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Defending life from the moment of conception

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UN body calls for liberal abortion in Northern Ireland

6 August 2008

A United Nations body is pressing the United Kingdom to extend Britain's liberal abortion law to Northern Ireland. The Committee for the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) calls for a consultation on the matter and urges the UK: "to give consideration to the amendment of the abortion law so as to remove punitive provisions imposed on women who undergo abortion." [Breaking News, 31 July] Mrs Betty Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland said: "Repeated calls by the CEDAW committee to liberalise abortion in every country which has ratified the treaty only damage the UN's already-poor human rights record. Nowhere in the treaty is abortion mentioned. The UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child recognises that 'the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.' The law in Northern Ireland upholds internationally recognised human rights by providing legal protection for children before birth. The CEDAW committee has no legitimate interest in abortion law and has no authority to demand that we end the legal protection of unborn children here. In doing so, CEDAW threatens genuine human rights." [SPUC, 31 July]

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