Baroness Nuala O'Loan calls on people to 'make their voices heard' and demand new abortion law is not approved
Former Police Ombudsman and pro-life peer Baroness Nuala O'Loan has called on the people of Northern Ireland to "make their voices heard" and demand that new regulations around abortion "are not approved" in Northern Ireland.
Writing in Friday's Irish News, Mrs O'Loan blasted the extreme new abortion law as "discriminatory" and said it failed to represent the public's views on the issue. She also said that it would be "very wrong" if new abortion laws are "approved without proper consideration."
Her comments come ahead of Parliament considering whether broad-based abortion regulations should become law in Northern Ireland. The regulation, which was imposed on Northern Ireland on March 31, allow unborn children to be killed up to 24 weeks (6 months' gestation) on request, and up to BIRTH if the child in the womb has a disability, such as Down's Syndrome or Cleft Palette. An overwhelming 79% of respondents to the NIO Government Public Consultation on abortion said that there should be no change to Northern Ireland's pro-life laws to permit abortion.
But Mrs O'Loan said she believed the new law had "obvious excess of power, uncertainties, lack of detail and dangers".
"Parliament cannot sit properly because of the coronavirus: only a limited number are permitted to attend," she said.
"It would be very wrong if this new law, containing so much that appears to be beyond the powers of the secretary of state, were to be approved without proper consideration and without taking into account the views of the people of Northern Ireland.
"It is time for the people of Northern Ireland to make their voices heard again, by writing to MPs, MLAs, the NIO and others demanding that these regulations are not approved."
Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life, Northern Ireland's leading pro-life organisation, echoed Baroness O'Loan's comments.
"Precious Life are urgently appealing to people in Northern Ireland to make their voices heard once again. Pro-life people here have persistently spoken up in support of life, in support of mothers and their unborn children, and against the deliberate killing of human life. As Parliament considers whether or not these horrific and extreme abortion regulations are to become law here, we are asking people to once again contact their MLAs and MPs to demand that all life is safeguarded."
Ms Smyth said that Precious Life's 'Repeal Section 9' Campaign had seen enormous support from people from all walks of life who reject abortion as a solution for women or their children.
"We have been overwhelmed with the continuous support from people in Northern Ireland who are demanding real support, not abortion, for mothers and babies. Abortion is a violent, regressive and barbaric 'solution' to any pregnancy, and unborn children need to be protected here in law, policy and practise."
She added, "We want to thank the many, many people who have supported the campaign, and we would urge everyone not to waste a single opportunity to protect unborn children - to email their MLAs and MPs today to ask them to Repeal Section 9 and restore personhood status for every unborn child in Northern Ireland."