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CARE NI launches campaign to support Bill that will end abortion to birth for disabilities in Northern Ireland

16 February 2021

CARE NI is today re-launching its fearfully and wonderfully made campaign to help support a new bill at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Paul Givan MLA's Severe Fetal Impairment Abortion (Amendment0 Bill will change the current abortion laws to stop abortion to term, or 40+ weeks, for non-fatal disabilities such as Down's syndrome, cleft lip or club foot.

The bill had its Stage One at the Northern Ireland Assembly today and MLAs will be given the chance to vote on the Bill at Stage Two in the coming weeks.

First step

Last year, Westminster imposed new abortion laws on Northern Ireland that in a number of ways are even more extreme than Great Britain.

Under the current abortion laws in Northern Ireland, abortion is legal for any reason up to 12 weeks and on demand up to 24 weeks and right top to birth for 'serious disabilities'.

Following the Westminster-imposed law change, MLAs at the newly restored Assembly last year voted for two motions rejecting abortion to birth for disabilities.

Mr Givan's Bill builds on the outcome of those votes at the NI Assembly last year, where 75 out of 90 MLAs voted for a motion rejecting abortion to birth for all non-fatal disabilities.

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The bill will stop abortion to birth for Down's syndrome and other, non-fatal disabilities

Back the bill

CARE NI has today launched a new campaign page to help people engage effectively with their MLAs and encourage them to vote for the bill at Stage Two.

Commenting on the Bill, CARE NI's Director, Tim Martin said:

“Our view at CARE NI is that we need life-affirming laws that uphold the value of women and babies and this bill is an important first step in achieving this."
Tim Martin CARE NI Director
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Down's syndrome campaigner, Heidi Crowter supports the bill
“Last year, in two separate votes, 75 out of 90 MLAs voted to reject the part of the Westminster imposed law which discriminates against non-fatal disabilities. This Bill simply reflects the outcome of those votes. It also builds on the brilliant campaigning by Down’s syndrome activist Heidi Crowter.
Nola Leach CARE CEO

The Bill is expected to be considered at Stage Two in the coming weeks and this is where all MLAs will debate the general principles of the bill and vote to send it to committee where further consideration will take place.

Take Action

If you live in Northern Ireland, you can contact your MLAs via this webpage where you'll also find suggested points to make.

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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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