The Council for Public Affairs has responded to the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Health’s call for evidence in relation to the Severe Fetal Impairment Abortion (Amendment) Bill.
The Private Member’s Bill, introduced by Paul Givan MLA, seeks to amend the Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations to remove the ground for an abortion in cases of non-fatal disabilities, , including conditions like Down Syndrome. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland said at the time of the Bill’s introduction in February that it welcomed the initiative and supported the move.
In its submission to the Health Committee, PCI said that it “recognises that the issues raised by this legislation are not only sensitive but cut across the lives and personal experiences of women and their families who have faced a crisis pregnancy situation in the past, or who may do so in the future.”
In supporting the Bill, the submission made the point that it was ‘more representative of the expressed wishes of the people of Northern Ireland as expressed in the public consultation to the NIO proposals, and the June 2020 Assembly debate. The legislation also addresses the CEDAW directive that stereotypes towards persons with disabilities should not be perpetuated.’
PCI’s submission is available to read here.
The story on the submission can be read here.
PCI’s statement that was issued when the Bill was introduced can be read here.