Today Westminster will debate what would arguably be the most radical change to abortion law in the UK in over 150 years.
Stella Creasey, a Labour MP, is proposing to remove any criminal sanction for those involved in abortion. While the vote is not binding, it is designed to pave the way for the removal of the legal limits on abortion in Northern Ireland and even those contained in the 1967 Abortion Act in England and Wales.
Dawn McAvoy, co-founder of Both Lives Matter comments,
“Stella Creasey wants full decriminalisation which would leave abortion largely unregulated. It could allow anyone to have an abortion, anywhere, for any reason, by any method. Abortion would suddenly be legal in Northern Ireland, undermining devolution. In England and Wales, the two doctor test would become irrelevant, the 24 week limit would be thrown out, gender selective abortion could be allowed, and the need for abortion providers to be regulated could be removed.”
“We are deeply concerned about attempts from Westminster to change the law on abortion in Northern Ireland. However, it is important that the public are very clear that in this moment Northern Ireland is being used to push for much wider changes. If the relevant sections of the Offences Against the Person Act are repealed this would remove a critical protection from the life of the unborn child and any meaningful limitation on abortion at any stage in any pregnancy potentially throughout the UK.”
“The purpose of including the offence of abortion in the Offences Against the Person Act was to protect both women and unborn children, as persons from unsafe, unregulated and unscrupulous abortion providers. The methods might have changed but women and unborn children still need this legal protection today, perhaps now more than ever. We urge politicians at Westminster to reflect carefully before interfering in this sensitive political issue and this sensitive political moment.”