Advice on responding to the Northern Ireland Office Abortion Consultation

There is no acceptable level of violence against children!

AT MIDNIGHT on Tuesday 22 October 2019, the law which saved the lives of over 100,000 babies in Northern Ireland since 1967 was repealed. New regulations are to be introduced before 31 March 2020 but until then unborn children will have no legal protection. On 4 November the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) launched a public consultation to help define these new regulations.

Faced with the most extreme abortion regime in Europe some people are tempted to find ways of limiting these regulations so the greater number of babies might be protected from the violence of abortion. However, we must never forget that every single child has the right not to be put to death. This is not something that can be negotiated. The law must protect the lives of all children regardless of their disabilities, the stage of their development or the circumstances of their conception.

If we are ever to restore respect for human life, we must insist on this. Any attempt to make abortion seem more acceptable by limiting it to the weakest and most vulnerable children, will only normalise the killing of babies and undermine the sanctity of all human life. We must never allow this to happen.

While the NIO says it is not interested in hearing views on the ethics of abortion, it is impossible to be ethically neutral on this subject. People should not be asked to choose between the legalised killing of children at 12 weeks gestation or 14 weeks or whether one healthcare worker or two should be required to authorise it. It is important that the majority of submissions to this consultation make clear their outright rejection of the extremist abortion regime that the Westminster Government is now imposing on the people of Northern Ireland.

Answering the questions

The consultation lists 15 questions. SPUC's guidance provides background information on the first 14 questions and advice on how to respond to each but these suggestions are only intended to provide a basis for your own thoughts. The final question asks for additional comments and we would encourage you to use this section to personalise your submission. In the past, officials have sought to minimise opposition to government proposals by counting large numbers of submissions as a single contribution. Personalising comments will help to avoid this. Contributions from individuals are also preferable to group submissions.

For the ‘yes or no’ element of questions mark the ‘No’ box for each with the exception of questions 10 and 12. These are the only questions where a positive answer is appropriate.

Click here to access SPUC’s guidance on responding to the consultation.

Closing date

The closing date for submissions is 11.45 pm, 16 December, 2019.
Please respond to this consultation and encourage other people to do the same.
It is possible to complete the consultation online at:
https://consultations.nidirect.gov.uk/nio-implementation-team/a-new-legal-framework-for-abortion-services-in-ni/

Completed consultations can also be sent by post to: Abortion Consultation, Northern Ireland Office, Stormont House, Stormont Estate, Belfast BT4 3SH

Alternatively, it can be sent as an email attachment to: