Emergency legislation referring to the North of Ireland is coming before the British House of Commons on Monday. The purpose of the North of Ireland (Executive Function) Bill is to change the date on which the Secretary of State has to call an election for the Assembly.

Speaking in relation to the upcoming Bill Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín stated;

“A number of amendments have been tabled by British politicians to this legislation seeking to introduce abortion on demand into the north of Ireland against the wishes of the people of the north and over the heads of the directly elected representatives of the north.

“Aontú believes in self-determination, Irish people should determine the law on this very difficult issue. It is outrageous that British politicians with no democratic mandates in Ireland should seek to change this law in Ireland. It’s also outrageous that parties such as Sinn Féin who for years opposed Britain legislating for Ireland on any issue should now be going cap in hand to London demanding that that London imposes this legislation on the north of Ireland.

“This is a devolved matter and should remain as so. Any change in this is a reversal of hard-won devolution. A recent ComRes poll found that 64 per cent of people of the north of Ireland agreed that changing the law on abortion should be a matter for North of Ireland politicians and not Westminster. The poll also found that two-thirds of women in the North of Ireland wanted the issue dealt with in the North and not through the British House of Commons. The referendum on the 8th amendment and the subsequent legislation were difficult for many of of us, but at least it was a democratic process.

“Aontú supports the right to life of everyone in society. We will stand up for the rights of every single individual living human being. We will speak up for the most vulnerable and for those who have no voice. We seek to make sure that every mother has the economic and social supports necessary to be able to raise their children with confidence.

“Decriminalizing abortion strips life and death legal protection from the unborn child and could see the North adopt an even more extreme abortion regime than is in place in Britain or the south of Ireland. It is paramount that these amendments are stopped.”