The Northern Ireland medical community is taking a strong stand for life after the country was forced to legalize abortion on demand Tuesday.
Recently, 911 medical professionals signed a letter in opposition to legalized abortion in their country, the Independent reports. Initiated by Northern Ireland GP Andrew Cupples, the letter urged the government to protect unborn babies’ rights as well as the rights of medical professionals to practice their beliefs.
On Tuesday, the country was forced to abandon its protections for unborn babies after the British government voted to force Northern Ireland to legalize abortion for basically any reason up to 28 weeks of pregnancy. The vote happened because Northern Ireland has not had a functioning government for about three years. Its political leaders had until midnight on Monday to re-form a government and reject the law. Pro-life lawmakers made several attempts to, but they did not succeed.
Cupples said medical professionals are concerned about being forced to help abort unborn babies in violation of their beliefs. He said there is “no protection” under the current guidelines for midwives and other medical workers who oppose abortions.
Many already have told him that they would quit their jobs rather than be forced to help with abortions, he told the Independent.
“Hundreds of healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland will refuse to be involved in abortion services. There are even people who are planning to walk away from the healthcare service if they are forced to participate in abortion services,” Cupples said.
“There are also people in obstetrics and gynecology and midwives who are worried if they do not agree to be trained in abortion they could be forced to do so or reprimanded by their employers or a professional body,” he continued.
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Last month, he submitted the letter to the Northern Ireland Secretary outlining their concerns, the report states. The signers included 911 doctors, midwives and nurses.
Abortion activists with Amnesty International and the British Pregnancy Advisory Services, an abortion chain, both argued for limiting conscience protections to the actual abortion. Under their proposals, medical workers still could be forced to refer women for abortions and help with the treatment before and after the abortion procedure.
Though abortions are now legal, no physical locations are providing them yet in Northern Ireland. According to the report, the British mandate requires Northern Ireland to begin providing abortions by March 31 in state hospitals. In the mean time, taxpayers in England will be forced to pay for women from Northern Ireland to travel there for abortions.
Northern Ireland was one of the last bastions of safety for unborn babies in Europe after abortion activists pushed Ireland to repeal its pro-life constitutional amendment in 2018. There, medical professionals also fear being forced to give up their livelihoods or help abort unborn babies. Guidelines from the Irish Medical Council introduced in August tell doctors that they must either abort unborn babies themselves or refer women to someone who will.
Pro-life countries are under intense international pressure to legalize the killing of unborn babies. Many pro-abortion campaigns are backed by some of the richest men in the world.