northern Ireland, it was in reality about removing any legal restriction to abortion in the UK.
The 1967 Abortion Act in the UK is already one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world. But the Offences Against The Person Act does place some restrictions on abortion, so repealing it would result in the UK having one of the most extreme abortion regimes in the world. If repealed, there would be no law restricting or regulating abortion, and would allow unborn babies to killed for any reason, at any time during pregnancy, right up to the moment of birth.