Pro Life groups welcome new NI abortion Bill tackling disability discrimination

A number of pro-life groups have welcomed a new Bill introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly that would prohibit abortion up to birth in situations where an unborn baby is diagnosed with a non-fatal disability such as Down syndrome.

The Iona Institute NI spokesperson Tracey Harkin said it is “chilling” that currently “babies with disabilities including Down syndrome, cleft palate and club foot can be selected for abortion up to birth”.

“The proposed new Bill . . . is an important first legislative step towards pushing back against the worst extremities of the abortion regime forced upon us by the Westminster government”.

“The United Nations Committee on the rights of people with disabilities (UNCRPD) have on numerous occasions criticized countries like the UK whose abortion laws facilitate disability discrimination.”

Eilís Mulroy of the Pro Life Campaign said, if passed, the bill won’t undo all the damage caused by the new abortion law imposed on Northern Ireland by Westminster but “it will at least end the very obvious discrimination contained in the current law against people with a disability”.

The passage of Paul Givan’s Bill would also “send a strong message that it is never acceptable to single out particular categories of people and try to justify ending their lives based solely on their disability”.