URGENT ACTION ALERT: Make your submission against up-to-birth abortion
As a matter of urgency, we need you to contact the Joint Committee before 26th April.
A group of pro-abortion politicians in the House of Commons are pushing to decriminalise abortion across the UK, meaning the legalisation of abortion right up to and including the moment of birth. They are planning to use the Domestic Abuse Bill as a vehicle to push their extreme abortion agenda. The abortion lobby has made it very clear that they are going to usurp this Bill with the aim of amending the legislation to introduce abortion right up to birth for any reason and under any circumstances in Northern Ireland, England and Wales.
This Bill is meant to be about supporting victims of domestic abuse – so why should abortion be included in this? Precious Life are urging the people of Northern Ireland to urgently stand against this vicious new attack on Northern Ireland’s unborn babies and their mothers. If successful, this Bill would mean the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland and across the UK – meaning abortion up to the moment of birth for innocent unborn babies.
A Joint Committee has been set up to scrutinise the draft Bill and they are seeking written evidence for their inquiry. As a matter of urgency, we need you to contact the Joint Committee before 26th April. This inquiry is part of a concerted campaign from pro-abortion politicians pushing to decriminalise abortion across the UK, meaning the legalisation of abortion right up to and including the moment of birth. They are planning to use the Domestic Abuse Bill as a vehicle to push their extreme abortion agenda.
This inquiry has been launched following the introduction of two separate pro-abortion amendments in the British Parliament, put forward by Labour MPs Diana Johnson and Stella Creasy respectively. These amendments and this new inquiry are all part of a ferocious campaign to decriminalise abortion, making it legal up to the moment of birth. Diana Johnson is actually a member of this Joint Committee.
This pro-abortion campaign is accelerating at a rapid pace, meaning we urgently need your help today to stop Westminster’s push for a radical abortion regime for Northern Ireland. It is vital that all pro-life people write to the Committee in defence of Northern Ireland’s laws. Your voice could have an incredible impact.
How to make a sumbission:
You can make your submission through the Joint Committee’s website before 5pm Friday 26th April, 2019. You must write up your submission in a word document. If you do not have Microsoft Word installed on your computer, you can use a free online tool to create a word document such as Microsoft Word Online.
If you are opposed to abortion in any circumstances please make a written submission. If you have had an abortion; have considered having one in the past; if you have had a baby with a life-limiting condition; if you became pregnant after rape; if you were conceived in rape; if you are alive because of our laws; if you continued with your pregnancy because of our pro-life laws; if you are thankful that our pro-life laws are in place, this Committee needs to hear from you.
Your submission can be a personal testimony of direct or indirect negative experiences of abortion, a personal opinion or the positive effects our pro-life laws have had on you, your family or friends.
The committee have attached guidance on making your submission.
Here are ten useful points to help you in making your submission:
1. This inquiry disregards the principles of democracy and devolution. It is totally unfair for another government – such as Westminster – to try to override the democratic process and force their own cruel and extreme abortion culture on Northern Ireland. Abortion is a devolved issue in NI. You cannot pick and choose devolution.
In April 2015, it was revealed that over 99% of the responses to the then Justice Minister David Ford MLA’s consultation of changing the law to allow abortion in cases of “lethal foetal abnormality and sexual crime” opposed any change in the law. 25,140 of the 25,320 responses to the consultation opposed any change in the law. Northern Ireland rejects not only abortion on demand, but abortion in every case.
As recently as 2016, our devolved government voted against any change to our life-saving laws – laws that safeguard mothers and unborn babies and have ensured that at least 100,000 people are alive today. An amendment to legalise the abortion of babies with life-limiting disabilities was defeated in Stormont in January 2016 by 59 votes to 40. The amendment to legalise the killing of babies conceived in rape or incest was defeated even more overwhelmingly, by 64 votes to 32.
