CARE: Christian Action, Research and Education

Abortion
Cause menu Close menu
Newborn baby mother 1
Abortion

Help save lives: please email your MP about the upcoming vote on the Northern Ireland abortion regulations

Help save lives: please email your MP about the upcom­ing vote on the North­ern Ire­land abor­tion regulations

One of the biggest Parliamentary votes from a Christian perspective for 50 years will take place imminently at Westminster.

On Monday 8 June, MPs will debate the UK Government's Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020. The debate will take place in Committee Room 14. Any MP will be able to attend the debate and it will be important to let your MP know this. There will then be a vote on the Floor of the House of Commons, possibly Wednesday 10 June, but looking more like it will be some point week beginning 14 June.

It will be a free vote and you may want to let your MP know that how they vote will impact your decision at the next election.

Peers are now expected to debate and vote on the regulations on 15 June.

What has happened?

Last year, with scarcely any warning, MPs from England, Scotland and Wales voted to remove Northern Ireland’s life affirming laws, even though every Northern Irish MP present opposed it. That vote required new legislation; the Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020. The Government is expected to table these regulations soon and there will then be limited time to contact MPs and Peers before the votes take place.

We’re urgently asking for as many people as possible from all over the UK to contact their MP asking them to speak and vote against the Regulations when they come before Parliament.

Why does this matter?

  • These Regulations would replace Northern Ireland’s previous life-affirming laws with some of the most liberal abortion legislation in Europe. 100,000 people are alive today because the 1967 Abortion Act didn’t apply to Northern Ireland. The Regulations allow abortion on demand until 24 weeks, and up to, and even during birth, for a baby with any kind of disability, even correctable conditions like cleft palette.
  • The new law goes much further than the 1967 Act. A woman seeking an abortion up to 12 weeks into pregnancy doesn’t have to give their reason – which might for example, be that the baby is the ‘wrong’ sex. Instead of needing the agreement of two doctors as in Great Britain, only one medical professional - doctor, nurse or midwife –needs to sign it off. And anyone convicted of performing an illegal abortion is treated far more lightly; rather than facing a prison sentence as under the 1967 Act, an offender would just be fined up to £5,000.
  • What’s happening in Northern Ireland is hugely significant for England, Wales and Scotland. If these Regulations are passed it will make it much easier for pro-choice MPs to argue for similar changes throughout the UK. They’ve already made it plain that they will use the Domestic Abuse Bill, most likely waiting for the later stages of the Bill, to introduce amendments to bring abortion law in England and Wales into line with what they hope will be the new law in Northern Ireland.

Will you stand with us in being a voice for the voiceless?

Abortion 0
CARE advocates for both lives in a pregnancy to be protected and for a society where women are genuinely supported.
Nola Leach
We’re urgently ask­ing for as many people as pos­sible from all over the UK to con­tact their MP and also Mem­bers of the House of Lords. To help you do so, please find below a guide on what to say to your MP and to Peers
Nola Leach Chief Executive of CARE
Shutterstock 1044298717

Helpful points to remember

The basic 'ask' in our emails should be: 'please vote against the Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations and ask the Government to think again.'

The vote will happen in both the Commons and the Lords so please consider emailing your own MP and also as many Peers as possible.

Even though the Abortion Regulations deal with such a controversial issue, no amendments can be made to them. And the whole piece of legislation must be voted on as one complete item because it’s not divided into different sections to be voted on separately. That means that if a parliamentarian does approve of most of the Regulations’ content but considers parts of them to be deeply flawed and contrary to what they believe is right, they might out of conscience decide they have to vote against the Regulations in their entirety.

When emailing we can suggest that it would be wrong for Parliament to pass legislation that includes one of more of these failings and ask them to vote against these Abortion Regulations and to ask the Government to think again.

Email your MP
Nola Leach
It’s not neces­sary to spell out all the prob­lems with the Reg­u­la­tions that come from a pro-life per­spect­ive. In fact, in the con­text of Par­lia­ment where many people tend to be pro-choice, this would be unhelp­ful. Rather, we sug­gest using the points above and also the argu­ments we sum­mar­ise below.
Nola Leach Chief Executive of CARE
Shutterstock 245930107 min

Constitution - it would be wrong for Westminster to decide on a devolved issue

When MPs at Westminster voted to change Northern Ireland's abortion laws, one of the main reasons given was the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly.

But the NI Assembly has now been restored! Moreover it recently voted by 46-40 for a motion rejecting the imposition of abortion legislation by Westminster. When combined with a vote on an amendment to the motion, more than 75 MLAs voted against at least one part of the UK Government's regulations.

It would therefore be constitutionally inappropriate for MPs to approve the regulations when the NI Assembly has spoken clearly on what is a devolved issue.

Email your MP
Nola Leach
The UK Gov­ern­ment can­not ask the West­min­ster Par­lia­ment to pass reg­u­la­tions on a devolved mat­ter when the Assembly has not only been restored but also voted to indic­ate that it does not sup­port the Reg­u­la­tions by a clear majoirty.
Nola Leach Chief Executive of CARE
Shutterstock 699733051

Disability - it would be wrong for Parliament to vote to approve this kind of discrimination

In 1990, Parliament voted to allow abortion up to birth in cases of serious disability in Great Britain. Pregnancies involving an able-bodied baby couldn’t be terminated after 24 weeks but unborn children with a disability didn’t have the same legal protection. A few years later the Disability Discrimination Act was passed and then in 2009 the UK ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The UN Committee pointed out that this aspect of our abortion law violated the UK’s obligations under the disability discrimination Convention and called on the Government to change it to prevent discrimination on grounds of disability. Instead of acting on this, the Government is proposing to extend the measure to Northern Ireland. MPs haven’t voted to allow abortion up till birth on the basis of disability for thirty years and the world has moved on very significantly since then.

