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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Northern Ireland: Defend Unborn Children

Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where abortion remains presumptively unlawful 

When Westminster passed the Abortion Act in 1967 the Northern Ireland Parliament chose to retain the laws which protected children before birth. This means that Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where abortion remains presumptively unlawful. Although the courts recognise a legal defence for a doctor who ends a pregnancy when a woman’s life is in danger, the strength of opposition from the people of Northern Ireland and their elected representatives has prevented any liberalisation of the law. Most recently, in February 2016, the Northern Ireland Assembly rejected an attempt to legalise abortion for children diagnosed with a life-limiting condition or conceived through criminal sexual activity.

Frustrated by their lack of success in Northern Ireland’s political arena, abortion advocates have turned to the Courts and in the coming months the UK Supreme Court will decide if protecting unborn babies from abortion violates the European Convention on Human Rights.

In June of 2017, the Westminster Government announced that it would reimburse commercial abortion providers for the cost of abortions performed on women from Northern Ireland. Official figures show that over the past 15 years the number of women travelling to Britain for abortions has steadily fallen from 1577 in 2001 to 724 in 2016. It is too early to gauge the full impact of this policy, but it is clear that the abortion industry and its political allies are as determined as ever to undermine the Province’s legal protection for unborn babies.

Historically Northern Ireland, without the Abortion Act, has had one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the UK proving that it is possible to protect both women and unborn babies. This is because abortion is not healthcare, it is an act of lethal violence directed at an unborn child.

Through its work with the people and politicians of the Province, SPUC has been instrumental in maintaining pro-life laws in Northern Ireland.

Contact SPUC

If you have difficulty accessing the information or don't have access to the internet, please contact SPUC's Northern Ireland office on 02890 778018, or SPUC HQ in London: 020 7091 7091 or 07939 178719.

Ask your MLAs to oppose abortion and uphold the right to life for everyone. Disabled babies are human too. Rape and incest are shameful acts, but abortion creates more victims, and heals no-one.

Spread the word

Have a look at the Campaigns SPUC has run in connection with this issue:

Related Media:

  • A Way of Life: This publication, produced and sponsored by SPUC in Northern Ireland, aims to present a positive defence of our culture of life against the pro-abortion agenda at work in these islands. This booklet details the history and impact of 33 years of legalised abortion in Britain.


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Dr. Mildred Jefferson

The fight for the right to life is not the cause of a special few, but the cause of every man, woman and child who cares not only about his or her own family, but the whole family of man