2. Decriminalisation is a euphemism for the full legalisation of abortion right up to and including the moment of birth. The sole purpose of the law in Northern Ireland is to protect the mother as well as her unborn child. Sections 58 and 59 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 and section 25 of the Criminal Justice Act (NI) 1945 together recognise that the unborn child, at any and every stage of development, is a human being – a person – deserving of protection under the law. Decriminalising abortion across the UK would mean stripping all legal protection from pregnant women and their unborn babies through the whole nine months of pregnancy. If you abide by the law, you won’t be criminalised. The criminal aspect of the law never prevents medical professionals providing women with life-saving care during pregnancy. The point of legislation is to protect every citizen including the most vulnerable and defenceless – unborn babies.
It is often victims of domestic abuse and violence who are coerced in to abortion – thus removing evidence of their crime. Punish the abusers and rapists – not the innocent unborn babies. If we spent the £757 million taxpayers’ paid to the lucrative abortion industry over the past decade in Britain alone on compassionate alternatives to abortion we would live in a much more progressive, humane society.
3. An unborn baby is a human being and a person deserving of legal protection and human rights, by virtue of his or her humanity. At 16 days, the heart starts beating (British Heart Foundation) and by twelve weeks, a baby is fully formed with all of his or her bodily organs functioning, all extremities present and he or she just needs time to grow. Each human life is a continuum that begins at conception and advances in stages until death. Science gives different names to these stages, including zygote, blastocyst, embryo, fetus, infant, child, adolescent and adult. This does not change the scientific consensus that at all points of development each individual is a living member of the human species. Legalising abortion up to birth in New York led to a man, Anthon Hobson (48) who murdered his pregnant ex-girlfriend Jennifer Irigoyen (35) not being charged for second-degree murder as the unborn baby wasn’t considered a legal ‘person’ and thus had no rights whatsoever.
4. Our maternal mortality rate in Northern Ireland is the lowest in the UK, and one of the lowest in in the entire world. Northern Ireland is one of the safest places for women globally, and one of the safest places to have a baby. This was proven through a landmark study carried out by various medical practitioners, which was published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (Summer 2013). Over 40 years of legalized abortion in Britain there has been a consistent pattern in which higher abortion rates have run parallel to higher incidence of stillbirths, premature births, low birth-weight neonates and cerebral palsy as sequelae of abortion. In contrast, both Irish jurisdictions consistently display lower rates of all morbidities and mortality associated with legalised abortion.
5. Our laws matter because every life matters: Every person - born and preborn - deserves to be protected regardless of race, gender, disability, circumstances of conception or predicted lifespan. It is either a human being or it is not. If an unborn baby is not a human being - then no justification for abortion is necessary and it would be legalised up to birth worldwide and no debate would be needed. However, if an unborn baby is a human being then no justification for abortion is adequate.
Our pro-life laws in Northern Ireland safeguard mothers and their unborn babies.
6. There is no human right to abortion. There is no treaty or convention acknowledging a supposed 'right' to abortion, yet the right to life of every person is widely recognised and enshrined in international law.
All human beings, as members of the human family, are entitled to recognition of their inherent dignity and to protection of their inalienable human rights. This is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other international instruments:
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights ‘[…] recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’)
The European Convention on Human Rights ‘The principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are specifically endorsed in the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.’
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. As indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”’
The right to life of all members of the human family, whether born or unborn, with or without a disability, irrespective of the crime committed against his or her mother, is enshrined in international human rights law.
7. Abortion is not healthcare.
There are NO medical conditions when the life of a pregnant woman can only be saved by abortion. Although serious threats to health can occur, there is always a life-affirming way to care for mother and baby. It is important to distinguish between abortion, which is the intentional killing of an unborn child, and essential medical treatment to save a pregnant woman’s life, which may result in the unintentional death of her unborn child.
Abortion isn’t and never will be healthcare. Real healthcare saves both lives involved in every pregnancy – even more lives for twins and triplets. There is no medical necessity to abortion because pregnancy is not an injury, illness or disease. Abortion does not improve health. In fact, it disrupts a normal natural process; it poses a risk to the mother; and it ends the life of her unborn child. There is no medical necessity where no health risk or medical benefit exists.
A group of top obstetricians and gynaecologists have stated, “There are no medical circumstances justifying direct abortion that is circumstances in which the life of a mother may only be saved by directly terminating the life of her unborn child.” In fact, over 30,000 American doctors have stated that “abortion is never medically necessary to save a mother’s life.”
