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Abortion campaigners target Sajid Javid over decriminalisation and Northern Ireland

11 June 2018

 
bpas are asking Mr Javid to be an "ally" to women

The threat of decriminalisation is growing 

Pro-abortion campaigners are putting pressure on the Home Secretary to bring forward a bill which they hope to hijack with amendments which would decriminalise abortion across the UK, including Northern Ireland.

They claim that more than 30 MPs are sending Sajid Javid written questions demanding that he bring forward the publication of a planned domestic abuse bill. MPs, led by Labour's Stella Creasy, and backed by organisations including BPAS and Amnesty International, plan to make amendments to the bill in their quest to repeal sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act.

No safeguards for women

As Northern Ireland minister Karen Bradley said in a letter to MPs last week, in Northern Ireland such a move "would leave a gap in the law, and without any new provisions it offers no safeguards for women." Moreover, "it would also have an impact on England and Wales, as well as in Northern Ireland. The 1967 Abortion Act provides defences against the criminal law offences contained in the 1861 Act. If these offences were removed then abortion would in effect be decriminalised and no legal framework would be in place, including no gestational time limits. A new legal framework would be needed to replace those provisions, which is rightly a matter which locally accountable politicians in Northern Ireland should have the opportunity to debate and consider."

In what some outlets are hailing as a change of tone, the Prime Minister Theresa May said over the weekend that her "preferred option is for [abortion in Northern Ireland] to be dealt with and addressed by those people who are elected and accountable politicians in Northern Ireland."

Decriminalising abortion would be catastrophic

Antonia Tully of SPUC said: "This latest ploy by the pro-abortion lobby in the House of Commons is very dangerous because it is fueling the call to repeal sections 58 an 59. Bombarding the Home Secretary with Parliamentary questions is piling pressure on the Government to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland, England and Wales and will be taken as further 'evidence' that there is widespread support in Parliament for decriminalising abortion.

"The threat of decriminalising abortion is growing with every passing day at present," continued Antonia Tully. "Decriminalising abortion would be catastrophic for unborn babies and their mothers. A backstreet abortion culture would spring up very quickly."

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