Washington D.C., Feb 16, 2021 / 16:16 pm
Lawmakers in Northern Ireland are seeking to ban abortions in cases of non-lethal fetal abnormality.
Paul Givan, a member of the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland’s legislative assembly, proposed the Severe Fetal Impairment Abortion (Amendment) Bill on Monday. The bill would remove “severe fetal impairment” as an exception to the country’s abortion laws.
Presently, Northern Ireland’s law allows elective abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Abortions up to 24 weeks are legal when the mother's physical or mental health is determined to be at risk. Abortions up until the point of birth are legal in cases of severe fetal impairment or lethal fetal abnormality.
Under the current statute, an unborn child who has been diagnosed with a condition such as Down syndrome or cleft palate can be aborted past the 24-week legal limit.
Givan’s bill would still permit late-term abortions in cases of fatal fetal abormality. It is supported by the disability rights group Don’t Screen Us Out.