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Stella Creasy hasn't given up on using the Domestic Abuse bill to expand abortion

19 February 2019

Stella Creasy (r) with fellow pro-abortion campaigner Diana Johnson MP.

She's organised a letter calling on the Government to expand the bill to Northern Ireland

Last month, Stella Creasy MP reacted furiously when it emerged that the Government's flagship Draft Domestic Abuse Bill only applied to England and Wales. She had been hoping to make an amendment which would decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland (and England and Wales). She claimed that "this government cares more about the DUP than domestic violence. Proof (is that) they’ve restricted scope of Domestic Abuse Bill to try to prevent abortion reform in Northern Ireland."

New attempt

Despite Minister Victoria Atkins repeatedly explaining that the bill applied to England and Wales only because the raft of offences that would support prosecutions on domestic abuse are devolved to the Northern Ireland and Scottish administrations, Ms Creasy has not given up her attempts to hijack this bill. Yesterday, she headed a group of MPs from a range of political parties, campaigners and academics in calling on the Government to extend the scope of the bill to Northern Ireland.

In a letter written to the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR), which is looking at the bill, over 70 organisations and individuals repeated the claim that the government had chosen to restrict the legislation in order to avoid "upsetting the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)". The Minister maintained during Ms Creasy's urgent question on the issue last month that there had been no change in the territorial application of the Bill compared with the proposals in the Government’s consultation published last spring. 

Orchestrated campaign

The signatories include a spectrum of the usual abortion activists and others who’ve been convinced to put their abortion activism ahead of concerns for women suffering from domestic abuse -  Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland, Amnesty International, Liberty, End Violence Against Women Coalition, Southall Black Sisters, Latin American Women’s Rights Service and campaigners like Mary Beard. Most of the letter quoted in the Independent refers to addressing domestic violence across the UK, but a reference to women "in Northern Ireland [who] are denied their basic rights" makes it clear that this is really about imposing abortion on the Province. As Fiona Bruce MP said in Parliament, this politicking over the Domestic Abuse bill is "part of an orchestrated campaign to alter abortion laws in Northern Ireland and here, and to replace those laws with extreme proposals for which there is no public appetite whatsoever."

Ann Furedi, the head of BPAS, made it clear what the decriminalisation campaign is trying to achieve when she held up the extreme new abortion law in New York (which recognises abortion as a "fundamental human right" and allows it up to birth) as a model. Stella Creasy is clearly committed to forcing such horrendous legislation on Northern Ireland, England and Wales, and is determined to use any means to realise that vision.

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