Their Blood Will Cry Out
Heartbreak, and the ending of countless innocent lives, is about to come about in Northern Ireland. The numbers of deaths will dwarf those of the worst days of The Troubles. This is what (Baroness) Nuala O’Loan, Northern Ireland’s foremost parliamentarian, has to say about this terrible tragedy – initiated at Westminster and about to be fulfilled in Belfast….
“It took 17 minutes on 18 July for the House of Commons to receive and agree the proposed change to NI’s abortion law. Just 17 minutes. Those who passed the law did not represent us and they did not take time to work out the consequences of what they were doing.
If the Executive is not reformed on Monday, then this is what will happen until new law is introduced:
Nobody will be investigated or face criminal prosecution for carrying out an abortion with the consent of the mother, up to 28 weeks of gestation, or earlier if the child is capable of being born alive.
There will be no abortion specific laws regulating the conduct of individuals or institutions that provide abortion services in Northern Ireland between 22 October and 31March 2020, (unlike England and Wales) or earlier if new Regulations are passed before that date.
Government has said that it anticipates that access to abortion services will not be routinely available in Northern Ireland during this period.
Independent clinics will be able to carry out abortions if they wish to do so provided they are registered with the RQIA. Any clinic where services are provided by a medical practitioner who works for the NHS is not in law an independent clinic so is not required to be registered as such.
There will be no abortion specific standards for abortion clinics to comply with (unlike England and Wales).
There will be no abortion specific inspection (in England and Wales abortion clinics have had their services suspended for failing to meet the standards).
There will be no regulation of the activity of abortion (unlike England and Wales). There will be no regulation of the procedure – no requirement for two doctors to agree to the abortion, no requirement for counselling before the abortion, no requirement for any Registration of the fact of the abortion (unlike England and Wales).
There will be no regulatory framework to prevent anyone carrying out an abortion outside a registered clinic provided the woman gives consent and no prescription only medicines are used. (unlike in England and Wales).
A person will be able to carry out abortions in any location even though they have no medical or nursing qualifications (unlike in England and Wales)
There will be confusion about access to medication for early abortions. Government has said that there is no expectation that GPs will prescribe medication for early medical abortion. There is no law to say that patients could not ask for such medication. In England and Wales GPs do not provide abortion services.
Such medication should not be taken after nine weeks and six days of pregnancy because of the risks attaching to it. There will be no provision for its administration.
There will be no specific provision for conscientious objection to involvement in abortion by doctors, nurses of pharmacists despite the fact that 800 doctors wrote to the Secretary of State saying, “our consciences demand that we not be silent”. “We wish to make known our opposition to the imminent introduction of abortion in Northern Ireland”, and that “Our concern throughout is for pregnant mothers and their unborn children.”
This is why I and the nearly 29,000 people who have signed my Petition have asked our MLAs to go back into the Assembly and to get back to work. This is no political stunt. Tens of thousands of other people have marched, protested and demanded that the Assembly return. We need the Assembly to deal with what will happen to us during Brexit, to take the decisions necessary to allow our country to function again, to make our health, education and other services function properly again and most of all to stop this most radical abortion law being imposed on Northern Ireland.
Only our MLAs working in the Assembly can stop this appalling situation.”
Baroness Nuala O’Loan
20 October 2019