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Bill introduced to end abortion to birth for disabilities like Down's syndrome and cleft lip

16 February 2021
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This morning a new Bill was introduced by Paul Givan MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly which aims to prevent abortion to birth (40+ weeks) for non-fatal disabilities such as Down's syndrome and cleft lip.

Under the Westminster-imposed abortion law in Northern Ireland, it's possible for a baby to be aborted right up to birth for having a 'serious disability'.

Mr Givan's Bill, which passed Stage One at the Assembly today, will amend the current law to make it illegal to abort to birth for non-fatal disabilities.

Speaking about the Bill, Mr Givan said:

“The current law tells those with disabilities that they are worth less than other people, their contribution is less valuable, their lives less important, less full."

“It invites us to view those with disabilities as less deserving of the protection of the law. The idea that Down’s syndrome is some huge problem that should be addressed by abortion is chilling. You don’t have to look far to see the full lives those with disabilities lead – they enrich our communities and families.”
Paul Givan MLA
“This bill that allows abortion up to birth in Northern Ireland makes me feel that I am not as valued as anyone else. Maybe people are even told that living with Down’s syndrome is too hard, but research confirms that people with Down’s syndrome and their families are happy with their lives.”
Heidi Crowter Down's syndrome campaigner

Call to sup­port the bill

The bill has already been backed by a number of groups such as Both Lives Matter, Right to Life UK and the Don't Screen Us Out campaign as well.

Today, CARE NI launched its Fearfully and Wonderfully Made campaign to encourage people living in Northern Ireland to support the Bill and ask their MLAs to vote for it at Stage Two in a few weeks time.

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In any pregnancy, both the woman and preborn baby have inherent value and dignity, by virtue of being made in the image of God. CARE is passionately pro-woman and pro-life.

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