Displaying items by tag: right to life
Anna-Maria Tudor, 32, had an abortion at 23 weeks that she now regrets after learning that her unborn child may have felt pain while being aborted. Medical researchers say there is now ‘good evidence’ that the brain and nervous system, which start developing at 12 weeks, are adequate for the baby to feel pain at 23 weeks. They argue that women considering an abortion at this stage of pregnancy should be told about the pain their unborn baby could experience while being terminated. Ms Tudor is launching a landmark abortion court case. She is seeking a declaration that current NICE guidelines, not requiring women to be informed that an unborn child could suffer pain during an abortion, are unlawful. Pain relief during an abortion is not required by law, but painkillers are given to unborn babies receiving surgery in the womb for spina bifida.
Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis has been warned by campaign group Right to Life that if the government introduces abortion that surpasses what is legally required, the group will take legal action. The current proposals would allow abortions on demand for any reason up to either 22 or 24 weeks, but abortions for disabilities, including Down's syndrome and cleft lip, would be available up to birth. A poll has shown that 58% of Sinn Féin voters and 54% of DUP voters want their country’s new abortion laws to allow a termination only when the mother’s life is at risk. Only 5% of all voters support introducing abortion through the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, as outlined in the proposed framework.
On 23 October, Diana Johnson MP will bring forward a motion to Parliament under the ten-minute rule. Her proposal is to introduce abortion access in Northern Ireland, but in reality it would remove all the current legal safeguards around abortion, with drastic effect. Abortion campaigners want to remove sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Persons Act. This would have the effect of making the Abortion Act 1967, along with all the legal safeguards it provides, void through to at least 24-weeks. Abortions could happen for any reason, without any legislative protections or safeguards for women or the unborn.