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New Northern Ireland Health minister supports abortion ban

1 September 2014


Jim Wells has been appointed as Northern Ireland's new Health minister

Jim Wells, who has previously stated in an interview that the abortion ban in Northern Ireland should be upheld, including in cases of rape, has been appointed as Northern Ireland's new Health minister by first minister Peter Robinson.

Mr Wells said in the interview, which took place in August 2012:

"That is a tragic and difficult situation but should the ultimate victim of that terrible act [rape] – which is the unborn child – should he or she also be punished for what has happened by having their life terminated? No."

Although tipped to takeover at the health department two years ago, Mr Wells recently said that he would like to remain on Stormont's Justice Committee in order to oppose the Minister of Justice's plans to legalise the abortion of children diagnosed with a disability or conceived in rape. A public consultation on the proposal is expected to begin in the coming months. [Guardian, 23 September]

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