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Poll shows majority against new abortion laws in Northern Ireland

November 2019

Most people are against the forced and undemocratic imposition of new liberal abortion laws on Northern Ireland, a recent survey shows.

The poll, weighted to reflect Northern Irish society, revealed a majority of 52 per cent oppose new laws being brought in, with fewer than 40 per cent in favour.

Westminster politicians voted in July to impose abortion on Northern Ireland if the Stormont Assembly had not returned by 21 October.

At the time of this November edition of Evangelical Times going to press it was not known whether the Assembly had yet resumed.

Belfast pollsters LucidTalk asked 1,424 people in the Province if they agreed with the UK Government’s actions.

More people opposed than supported the changes, across both men and women, and across every age group.

Some 54 per cent of those aged 18-24 were opposed, as were 63 per cent of those aged 65 and over.

Dawn McAvoy of Both Lives Matter said the results sent a clear message to the Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith that the people of Northern Ireland do not want to see the law changed.

Meanwhile, the High Court has said Northern Ireland’s abortion law breaches the UK’s human rights commitments.

The case was taken in Belfast by Sarah Ewart, who travelled to London to have an abortion because she couldn’t have one in Northern Ireland.

In her case, doctors said her baby wouldn’t survive outside the womb but they couldn’t perform an abortion in Northern Ireland because her life was not at risk.

A judge in the High Court says her human rights were breached. However, the judge said a formal declaration of incompatibility would not be made because of the legislation already passed at Westminster.

In September huge crowds gathered at Stormont for a silent protest against the imposition of liberal abortion laws on Northern Ireland.

Paul Coulter, organiser of the event, said the people of Northern Ireland had not been consulted about plans to change the law.

‘Some of us as ordinary people just couldn’t sit by and not stand and be counted’, he said.

‘We weren’t asked about this, our elected representatives don’t support this and public opinion here doesn’t support it’.

Campaigners, church groups, politicians and individuals were among those who took part in the rally.