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Amnesty accused of campaigning to "radically undermine the human rights of the unborn child" as petition is delivered to Stormont.

19 October 2016

Amnesty International has been campaigning to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.

Amnesty International has been accused by pro-life groups in Northern Ireland of campaigning to undermine human rights and discriminate against the most disabled.

The comments come as representatives from Amnesty delivered in a wheelbarrow a petition of 45,000 signatures demanding reform of Northern Ireland's abortion laws to the steps of Stormont. This follows a contested opinion poll released by the organisation yesterday claiming that 72% of people in Northern Ireland support abortion in the case of rape, and 67% in the case of "fatal foetal abnormality."

A representative from CARE pointed out that there's no requirement that those signing the petition be from Northern Ireland.

"Human rights exist regardless of opinion polls" 

Peter Lynas, NI Director of the Evangelical Alliance, also criticised Amnesty's stance, saying: "Abortion is always a sensitive issue, but particularly for those who have suffered from rape or incest or are carrying a child with a life-limiting disability. However, both lives matter, and as a progressive society we must seek the outcome that is best for both, difficult as that may be.

"It is time for Amnesty to tell everyone clearly what law on abortion they are actually campaigning for - do they support any limits on choice?

"Decriminalisation would move Northern Ireland well beyond the 1967 Act (that applies in Great Britain). It is also time Amnesty explained why they only support equality for some and seem content to discriminate against those who are most disabled.

"There is widespread support for capital punishment in many countries including America, but Amnesty rightly campaigns against the death penalty. It cannot simply pick and choose when to use polling because it suits particular causes. Human rights exist regardless of opinion polls."

Norway to offer selective abortion to foreign women pregnant with twins

Norway's health ministry has said that foreign women pregnant with twins can have one baby aborted in the country's hospitals, after a ruling saying that selective reduction should be treated no differently from any other abortion.

The ruling means women from neighbouring Sweden and Denmark where "selective reduction" abortions - meaning aborting one or more babies and leaving at least one behind - are illegal can come to Norway for the procedure.

Doctors in the country are warning against the practice, which they say carries risks both to the mother and the surviving baby.

Morning after pill to be sold over the counter in Malta

The morning-after pill, which can function as an abortifacient, is to be made available in Malta's pharmacies.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Metropolitan of Malta, has previously condemned the idea, tweeting 'what some call emergency contraception is rather emergency abortion. Let us all respect life.'

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