Extreme proposal for abortion on demand should be rejected 

Life Northern Ireland is extremely disappointed by a statement by professional bodies calling for abortion on demand up to 24 weeks. 

The recommendation is contained in a joint statement by The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH). 

The colleges said abortion should be available up to 24 weeks in order to have a ‘safe, legal and compassionate’ framework in March which allows access to abortion ‘without introducing unnecessary barriers and restrictions’  

Life Northern Ireland spokeswoman, Aisling Dundee, said: “If the colleges’ proposal for abortion on demand up to 24 weeks is accepted, Northern Ireland would have more liberal abortions laws than most of Europe.   

The proposal is being framed as ‘safe and compassionate’ care, without any mention of alternatives. Yet again, abortion is being framed as essential healthcare, comparable to any other clinical procedure, and the only compassionate solution to a difficult or unexpected pregnancy. At Life Northern Ireland we know that abortion can hurt women and families, and as such an appropriate, truly compassionate response is to fully inform women of all the options available to them when considering an abortion and not simply place them on the abortion conveyor belt. 

Not only have the people of Northern Ireland had abortion imposed on them by Westminster but now they face the possibility of the floodgates being opened to the most extreme abortion laws. We implore the government to reject this proposal and to consider that the provision of safe and compassionate care as part of the new abortion framework in Northern Ireland should prioritise robust perinatal services and any practical or emotional support a woman might need.” 

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