Disability campaigner, Heidi Crowter, has said that the UK Government's abortion regulations for Northern Ireland make her feel less valued, simply because she has Down's syndrome.

Now, in 2020 it would surely be wrong for Parliament to vote to approve this kind of discrimination.

Email your MP
Heidi Crowter
I would now call on the Gov­ern­ment not to ask MPs and peers to vote for reg­u­la­tions that con­tain dis­crim­in­at­ory pro­vi­sions that tell people like me that we should not exist.”
Heidi Crowter Disability Campaigner
Shutterstock 1024539031 1

Gendercide – it would be wrong for Parliament to vote for a law that would open the door to sex selective abortion

In 2015 some MPs called for the 1967 Abortion Act to be amended to state explicitly that abortion because of gender is illegal. The Government was opposed to this, arguing that it was unnecessary. They said that the 1967 Act only allows abortion on certain grounds - none of which is the foetus being the ‘wrong sex’. They committed to monitoring the law to make sure it did indeed prevent such gendercide.

But just a few years later a law is being proposed that allows an abortion for any reason, which opens the door for it to take place because of gender. This is a sharp contrast to the law in the Isle of Man where abortion is allowed for any reason, except on the basis of sex, unless this is because of a sex-linked genetic disease.

Now, in 2020, it would surely be wrong for Parliament to vote for a law that would open the door to sex selective abortion.

Email your MP
Psalm 139v13–14
For you cre­ated my inmost being; you knit me togeth­er in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fear­fully and won­der­fully made; your works are won­der­ful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139v13–14 NIV
Shutterstock 504503110 1

Coercion – it would be wrong for Parliament to leave women more vulnerable to coercive abortion and without adequate protection

The Regulations introduce no provision to ban coercive abortion – for example an abuser forcing their victim to have a termination, or against her will, a woman’s family refusing to allow her to continue her pregnancy.[DB1] [CB2]

When pressed on this, the Government claim that this kind of situation is covered by the Offences Against the Person Act. But, as the expert legal opinion of Ian Wise QC demonstrates, in Northern Ireland that law only deals with attacks on the woman, not interpreting attacks on an unborn child as attacks on her. This means protection for women against being coerced is weaker, not stronger.

Now, in 2020, it would surely be wrong for Parliament to leave women more vulnerable to coercive abortion and without adequate protection.

Email your MP
Proverbs 31v8–9
Speak up for those who can­not speak for them­selves, for the rights of all who are des­ti­tute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31v8–9 NIV
Shutterstock 580047094 1

Inspection – it would be wrong for Parliament to approve measures that were not properly regulated with no inspection process in place

In Great Britain abortion providers are subject to tight legal inspection requirements to make sure that women’s safety is protected. It was expected that women in Northern Ireland would be similarly protected from 31 March when abortion there became legal, but this didn’t happen.

Even if the Northern Ireland Assembly were to change the law to require a proper inspection regime this would take months and meanwhile, state-sanctioned abortions would be performed without this safety net. The Regulations should have addressed this vitally important provision and without it are unfit for purpose and should be rejected.

Now, in 2020, it would surely be wrong for Parliament to approve measures that were not properly regulated with no inspection process in place.

Email your MP

Write to your elected representative

Urgent: emails your MP/Peers about the upcoming vote on the new Northern Ireland abortion regulations.

Filling in this form will direct you to an external service WriteToThem.com.

Dollarphotoclub 64979144 LR

Pray for God's mercy and that MPs and Peers will reject these dangerous regulations

These votes on abortion in the House of Commons and Lords are the biggest abortion votes from a Christian perspective for 50 years! God calls us to pray for those who cannot pray for themselves. Please join us in praying for God's merciful intervention and grace to be shown in this situation.

Pray with us
1920x1080

Abortion in Northern Ireland

In this article, published on the CARE website, our experts explain how the new law in Northern Ireland on abortion will work. Thanks to MPs at Westminster, Northern Ireland will soon go from a life-affirming law to one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe.

Read more
Nola Leach
May God in His mercy grant suc­cess as we endeav­our to res­ist these moves to make abor­tion easi­er. We must con­tin­ue to speak for the voice­less and reach out in com­pas­sion to all who are affected by abor­tion. Thank you for your pray­ers, fin­an­cial sup­port and prac­tic­al action in this matter.
Nola Leach Chief Executive of CARE

Donate to CARE

Your donation to CARE enables us to continue to work towards a culture and society reflecting a better story for everyone.

We only ask you to consider giving to CARE after you have considered the needs of your family and church.

Donations are secure and processed by our third party provider Donorfy.

Write to your elected representative

Don't forget: please email your MP about the Northern Ireland abortion regulations. Please add your voice to ours in seeking to defend unborn babies and their mothers.

Filling in this form will direct you to an external service WriteToThem.com.

A woman sitting with a smart phone in her lap

Culture
& society reflecting a better story for everyone.

At the heart of all of CARE’s work is our determination to uphold the truth that human beings made in God’s image are immensely valuable and deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion.

We want to show a better story for our culture and society, and we want to be part of shaping that in structures that we are given as citizens in the UK…

Find out more about the better story