MPs vote to approve extreme NI abortion regulations

Abortion regulations which came into effect in Northern Ireland in March have been passed by MPs at Westminster. Last night’s vote in the House of Commons was the final legislative hurdle for the regulations. 

The extreme regulations allow for abortion in demand up to a minimum of 24 weeks, with abortion up to birth available beyond that for reasons such as disability and ‘mental health’.

MPs supported the extreme regulations retrospectively by 253 votes to 177.


Although the regulations came into force on 31 March 2020, they needed to be signed off in Parliament.

Northern Ireland's pro-Life laws were changed by MPs last year at a time when devolution in NI had collapsed. Last minute talks to restore the Northern Ireland Executive on 21 October collapsed when the SDLP Assembly Members walked out of Stormont, pulling the plug on any available life-line to unborn babies in Northern Ireland.

Last night, the SDLP continued to play their part in forcing abortion on demand upon Northern Ireland’s mothers and babies. SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP along with Claire Hanna MP voted in favour of the regulations permitting abortion up to birth in Northern Ireland. Stephen Farry MP of the Alliance Party also voted in favour of the permissive and cruel abortion regulations. 

Earlier in June, the NI assembly passed a motion, brought by the DUP, to register opposition to the new regulations. Despite Stormont’s rejection of the regulations, they were passed by the majority of elected MPs nonetheless, in utter contempt for the will of the people of Northern Ireland and their elected representatives.

Bernadette Smyth, Director of Precious Life, last night said in a statement:

“The actions of MPs tonight show utter contempt and disregard for the democratic will of the majority of people in Northern Ireland and their elected MPs, who have rejected this horrific abortion regime time and time again. The public opposition to abortion on demand in Northern Ireland has been overwhelming — 79% of the tens of thousands who responded to the NIO’s Public Consultation were against any change to our life-affirming laws. Thousands of you have lobbied your political representatives relentlessly in recent weeks and months to oppose this law. The public opposition to this abortion regime is very clear to see, yet MPs decided to force these regulations on Northern Ireland regardless.

The people of Northern Ireland should pay particularly close attention to the MPs from Northern Ireland who have voted for abortion up to birth. The SDLP have sent an unequivocally clear message that they support abortion on demand and up to birth, even though they will shamelessly continue to mislead the electorate and flout the lie that they are a pro-life party. Their leadership, Colum Eastwood MP alongside Claire Hanna MP, have voted in favour of Europe’s most permissive and cruel abortion regime. The SDLP must be held to account by voters for their treacherous abortion agenda. Similarly, voters must note the Alliance Party’s support for this permissive abortion regime, and understand that they too are advocates of abortion up to the point of birth. 

The arrogance, ignorance and contempt for the pro-life majority in Northern Ireland is outrageous. However, those who believe in equal protection for both mother and baby will continue to speak out and take action until this law in overturned and the human rights injustice of abortion becomes illegal and unthinkable in Northern Ireland. I want to thank everyone who contacted their MPs in recent days, and to assure you that the fight to protect unborn children is not over. We need our MLAs at Stormont to pass legislation to repeal this law, and our work will not be over until each and every child in Northern Ireland is protected.”

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