Yesterday June 2, the assembly’s vote to reject abortions for non-fatal disabilities, has given us hope that our elected representatives do not aspire to the extreme abortion regime that pro-choice lobbyists have insisted on for Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland Assembly voted 46 to 40 in favour of the motion; “That this Assembly welcomes the important intervention of disability campaigner Heidi Crowter and rejects the imposition of abortion legislation which extends to all non-fatal disabilities, including Down’s syndrome.”
We thank Heidi Crowter for her courage in stepping forward to bring the issue of discrimination in the womb to the fore.
The statistics recorded in England and Wales give evidence to the culture of discrimination against babies diagnosed in the womb with Down Syndrome* with up to 90 per cent of fetal diagnoses resulting in termination.
Abortions for reasons of disability are a small percentage of the total with around 2 per cent of the annual nearly 200 thousand abortions being performed under Ground E of the 1967 Abortion Act**, however it is important not to lose sight of the actual number of abortions that percentage represents. It is a sad fact that in the last five years over 16 thousand babies have been terminated in England & Wales and the majority of those are for non-fatal disabilities. We know that every year in England and Wales babies are terminated for what are minor and correctable conditions, such as cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot**.
Both Lives Matter services advocate Marion Woods comments, “As a society it is incumbent on us to learn from the evidence and stand firm against the introduction of such discrimination. It is hypocritical of us as citizens of NI to applaud and support the achievements of the participants of the Special Olympics if we do not first defend the rights of unborn babies with disabilities in the womb.
Both lives matter before and after birth and so we call on our local Assembly to ensure that women and families who face a prenatal diagnosis of disability are supported during pregnancy and post-birth.
We have within recent months witnessed the amazing contribution of NI citizens to ensuring the protection of our elderly and vulnerable in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now it is time to focus on doing likewise for our unborn babies, women and families in the face of the devastating global pandemic that is abortion.”
For further comment:
Marion Woods; 07809 885390
Dawn McAvoy; 07976414817
email: [email protected]
“75 babies with either cleft lip or cleft palate as their principal condition were aborted between 2011 and 2018. The figures are likely to be much higher – for example a 2013 review by Eurocat showed 157 babies were aborted for cleft lip and palate in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. However, the Department of Health & Social Care (DoHSC) recorded only 14 such abortions.”