Denise Mountenay, the Founder of Canada Silent No More and Together for Life Ministries, has direct experience with rape, teen pregnancy and abortion. Denise was raped when she was just 13 and she has had 3 abortions, which she deeply regrets, “Legal abortion is damaging women. Our mental health. Our reproductive health. As well as causing breast cancer.”
8. Abortion hurts women and significantly increases the risk of mental and physical health problems. Research shows that abortion carries an increased risk of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug dependence, self-harm and suicidal behaviour. This Bill is about supporting women who have been harmed by domestic violence, however abortion, the deliberate killing of an unborn baby, is never a solution for a woman in crisis. Abortion will not lift a woman out of an abusive relationship, provide her with relief or help her to heal. Abortion, in every situation, adds trauma and grief to existing pain. In the devastating case of rape, many rape survivors tell us that the birth of their baby brought about healing and was a source of light and hope in an extremely dark place.
The Fergusson Study: Evidence from a 30-Year Longitudinal Study (2008).
The Coleman Study: An analysis of 22 studies published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2011 showed that women who had had an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug dependence and suicidal behaviour. Nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was attributable to abortion.
Research also shows that abortion carries an increased risk of physical health problems including haemorrhaging, infertility problems and even maternal death.
The tragic story of Savita Halappanavar was a very significant factor in abortion being legalised down south. This story was utilised as pro-abortion propaganda. The 3 separate, unbiased inquests – including the HSE and HIQA reports - into Savita’s death all reveal that Savita tragically died as a result of mistreatment of sepsis and medical negligence. Hence, 9 medical professionals were disciplined. If her death had happened because of the 8th amendment, her family would have sued the state and not the hospital. Abortion – the intentional killing of a human being isn’t and never will be a cure for sepsis – blood poisoning. Abortion is not healthcare and isn’t mentioned in any scientific textbook or medical literature as a cure. Real healthcare saves lives. Savita very sadly passed away because of medical negligence. Her case has nothing to do with the abortion debate. Furthermore, a late-term abortion can never be done in an emergency situation. It takes 2-3 days at least to prep a woman for a late-term abortion.
On the other hand, you never hear of the two Irish women who very sadly died as a direct result of abortion. Aisha Chithira, 31, travelled from Ireland to England to have an abortion in 2012. She bled out and died after having a so-called “safe, legal” abortion in a London Marie Stopes. She was discharged despite vomiting and feeling dizzy, and displaying symptoms that “were not appreciated as potentially sinister”. Also, Bimbo Onanuga, a Nigerian-born resident of Dublin, died in March 2010 of internal bleeding when, while undergoing an induction, the baby was delivered through a rupture in her uterus into her abdominal cavity. An inquest found that the rupture was caused by scarring and thinning of the uterine wall caused by a previous abortion.
Abortion can cause physical, mental and psychological damage to women, and to men who didn’t get a say in the lives of their babies. Abortion can cause haemorrhaging, infertility problems and even maternal death as explained by a doctor who then went in to politics and is now better known as the Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar. Women and unborn babies deserve so much better than the damage, destruction and death of abortion.
9. There is no on-the-ground demand for abortion here in Northern Ireland. Huge support for our pro-life laws has been proven through the overwhelming response to Precious Life’s petition campaigns in recent years. On 28th November 2016, 300,000 pro-life petitions were presented at Stormont Parliament Buildings. These petitions, collected by Precious Life and presented on behalf of the pro-life majority in Northern Ireland, served as a powerful reminder to the Northern Ireland Assembly that unborn children must continue to be protected by our laws.
10. In Northern Ireland, over 100,000 people are alive today because of our pro-life laws. By contrast, in Great Britain there have been almost 9 million abortions: one abortion every three minutes, 20 every hour and 600 every working day, with one in three pregnancies now ended by abortion. Britain now have abortion up to birth in the case of babies with disabilities – leading to 90 per cent of babies with Down’s syndrome being aborted – and of little girls merely because of their gender. We do not want this culture of death and eugenics in Northern Ireland.
 John Boner, Eamon O’Dwyer, David Jenkins, Julia Vaughan, ‘Statement by Obstrecians’, Irish Times, 1st April 1992.