Aontú deputy leader Cllr Anne McCloskey and Cllr Denise Mullen have spoken out against Westminster’s imposition of one of Europe’s most extreme abortion regimes on the north. Citing the cynical manoeuvrings of other political parties on the issue, Cllr McCloskey and Cllr Mullen maintain that ordinary people have been left voiceless and deprived of political power while Westminster is facilitated in imposing an abortion regime that will be even more extreme than England’s, where abortion-on-demand is in situ for up until 24 weeks.

Cllr McCloskey stated:

“The British Parliament is contemptuous of people in the north and is arrogantly acting out the role of an overseas ruler. It is increasingly evident that the British Parliament’s grip on the north of Ireland is not without serious harm. As things stand, from 22 October abortion-on-demand for up to 28 weeks will be imposed on us by Westminster. Unborn humans will have their lives violently ended as par for the course for any reason, including the baby’s gender or because he/she is diagnosed with a disability.

“The impending imposition of abortion here is a shocking prospect. To suddenly strip the right to life from a most vulnerable and fragile section of humanity is barbaric. Westminster’s decision is harmful not only because of the lives that it will directly cost, but also because of the seismic shift it will fuel in terms of how we see and treat each other as human beings. The protection of the most vulnerable most be the duty of society collectively. Abortion-on-demand runs in direct contrast to that ideal.

“Abortion-on-demand instils greater pressures on women to conform to the demands of the market economy, whereby any semblance of ‘choice’ is paper thin because women who would otherwise bring their child to term will be subject to factors, like poverty, career worries and weak social supports, that will heavily weigh the balance in favour of abortion. There will be no real unweighted, neutral choice.

“Economic and social justice ideals require that both the life of the unborn human is protected and that mothers and families can live with confidence that society and the state will support them to raise their children free from poverty and crippling economic pressures. We should strive for the protection of the right to life, economic prosperity and economic justice, not a race to the bottom that disregards all of those ideals.

Cllr Mullen stated:

“The stances, actions and indeed inaction of the other political parties is truly lamentable. Sinn Féin went cap in hand to the British government seeking for it to impose abortion on the north. That is mind-boggling on many fronts, not least because of Sinn Féin’s claim to be an Irish republican party. It is clear that Sinn Féin is facing push-back for its chasing of the abortion and culture war vote, which was no doubt a contributing factor in that party losing half its local authority seats in the south. Therefore, Sinn Féin has since decided to support abortion-on-demand in a more quiet and tacit way in the north so that Sinn retains the votes of those who support the right to life, but are unaware of Sinn Féin’s stark policy u-turn.

“The SDLP has a leader who campaigned for the removal of the right to life from the Irish Constitution and in favour of the introduction of abortion-on-demand in the south. The SDLP’s professed pro-life credentials grow thinner each day.

“While the DUP speaks loudly about its opposition to abortion-on-demand, that party failed to utilise its position to stop abortion from being imposed. Had the DUP been seriously minded to prevent the British Parliament from foisting the British Abortion Act on the north, the DUP could have treated the matter with the same weight that they have approached the Brexit Withdrawal Bill and forced the British government to oppose the Parliament’s efforts to ram-through abortion-on-demand. The fact that the DUP did not make the right to life a condition of its deal with the British government leads one to conclude that the DUP is not truly concerned with stopping abortion-on-demand, but rather, like Sinn Féin, trying to retain votes from as many quarters as possible.”