Between 4th November and 16th December 2019 the government has been running a public consultation entitled A new legal framework for abortion services in Northern Ireland. This is a result of the passing of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) 2019 bill in Westminster. Amendments added to that bill required a liberalisation of access to abortion in Northern Ireland, with a new regulative model in place by the end of March 2020.
Since an abortion is the ending of a human life made in the image of God, this is something that Christians should be very concerned about and this consultation offers the chance to express that concern. However, it takes the form of 15 questions which represent significant debates and are sometimes disingenuous. To help you fill it in the elders of Carryduff Baptist have prepared a sample response.
There is no requirement for you to use this sample, you must respond as you see fit, however we hope it will explain some of the issues and equip you to participate in this very important debate.
You can download our sample response here.
The government’s preference is for you to fill in the consultation online at this address:
Follow the link to “Respond online”
There are some basic identification questions:
- What is your name?
- What is your email address? (optional)
- What is your organisation
For organisation do not write ‘Carryduff Baptist Church’. Firstly we have not taken a vote on this and so cannot claim to speak with one voice, and secondly, there is a possibility that the NIO will take all the forms which say ‘Carryduff Baptist Church’ as a single response and so downplay the number of responses to the media later.
Thereafter you will be stepped through the questions in turn. At any point you can click, “Save and return later”, leaving your email address will allow them to send you a special link that you can follow to pick up where you left off.
Responding by email
You can complete the response form found alongside the consultation document. You can type it up on a computer or scan your handwritten submission, and email it to:
This is also the address for any questions about the process.
Responding by post
You can also fill in the consultation by hand and post it to
Northern Ireland Office
Stormont Estate Belfast
But keep in mind that it must arrive with them before the 16th December.