Friday, May 16, 2008

Extending Abortion to Northern Ireland

I was asked to publicise this:

Next Tuesday (20 May) some MPs plan to table amendments to the HFE Bill aimed at introducing abortion on demand and extending the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland.
It is vital that these amendments are defeated. The evidence suggests that the easier it is to obtain an abortion, the more abortions there are. Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of the BPAS (the largest provider of abortions in the UK) admits this, calling UK abortion law “one of the most liberal in the way it is interpreted”, adding “although the Act does not formally permit abortion ‘on request’ that is what it has allowed in practice.”
England and Wales have some of the highest abortion rates in the EU and there is widespread agreement that these figures are too high. Survey after survey shows that most British people believe that there are too many abortions and that abortions are too easy to obtain.

1. There is strong opposition to abortion in Northern Ireland. Pro-choice activists know their only hope is for MPs in Westminster to impose legal abortion in Northern Ireland against the wishes of the electorate. The people of Northern Ireland should determine their own laws on abortion. It would be undemocratic for Westminster to impose its model of permissive abortion on the Province.
2. Currently an abortion requires the approval of two doctors. This imposes at least a minimum of time for reflection before the decision to abort. Next week’s amendment will take away even that. The requirement should be for even more time for reflection not less.
Please email your MPs asking them to resist both of these amendments. If you do not know who your local MP is or how to contact him/her, feel follow the link below which will allow you to email them directly:
Remember to include your name, address and postcode.

You may want to include the following points:
Between 1996 and 2006 (the last year for which figures are available), there was an increase in the total number of abortions of around 20% from 167,916 to 193,737
In England and Wales the abortion rate stands at 17.5 per thousand women. In Northern Ireland where abortion is legally restricted it is 3.75 per thousand, or about one fifth that of England and Wales.
The government’s strategy to reduce abortions is focused on making contraception more readily available but this is failing. In 2006 there was 4% rise in abortions and for the first time 19 year olds became the single largest group having abortions.
The only way to reduce abortions is by making abortions harder not more easy. Please do not forget to contact your MPs, as this will be the most important act of legislation since 1990. If you don’t make your voice count now, you won’t have a second chance.


Anonymous said...

Here are some terrible numbers for Russia, just to compare.

The number of abortions per thousand women: 1964, 169 (!!!), now about 50 (!!!). There are now more abortions than births in that country (about 120 abortions per 100 births).

The question to MPs (and others) is: does the UK really aims to reach these numbers?

Lenin in his work "Working class and neomaltusianism" defended maximally broad use of abortions as "an ABC of the most basic democratic rights of men and women."

If this country is going to become even more democratic, welcome to follow the Lenin's democratic teaching. Then, we'll probably need laws allowing killing (humane, of course) the elderly to fulfil the democratic rights of the younger and so on.

Anonymous said...

Abortion for Northern Ireland!

Sounds like the first time a British Government and Sinn Fein have agreed on anything.

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