Friday the 26th of February

...to the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Ninety-three per cent of people in Northern Ireland believe that both lives matter

A ComRes poll of people in Northern Ireland published today, found that 93 per cent agreed that in pregnancy the life of both the mother and the unborn child are important. Only two per cent said that the unborn child’s life is not important.

Speaking at an event held in Stormont last night, Dawn McAvoy, co-founder of Both Lives Matter said: “On Tuesday a Bill is being introduced in Westminster by an English MP which proposes removing all legal protections for the unborn child in Northern Ireland (and England and Wales) until the end of the 24th week of pregnancy, in other words well into five months of pregnancy. This is not supported by the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland. It is a tired and sad vision for women which says they can only be free and equal when they have the ability to end the lives of their children at will. Their campaign goes far beyond the hard cases in the context of GB where 98 per cent of abortions involved physically healthy women aborting physically healthy babies. This poll shows that most people in Northern Ireland believe that both lives matter when it comes to pregnancy. Together we can find a more human way ahead which gives dignity and value to both.”

Today’s poll follows polling published in Westminster on Wednesday revealing that 64 per cent of the general population in Northern Ireland agree that changing the law on this issue should be a decision for the people of Northern Ireland and their elected representatives. That polling also showed a strong majority of women reject interference from Westminster on this sensitive issue with 66 per cent agreeing that this was a decision for Northern Ireland. The strongest support among age groups surveyed came from the youngest age group, 18-34 year olds, with 70 per cent agreeing that they did not want abortion law imposed on Northern Ireland from Westminster.

The polling was released at a special parliamentary event in Westminster on Wednesday, where MPs heard from women from Northern Ireland who spoke in favour of respecting devolution and against Westminster imposing abortion laws on the region.

Both events were held ahead of a Ten Minute Rule Bill being brought before Parliament on Wednesday 23rd of October which is seeking to change the law on abortion in Northern Ireland from Westminster. The Bill also seeks to change abortion legislation in England and Wales by removing almost all the legal safeguards provided by the Abortion Act.

Polling released by Both Lives Matter earlier this year also showed a huge majority – 72 per cent – of Conservative MPs are against devolution being undermined by imposing abortion laws on Northern Ireland.

Both Lives Matter are encouraging constituents to contact their MPs and ask them to vote against the Ten Minute Rule Bill next Tuesday. Constituents can do this by visiting: www.bothlivesmatter.org/contact-mp-abortion

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Picture: Founder of Both Lives Matter Dawn McAvoy (centre) and MLA Carla Lockhart (right) join Northern Irish women at Victoria Tower Gardens in London on 18th July 2018, as they protest against possible imposition of changes to abortion laws from Westminster. (Dominic Lipinski/PA).