ON the day new abortion laws came into force here, Traditional Unionist Voice councillor Chrissy Jamieson described it as “a sad day for Northern Ireland”.
Terminations can be carried out in all circumstances in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy.
After that abortions are legal in some cases – for example, there is no term limit in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities.
Officials in Stormont are still deciding how to put the new laws into practice.
The Department of Health had intended that women could keep travelling to England in the meantime, but restrictions on travel due to coronavirus have placed the arrangement into difficulty.
There have been calls for home abortions – in some circumstances – to be permitted during the outbreak.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health told BBC News NI the Health Minister is considering the matter, but any decision will have to come from the Executive as a whole, because of the “significance and sensitivity of the issue”.
Councillor Chrissy Jamieson said: “If the current crisis has taught us anything it should have been that every life is precious. It has value. The incredible changes we have all made to our lives in recent days shows that society recognises this fact.
“But some have an incredible blindspot – the life of the most vulnerable in society, the unborn.
“Shamefully today saw the introduction of regulations which mean there will be abortion on demand up to 24 weeks.
“One of the pretexts for abortion is severe fetal impairment meaning a baby can be killed because it will be born with Down’s Syndrome.
“That is shocking and wrong.
“The views of the 79% of people who responded to the government’s consultation expressing strong pro-life views have been disregarded on what is a sad and shameful day for Northern Ireland”.
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