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UK News MLAs vote against ‘imposition’ of new abortion regulations in Northern Ireland

05:15  03 june  2020
05:15  03 june  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The Abortion ( Northern Ireland ) Regulations 2020, which came into force March 31, allow elective abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy; abortions Since the imposition of the law more than 100 abortions took place in Northern Ireland in seven weeks. The Belfast Telegraph reported June 2

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a large green field in front of Parliament Buildings: The Stormont Assembly voted in opposition to new abortion regulations (PA) © Paul Faith The Stormont Assembly voted in opposition to new abortion regulations (PA)

The Stormont Assembly has voted in opposition to new abortion regulations that include terminations up to birth in cases of serious non-fatal disabilities.

The outcome of Tuesday evening’s debate in the devolved legislature does not change the recently introduced liberalised abortion law in the region.

A DUP motion rejecting the “imposition” of abortion regulations by Westminster passed by 46 votes to 40. One MLA abstained

Some SDLP, UUP and Alliance Party representatives voted with the DUP while others opposed it.

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The Abortion ( Northern Ireland ) Regulations 2020, which came into force March 31, allow elective Since the imposition of the law more than 100 abortions took place in Northern Ireland in seven weeks. Contact your MLA ’s to support the motion. Westminster abortion regulations are unjust

But anti - abortion campaigners in Northern Ireland claim that the change could mean abortion up to 28 weeks. New legislation implementing the Irish Republic poll’s overwhelming two-to-one verdict in favour of making the procedure available will be introduced in the new year, the taoiseach has said.

While the motion rejected the new regulations in their entirety, it focused on the regulation that permits abortions up to birth in cases of severe disability.

a little boy standing in front of a car: The debate referenced the campaigning on the abortion issue by Heidi Crowter (Family handout/PA) © Provided by PA Media The debate referenced the campaigning on the abortion issue by Heidi Crowter (Family handout/PA)

It referenced the campaign by disability rights activists Heidi Crowter, who has Down’s Syndrome and who claims such laws are discriminatory.

Sinn Fein tabled an amendment that also called for the rejection of the non-fatal disability regulation, but did not include any demand for the broader regulations to be axed.

That amendment was defeated 32 votes to 52, with three MLAs abstaining.

MPs are due to vote on the abortion regulations, which were introduced in March, at Westminster later this month.

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People in Northern Ireland have long been constricted by some of the most crushing abortion laws in the Yesterday saw the DUP and other anti -choice MLAs gather in a paltry attempt to restore the But we have an opportunity to craft a new Northern Ireland in an image without persecution or barriers.

But anti - abortion campaigners in Northern Ireland claim that the change could mean abortion up to 28 weeks. Obstacles to a parliamentary vote have prompted some MPs to argue for a referendum, which would allow the people of Northern Ireland to take the final decision, not London, while also

If they are voted down the Government would face the prospect of having to redraw new regulations.

Paul Givan in a suit and tie sitting at a desk: DUP MLA Paul Givan demanded that the regulations were withdrawn (Niall Carson/PA) © Provided by PA Media DUP MLA Paul Givan demanded that the regulations were withdrawn (Niall Carson/PA)

Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws were changed by MPs last year at a time when the Stormont Assembly was collapsed.

DUP MLA Paul Givan welcomed the outcome of the debate.

“The Assembly has now rejected these extreme abortion regulations on the basis of how they discriminate against the unborn especially those with disabilities,” he said.

Mr Givan said the regulations must be withdrawn.

a person wearing a blue shirt: Grainne Teggart from Amnesty International said the vote had ‘no impact’ on the abortion law (Liam McBurney/PA) © Provided by PA Media Grainne Teggart from Amnesty International said the vote had ‘no impact’ on the abortion law (Liam McBurney/PA)

“The regulations imposed by Westminster have led to Northern Ireland having the most liberal abortion regime in Europe,” he added.

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Supreme Court rules against Northern Ireland woman. MLAs vote against abortion law change. However, anti - abortion campaigners argue that doctors cannot accurately predict death, saying that terminally-ill babies "can and do defy the odds".

Former Northern Ireland health minister Jim Wells said the expected result was a "grave threat" to the unborn child in Northern Ireland . Mr Wells, a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) politician, claimed it was "inevitable" that abortion clinics would be set up in border towns to "promote their services to

“This approach undermined the devolution settlement, but worst of all facilitated the ending of so many precious lives. That is something that the majority of people here in Northern Ireland are against.”

From March 31, when the regulations were introduced, to May 22, a total of 129 abortions were carried out in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein MLA Emma Sheerin said the DUP could not be allowed to “block access to modern, compassionate healthcare”.

“The motion as put forward by the DUP is quite obviously an attempt to undermine the entirety of the abortion provision which has thus far been put into law in the north of Ireland,” she said.

Ms Sheerin said her party’s amendment had been an attempt to “refine” the law, to bring it into line with regulations in the Irish Republic.

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Take Northern Ireland 's abortion law, a topic that has always deeply divided opinion. The Northern Ireland Office, which drew up the regulations after a public consultation, insisted the new Last week, MLAs on Stormont's health committee also seemed totally confused about whether the assembly

Abortion ruling appeal by Northern Ireland minister 'insults women'. Read more. Sinn Fein said its MLAs would support a relaxation of the strict laws. “There is no place at births for politicians The vexed issue of abortion has long divided opinion in Northern Ireland . It was thrust back on to the

She added: “Our party position is one which calls for a compassionate and reasonable approach to healthcare, but not one that would see abortion treated as a mainstream, normal option.”

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald speaks at a public meeting Liberty Hall in Dublin, Ireland February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan © Thomson Reuters Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald speaks at a public meeting Liberty Hall in Dublin, Ireland February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Some pro-choice campaigners had criticised Sinn Fein’s stance, claiming the party had undermined its advocacy of abortion reform on both sides of the border.

Earlier, party president Mary Lou McDonald tweeted: “Sinn Fein wants those same rights secured for women in the South to be delivered in the North. Nobody left behind.”

Under the regulations abortion is legal in all circumstances in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

When the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman’s physical or mental health the time limit is 24 weeks.

Abortions are permitted at any time up to birth when there has been a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality or where the child is likely to suffer severe mental or physical impairment.

The Assembly debate focused on that latter circumstance, involving non-fatal disabilities.

Anti-abortion campaigners claim this discriminates against disabled people and allows for unlimited terminations for conditions such as Down’s Syndrome.

They welcomed the vote.

Catherine Robinson, from Right to Life UK, said: “Tonight’s vote has made it clear that the UK Government must urgently hand back this devolved matter to the elected representatives of the people of Northern Ireland at the Assembly.

“The UK Government and Westminster now have absolutely no mandate whatsoever to impose these extreme regulations on Northern Ireland.”

However, pro-choice organisations insisted the vote did not change the law.

Grainne Teggart, from Amnesty International, said: “This motion has no impact on the abortion law or regulations in Northern Ireland.

“Although this sends a disappointing message that some MLAs are not willing to stand fully for human rights, women and girls should rest assured that the hard-won abortion reform remains intact.”

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