Our daughter conceived at 14 years of age. She chose to keep her child. I attended every out-patient appointment with her. Only after some years did she confide in me, that on every occasion when I was absent from the room, she was pressurised by the medical staff to abort her child. She was admitted finally because of complications at 37 weeks; even then she was encouraged to abort her child.
Adopting the Abortion Law here has led to a generation of people, including medical staff, who have become hardened in their attitudes to new life. Had we lived in Northern Ireland my daughter would have been saved this heartless bullying.
As a medical professional I have always held the sanctity of life to be of the highest priority. Over the years, because of this view, I have been the recipient of confidences from other like-minded professionals. In one instance it was reported to me that having performed a late termination the baby would be delivered alive and then left in the sluice crying until it died. It was suggested that this was not an isolated instance!
In 2018 the Westminster Women and Equalities Committee launched an inquiry into Northern Ireland’s abortion law. In April 2019 the report concluding their inquiry was published. It calls for law change to allow abortion in cases of “fatal foetal abnormality”. The main report was not adopted unanimously, and with a vote of four to two, an alternative Hughes Report was also published.
Interestingly, the first item listed in the Committees Terms of Reference, is their desire to hear from the general public, women impacted by the law, and medical and legal professionals in Northern Ireland.
Over 88% of all the submissions they received from the public were against law change. We are highlighting just a few of those submissions, which are publicly available. All of the published submissions can be viewed here.