Majority in North support abortion in extreme cases

Nearly two-thirds of people in the North support abortion in certain circumstances, new research indicated today.
Stormont Assembly

Nearly two-thirds of people in the North support abortion in certain circumstances, new research indicated today.

Termination is currently illegal in the region unless the mother's health is at risk, however MPs in Westminster are this week set to consider proposals to bring the law into line with the rest of the UK, where abortion is permitted.

Legalisation would be supported by 62% of local people, according to the survey by the Family Planning Association, but only in extreme circumstances such as rape and incest.

All the major political parties in the North oppose any change in the laws and are angry at the notion of Westminster MPs ruling on what they see as a devolved matter.

However the FPA claim the findings of its research indicate that the politicians are out of step with public feeling in the region.

The group claims it is a myth that people in the North do not want to see abortion available under any circumstances.

Only 20% of those questioned said abortion should not be legal in cases of rape or incest.

Dr Audrey Simpson, director of FPA in the North said: "It is time that the Northern Ireland Assembly faced up to the realities of the situation that people in Northern Ireland support the right to choose.

"These statistics cannot be ignored and show that MLAs have a responsibility to give women in Northern Ireland the choice to have an abortion.

"If the elected members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are not willing to listen to public opinion and give women in Northern Ireland the same human rights as women in the rest of the UK, then it is up to Westminster MPs to be the voice of Northern Irish women."

MPs will vote on Wednesday on an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill to extend the 1967 Abortion Act to the North.

More on this topic

New rules will ‘empower’ committees

Ó Fearghaíl apologises to Kerins over PAC grilling

Angela Kerins 'treated very badly', Taoiseach concedes

Ruling threatens a ‘chilling effect’ on Dáil

More in this Section

BAI not qualified to regulate social media, says data compliance chief

Two men arrested after handguns and ammunition seized in west Dublin

Government urged to include border vote in national risk report

'Respected and loved by all': Tributes paid to councillor Manus Kelly after Donegal Rally crash


Lifestyle

Croissants, oysters and cycling – Felicity Cloake’s culinary Tour de France

Sex advice: Help! I can't find her G-spot

Live at the Marquee: Silver-tongued troubadour Kris Kristofferson stands the test of time

The Big Five: Taking on the Reeks District in Kerry

More From The Irish Examiner