Hundreds Of Healthcare Staff Oppose Abortion Liberalisation

Hundreds of healthcare workers have written to NI Secretary Julian Smith to express their opposition to plans to liberalise abortion laws here.

Doctors, nurses and midwives united to send a message that as health professionals, they want reassurance as "conscientious objectors" that they will not have to perform or assist with abortions.

One GP who signed the letter told the BBC that he was not yet aware of any preparations to prepare staff for the law change.
News Image
Restrictions on abortions in the region will be drastically reduced unless the Stormont Assembly is restored by October 21, after MPs passed the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act in July.

The move placed a duty on the UK Government to intervene and provide abortion access.

Meanwhile, a group opposed to any change in the law, Midwives for Both Lives, has written to the Department of Health, The Northern Ireland Office and the Royal College of Midwives to demand the same protections for midwives in the rest of the UK.

The group said there is "currently no conscientious objection in law in NI for midwives…in contrast to our counterparts in mainland UK who are protected under law and under the NMC code."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 May 2021
NI's Climate Change Bill Passes Second Stage
Northern Ireland's Climate Change Bill has passed its second stage. Lead Sponsor of the Climate Bill for Northern Ireland, Clare Bailey MLA has commented after a majority of MLAs supported the Bill. She said: "I'm delighted that MLAs from right across the political spectrum voted in favour of the Climate Bill for Northern Ireland.
19 April 2021
New Grant Schemes For Cancer And Mental Health Charities Established
New grant schemes for cancer and mental health charities and a Carers Support Fund have been established. The Cancer Charities Support Fund and Mental Health Support Fund will each receive £10million, while £4m has been allocated to the Carers Support Fund.
08 October 2019
Abortion Law: Guidance Published For Healthcare Professionals
The Government has published guidelines for medical professionals in Northern Ireland ahead of potential abortion law reforms. Legislation passed in July obliged the UK Government to relax the strict local abortion laws if power sharing at Stormont is not restored by 21 October.
13 May 2021
NI Is Facing 'Unprecedented' Health Challenges - Swann
Northern Ireland is facing "unprecedented" mental health challenges following the pandemic, according to Health Minister Robin Swann.
03 December 2020
First Tree Planted In One Million Trees Campaign
Belfast Lord Mayor Alderman Frank McCoubrey has planted the first of One Million Trees as part of a joint pledge to plant 1,000,000 native trees across the city by 2035.