Monday, May 12, 2008

Abortion threat to Northern Ireland opposed by all main NI parties

Action: residents of Northern Ireland should lobby the Prime Minister.

From SPUC: Northern Ireland's four main political parties are opposing the extension
of British abortion law to the province, which has been suggested in the context of the HFE bill. Leaders of the Democratic Unionists, Sinn Féin, the Social Democratic and Labour Party and the Ulster Unionists are co-signatories to a letter to MPs. [BBC, 11 May] Liam Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland writes: "On 22 October 2007 Assembly members from the four major political parties gave overwhelming support to a motion rejecting 'any attempt to make abortion more widely available in Northern Ireland.' The letter from party leaders reflects that overwhelming view of the Assembly. The people of Northern Ireland recognise the right to life of the unborn child - a right affirmed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They are also increasingly concerned by the evidence of the harm abortion does to women. It is vitally important that people write to the Prime Minister asking him not to allow the House of Commons to impose the Abortion Act on the Province but let this matter be decided by our elected representatives in the Assembly."

1 comment:

Jeffrey Peel said...

According to your report all four “main” local political Party leaders will shortly be writing to Westminster MPs urging them not to extend the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. Party leaders are insisting that this should be an Assembly issue. However, this is nonsense.

The fact is that around 2,000 women from here, per year, travel to Great Britain for abortions. Such abortions are legal in Britain but are illegal here. Therefore, the matter is not simply an Assembly issue. Rather, local Parties are essentially turning a blind eye. They can make local legislation as pro-life as they wish but it doesn’t stop any woman from here boarding an EasyJet plane and obtaining what she wants, and what is entirely within the law, in Britain.

What local Party leaders should be campaigning for is that women in all parts of the UK should have the same rights. Pro-Life campaigners from here - like Jeffrey Donaldson - should be arguing for an amendment to national legislation if they feel strongly on the issue. Because it is national legislation that applies to the thousands of women from here - regardless of what local arrangements exist.

The Little Ulster mentality of our local politicians on this issue is disgraceful. The subject of abortion is always contentious. But hiding from the real-life, everyday situations of thousands of women is not the way forward. Northern Ireland women are British citizens and the legislative arrangements pertaining to their rights to abortion should be no different for women in Britain. It is for all our Westminster MPs to decide on the nature of that national legislation, and to ensure it is applied in every corner of this Kingdom. The alternative is the status quo - which is totally unacceptable.

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen