The Humanity and Equality in Abortion Reform (HEAR) campaign is delighted by the launch of a new campaign in Northern Ireland, ‘Both Lives Matter’, which has also released a Report showing statistically that 100,000 people are alive today in Northern Ireland due to the right-to-life protections in Northern Irish law.

Uniquely in the United Kingdom, the law on abortion in Northern Ireland is the same as that of the law in England and Wales prior to the Abortion Act 1967, which has never been extended to Ulster. The Offences Against The Person Act 1861 forbids abortion, and helped to inspire similar Manx protections in our Criminal Code 1872. The Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945 also provides the same protections against ‘Child Destruction’ that exist in the English and Welsh Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929 and our own Infanticide and Infant Life Preservation Act 1938. Court cases have allowed for abortion to prevent grave threats to the mother’s life.

As a consequence of the strong laws in Ulster, the Both Lives Matter Report ascertains that 100,000 people, 5% of the overall population of Northern Ireland today, were not ‘terminated’ in the womb and so are alive today. This is a happy reality that proves the efficacy of protections for unborn children, and also raises the question of how many members of our own community on the Isle of Man are similarly alive today due to the safeguards in Manx law.

HEAR spokesperson Hannah Grove, said:

“This is wonderful and very moving news that shows the vital human dimension to the issue of abortion, and gives us a key reason why we should reject British-style laws in this area on the Island.

Abortion lobbyists and their supporters, such as Dr. Alex Allinson MHK, want to emulate the failed and inhumane abortion law in Britain, one which enables informally eugenic abortion against disabled babies, sex-selective abortion, and the abuse of women, amongst other social and personal harms. Instead of this, we should be looking across in the other direction, to Northern Ireland, where their uncompromised legal protections have saved a hundred thousand lives.

Since they have the same ability as we do to ferry across to Britain, and yet have successfully protected the lives of so many of their people alive today, we can only wonder how many Islanders have been similarly saved on the Island, if only by the cultural effect of having more integral and humane legislation.

Contrary to what Dr. Allinson and others like him say, there is no human right to abortion in either international law or serious moral thought. There is, however, a basic natural right to life shared by all human beings, including unborn children. When there are so many compassionate alternatives to the callousness of abortionTynwald should be encouraged by the success of the Northern Irish experience, and seek to introduce reforms that truly respect the essential human dignity and equality of every member of our society, especially the most vulnerable of us in the womb.


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