Abortion legislation: Open letter to MPs & Peers

15.6.2020 | Church in Society, Statements, Public Affairs

In an open letter the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) has appealed to MPs and Peers to vote against the Abortion (Northern Ireland) No.2 Regulations 2020 later this week.

Describing the regulations as undemocratic, discriminatory and detrimental to the flourishing of all in society, Rev Daniel Kane, Convener of PCI’s Council for Public Affairs said:

“The decision to impose draft regulations was made in a vote last July during which 100% of MPs elected by the people of Northern Ireland, who were present, voted against the change. In that moment we were disenfranchised on a matter of key importance.”

Highlighting that the CEDAW Convention on which the legislation is based has no standing to ‘read in’ a right to abortion in UK legislation Mr Kane went on to write:

“Northern Ireland was further disrespected by the fact that in the resulting consultation 79% of submissions rejected the Government’s proposals, views which have been ignored. Moreover, the Government compounded the difficulty by not giving Parliament the opportunity to repeal Section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2020, once the Northern Ireland Assembly had been restored.

"On Tuesday 2 June the NI Assembly did have its say when a cross-party majority voted to “reject the imposition of abortion legislation which extends to all non-fatal disabilities, including Down’s syndrome”.

Commenting on the need for respect between the different constituent parts of the UK, Mr Kane finished by saying:

“As Christians we not only believe that people are precious because they are made in the image of God. We also believe in respecting each other. In the United Kingdom that means its different constituent parts respecting each other and affording each other proper constitutional due process, something that has been entirely absent in the development of this legislation.

 “On behalf of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland I urge all parliamentarians to vote against these regulations which are undemocratic, discriminatory, and detrimental to the flourishing of all in society.”  

You can download and read the letter in full here

Back to News