Press Release: Scotland Disregards Democracy as Government will pay NI women travel expenses for abortions

Precious Life have labelled ‘disgraceful’ and ‘totally unacceptable’ the Scottish Government’s announcement that they will not only facilitate the killing of Northern Ireland’s unborn babies through abortion, but will also pay expenses for travel and accommodation to women having abortions in Scotland. “The Scottish Government aren’t happy with simply facilitating the deaths of countless Northern Irish babies through their regressive abortion regime – they are now willing to go as far as to offer women from here, financial incentives for doing so. This is abhorrent and shows a total disregard for the principles of devolution,” Precious Life said today.

Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced last night that bursaries for travel and accommodation would be set up for Northern Irish women accessing free abortions in Scotland, following a push for such bursaries to be offered from Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale.

Precious Life slammed the move as “deeply hypocritical.”  “This is an astounding contradiction and deeply hypocritical, considering that as recently as 2015, Scotland fought to make abortion a devolved issue. Forcing their own abortion regime onto the women of Northern Ireland and encouraging them to avail of Scottish abortions through offering travel bursaries betrays the very principles of devolution. Scotland ought to respect Northern Ireland’s democratic process, just as Holyrood demanded respect from the Westminster Government in 2015 in regards to Scotland’s abortion laws.”

No other government should have the right to dictate and usurp our laws as abortion is a devolved issue in Northern Ireland. The scale of interference in the affairs of Northern Ireland is shameful. The Northern Ireland Assembly voted on the issue of abortion as recently as February 2016 and they emphatically voted against legalisation. The people of Northern Ireland are well able to speak for themselves, and they have continuously voted for pro-life politicians who will work to protect women and babies from abortion, and who will seek better, truly compassionate alternatives.

Even a recent ruling by the UK Supreme Court emphasised that abortion is indeed a devolved issue and it was not for the Court to "address the ethical considerations which underlie the difference" in the law regarding abortion in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Precious Life Director Bernadette Smyth responded today: “The Scottish Government have no right to impose their inhumane and brutal abortion culture on Northern Ireland’s women and babies. The situation in Great Britain is not something to be proud of – the extent of abortions in Britain take place because a child has a disability, or because that baby is simply unwanted. That is nothing to celebrate. 90% of unborn babies with Down’s syndrome are now routinely aborted, and the law in Scotland allows for this up to birth. This is horrific, and Scotland have absolutely no right to push this injustice and violence onto Northern Ireland’s women and babies, while at the same time desperately offering financial incentives to increase the numbers of Northern Irish women travelling for abortions there. It is a truly disgraceful, anti-democratic decision.”

Precious Life will be encouraging everyone in Northern Ireland to contact their MLAs and MPs and express their outrage at this disgraceful decision that will lead to the tragic deaths of Northern Irish babies and long-term suffering for Northern Irish women. We must stand united as a pro-life province and demand that our democracy is respected and that our children will be protected!

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