I am writing to you with regards to abortion policy in Northern Ireland. As you will be aware a number of events have taken place in recent months which impact on this. In July the Court of Appeal in Belfast upheld existing law. They found that the law here (which does allow for abortion in limited circumstances) is legitimate and proportional and within the margin of appreciation accorded to member states by the European Court of Human Rights. They reaffirmed that there is no human right to abortion. They also stated that if any change was to be made to the law, this would be a decision for the legislative Assembly. On the same day, the Women's and Equalities Minster announced funding, to cover the cost of abortions for women who travel from Northern Ireland.
- I am writing to you as my local representative to ask you to stand up for and safeguard the principle of devolution.
Abortion is a devolved issue in Northern Ireland. As recently as February 2016 the Northern Ireland Assembly voted after a very careful debate not to make any changes to our abortion legislation. While the Equalities Minister has not changed the law in NI, her actions have effectively undermined it.. Please confirm that you will respect devolution and oppose any further encroachment into this devolved matter.
A recent Both Lives Matter report demonstrates that there is a reasonable probability that over 100,000 people are alive in Northern Ireland today who would not be had the GB 1967 Abortion Act applied to the Province. We have an opportunity to show that NI has a life-affirming culture and is supportive of women. The 100,000 claim has been validated by the Advertising Standards Authority and their ruling can be found here.
- I am writing to you as my local representative asking you to stand for women in pregnancy crisis. In line with our pre-election appeal, will you support our proposal that some of the extra money coming to Northern Ireland in this new Parliamentary term, will be used to support women with the provision of much needed perinatal palliative care and maternal mental health care services? And to be fair and equal will you support the call for increased state provision of pregnancy crisis services for women who continue in their pregnancy, to counter the funding from Westminster that risks incentivising abortion?
Please confirm that you will support our campaign to uphold the value, dignity and worth of mothers and unborn children in our society.
I am asking you to stand for devolution, and fair and equal support for women and unborn children who continue in pregnancy because Both Lives Matter.