Amendment to Criminalise Care and Support Around Abortion Clinics Must be defeated - Brolly
Suspended British MP Rupa Huq today seeks to introduce a far reaching amendment that would create ‘censorship zones’ around abortion clinics. Responding to this attack on Human Rights, Deputy Leader of Aontú Gemma Brooly stated;
"It is shocking to find that yet again we are in a position where we must defend fundamental human rights. Extreme abortion legislation was forced on the north of Ireland by British MPs and now they seek to extend the false narrative that pro-life, human rights campaigners are dangerous people and represent a threat to women. Many volunteers who are present outside abortion clinics seek to offer practical, emotional and/or financial support to help mothers. They seek to ensure those considering abortion are aware of all options. They do so in the main in a kind and respectful manner. Allegations of the opposite have been proven to have been grossly inflated from 11 to 41 with only 4 of those demonstrations deemed ‘worthy of reporting to police.’
Ms Brolly states “Recent Freedom of Information Requests in England have also revealed there has been a substantial increase on ambulance services Call outs, varying between 61% and 124% for regions of England following DIY home abortions with more than ten thousand mothers requiring hospital treatment within 18 months of abortion. To remove the volunteer support present at many of these locations will surely increase the number of abortions as well as the risk to these mothers lives.
The right to peacefully and respectfully gather, help and in some case protest is a key democratic right. It was denied to civil rights marches in the late 60s and 70s in towns like Derry and Dungannon. We are not willing to see a repeat of that denial of democratic rights. As Ms Huq brings this amendment on Tuesday, it would be completely negligent of all involved to ignore the path of the same Bill in the North of Ireland, which currently awaits judgement with the British Supreme Court to determine whether it is incompatible with the rights protected by the European Convention of Human Rights which includes the rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and associated Articles 9,10 and 11 of the Convention”.
“Aontú believe in human rights, we believe that all human life has value, and that we should be working to ensure that no woman feels pressured by society or by her economic situation into having an abortion. There have been 4,136 abortions in the North of Ireland alone since 31st March 2020. This is a disaster for each one of these children. We must all work together to support the mothers and babies, born and unborn of our society, not criminalise them. We need to offer more practical support and economic assistance to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. I have heard from many women who say that the only reason they choose to continue with their pregnancy was because they were offered support by pro-life people. For anyone to attempt to criminalise such efforts with up to 2 years imprisonment and/or unlimited fines as they reach out to those in need is deplorable,” and concluded Brolly.