Media, Press Releases

Response to Labour MPs visit to Belfast to discuss abortion law reform

The Iona Institute is disappointed to hear of a delegation of Labour MPs coming to Belfast today to meet with Amnesty International and the Family Planning Association – two organisations which have for many years been promoting the liberalisation of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws. Abortion is a devolved matter for Northern Ireland and repeated votes of the democratically elected Northern Ireland Assembly have been to retain our existing law – most recently in February 2016. The question has to be asked : why is the Labour party interfering at a delicate time in the political talks by promoting the failed policy of abortion here?

The Labour Party does not operate in Northern Ireland and its sister party the SDLP has a pro-life policy which specifically excludes the extension of the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland.

For 50 years the Abortion Act has operated in England and Wales and the consequences have been severe for mothers, babies, fathers and society in general. There have been 8.8 million abortions – the entire population of London; there is 1 abortion every three minutes; 1 in 5 pregnancies end in abortion; and there is abortion for disability up to birth. An alarming 38% of the 200 000 women who had abortions last year, had already had at least one abortion.

It is sad to see an organisation such as Amnesty International -which was set up to promote human rights -now fighting for completely unrestricted abortion- ending the lives of the most vulnerable human beings.

If the Labour party truly had the interests of NI women at heart it would be prioritising the return of the NI Assembly and it would be engaging in a conversation with the many women who oppose the liberalisation of our abortion laws.


Contact Tracy Harkin – Tel 07531 149891

The discussion on The Nolan Show earlier today is available here;