One should never underestimate the tact and shrewdness of the abortion lobby. This million-pound industry has infiltrated the medical bodies to advance its agenda and now exerts considerable influence among lawmakers. Over the past year, through collaboration and strong public relations strategy, they have repealed laws protecting the unborn in the Republic of Ireland, and delivered some of the most extreme abortion facilitation on the Isle of Man. Now their attention is on England and Northern Ireland.
Last month, the Women and Equalities Committee delivered a report on abortion reform in Northern Ireland following consultation with stakeholders. The Committee, chaired by Maria Miller MP, instructed the Government to make a timetable that would address the ‘systematic violations in the criminalisation of abortion’. It would appear reasonable to assume that the committee arrived at this edict after hearing that the majority of respondents to their consultation believed that Westminster should impose abortion on Northern Ireland. However, Mr. Eddie Hughes MP, a member of the committee who voted against the report, revealed that, in fact, 85% of respondents did NOT want Westminster to impose abortion on Northern Ireland. In Mr Hughes’ alternative report, he notes that abortion law reform was debated and rejected by the Northern Ireland assembly only three years ago. He cautions that any imposition of abortion in Northern Ireland would undermine the devolution settlement, and stresses that there are no human rights judgments that necessitate Government intervention.
Given Mr Hughes’ revelation, we must ask why the committee acted on the endorsement of a mere 15% of respondents and instruct the Government to make a timetable for abortion reform in Northern Ireland. The answer to this question, I think, can be found in the composition of the committee itself. In July 2018, several MPs wrote an open letter to the Times calling for abortion law reform in Northern Ireland. Three out of the four equalities committee members who voted for the report by Ms Miller were signatories to that open letter, namely, Jess Phillips, Sarah Champion, and Tonia Antoniazzi. Moreover, Ms Miller herself has been quoted in the press saying that, ‘No one should deny the people of Northern Ireland a referendum for the opportunity to have the same rights on abortion as the rest of the UK’. Indeed, Ms Miller was one member of a group of MPs to approach Prime Minister Theresa May after the Irish Abortion Referendum to discuss changing abortion law in Northern Ireland. Other members included Amber Rudd, Penny Mordaunt, and Justine Greening. We know that Ms Mordaunt and Ms Greening voted for Diana Johnson’s Abortion Decriminalisation Bill last year. (This bill seeks to amend the Offences Against the Persons Act and, consequently, introduce abortion-on-demand up to 24-weeks in N.I. It may also repeal many legal safeguards around abortion provision in England and Wales.) Ms Rudd was not available to vote for Ms Johnson’s bill on October 23 2018. On October 24, however, she voted for an amendment that would pressurise the Government to enforce changes to Northern Ireland’s abortion law.
Presently, there is a committee scrutinising the Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill – a commendable bill that seeks to protect vulnerable women. Sadly, the abortion lobby are targeting this bill (see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-politics-47260083), and attempting to add amendments that will introduce abortion to N.I. because they know that Ms Johnson’s Abortion Decriminalisation Bill is unlikely to get through the House of Commons. So who do you think is one of the MPs scrutinising the Domestic Violence Bill? Diana Johnson! Not only that, but the chair of the committee scrutinising the Domestic Violence Bill is none other than Maria Miller (the chair of Women and Equalities Committee)! In fact, five of the six MPs scrutinising this bill have publicly backed imposing abortion on N.I.: Namely, Alex Norris, Liz Saville Roberts (both of whom were also signatories of the open letter to the Times), and Helen Whately. We know where Miller and Johnson stand already on abortion in N.I. but we have no idea where the sixth member, Gillian Keegan, stands. But even if she resisted amendments to this bill that will impose abortion on N.I., she would be greatly outnumbered. It is almost certain that the Domestic Violence Bill will pass. It is, after all, a key flagship bill for the Conservative Government. Sadly, it is due to be hijacked by the abortion lobby and its allies in parliament.
Please help us stop this by contacting your MP asking them to object or write directly to Home Secretary Sajid Javid asking him to intervene to ensure this bill does not become a vehicle for the abortion lobby.