Proposed Northern Ireland abortion regulations 'deeply concerning', says evangelical body

Both Lives Matter campaigners protesting changes to Northern Ireland's abortion laws outside Stormont(Photo: Both Lives Matter)

The Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland has called the proposed regulatory framework for abortion in Northern Ireland the "worst of all worlds". 

Its director, Peter Lynas, said that the proposals go "far beyond what Westminster legislated for", while the framing of a Government consultation into the changes is "deeply concerning".

"The proposals suggest the British requirement that two doctors sign off on an abortion should not be adopted and instead look to open up provision to any healthcare professional, operating in almost any location," he said. 

"Lots of people don't realise that GB has one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe."

Mr Lynas said that the proposals for Northern Ireland "read like a pro-abortion charter attempting to make Northern Ireland the abortion capital of Europe".

He went on to question the six-week span of the consultation - the minimum length of time required - and the Government's timing "while everyone is distracted by the election".

"The process and timing is incredibly concerning," he said.

"The proposals include allowing abortion up to 12 or 14 weeks without certification, for almost any reason up to 22 or 24 weeks on grounds similar to GB and up to birth for a disability that would have a 'profound impact' on the quality of a child's life. The blatant disregard for disabled rights is staggering."

He continued: "A hundred thousand people in Northern Ireland are alive today because Northern Ireland did not accept the same abortion law that was introduced into Britain by the Abortion Act 1967.

"This proposed abortion framework is a blatant attempt by the Government to undermine the will of the people of Northern Ireland, the majority of whom oppose these laws.

"We acknowledge that this is a consultation and not yet law, but these proposals exceed our worst fears. We are encouraging as many people as possible to respond to the consultation."