NI Secretary of State suggests abortion is a necessity during the Coronavirus Pandemic

At a time when nations are uniting in an effort to save vulnerable human life, it seems the priority of some is to ensure the lives of those in the womb are taken. The Northern Ireland Secretary of State has suggested that the killing of unborn children during the Coronavirus Pandemic should be seen as a necessity. Brandon Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that it was appropriate for women to travel to England to have abortions despite the Government-enforced lockdown.

Since the imposition of a radical abortion regime in Northern Ireland which came into effect last Tuesday (31st March), a dissatisfied abortion lobby here have continued to push for abortion at all costs. Abortion-obsessed groups such as Alliance for Choice have been pressuring Health Minister Robin Swann to legalise the use of dangerous home abortions, in a move which would further undermine the safety of women and children in Northern Ireland.

Decisions about how to enforce extreme new abortion laws have not yet been made by Stormont officials. The Department of Health had intended that women continue to travel to England for abortions. However, restrictions on travel due to coronavirus have plunged the arrangement into difficulty.

Precious Life called for abortions to be suspended immediately and abortion centres shut down in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

“As the world unites under a shared understanding that all human life is precious, we are calling for abortions to be immediately stopped and for abortion clinics to be shut down. The taking of a human life – and what is an elective, not a necessary procedure – is never justifiable, whether that is during a crisis or not,” said Director Bernadette Smyth in a press statement.

We’ve seen the abortion industry capitalize on the ongoing crisis of the virus in order to promote dangerous at-home abortions. There are serious risks and complications associated with the abortion pill, including haemorrhaging and even death. By abortion advocates’ own numbers, the pill regimen fails “between 7,000 to 24,000 times annually – or even as high as 31,000 times a year.” 

If the abortion is incomplete, this means a woman may need to undergo a second procedure, this time a surgical one. The threat posed by self-managed abortions means thousands of patients could potentially need emergency care. Which means these women may be exposed to COVID-19, or infect other people with the virus. 

The same UK Government who imposed abortion on Northern Ireland, ignoring the results of its own public consultation, last week legalised the use of DIY home abortions in England during the lockdown period.

Now abortion advocates are angry that the same decision has not been made here.

Referring to abortion, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said travel is currently appropriate for ‘medical needs’ despite the overwhelming ethical and scientific evidence that abortion is not healthcare.

“Travel should only be for essential travel, one of those key points is a medical need or the need to provide medical care and support to other people. So if there is a medical need for someone to travel, that is something that is appropriate within the guidelines,” he told the BBC.

The Northern Ireland Office has published the new abortion regulations.

“We are in unprecedented times, the health service has got a huge range of work to do, quite rightly focusing as well on dealing with this virus,” Mr Lewis said.

“We just wanted to make sure that we are clear that there is an ability there, people can actually access the ability to go forward. We’ve done everything we can to put in place a safe system for women in Northern Ireland with that legislation and that will continue while the executive itself is working through how to establish abortion services to be in place in Northern Ireland.

“I would encourage people to look at the outline of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service who are contracted to provide the booking services for women travelling to England if they need to access abortion services.

“We are keeping this under review… there is some really quite upsetting cases of women who have had to look to abortion as a medical need and we’ve got to make sure that that provision is there for them… and that is there at the moment, obviously long term we want to see that provided properly and officially in Northern Ireland.”

Health minister Robin Swann was pressed on the matter at the Stormont health committee last week by Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw.

He responded by saying the question of abortion is a sensitive issue and one for the Executive as a whole to decide on.

“It is a sensitive issue in Northern Ireland, it’s a cross-cutting issue as well and it’s not one solely for the Department of Health,” he said.

It is understood the Northern Ireland Executive will discuss the issue of abortion at a meeting today (Monday 6th April).

In a time of crisis, the emphasis should be on preserving lives. It’s worth asking why, when the world is engulfed by a pandemic, are politicians such as NI Secretary of State Brandon Lewis, so focused on endangering women’s health and depriving unborn children of life?

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