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SPUC condemns move to bring abortion to Northern Ireland

8 May 2001

SPUC condemns move to bring abortion to Northern Ireland Belfast, 8 May 2001--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has condemned a forthcoming attempt by the Family Planning Association (FPA) to extend British abortion law to Northern Ireland. Mr Liam Gibson, spokesman for SPUC in Northern Ireland, said: "This is an outrageous interference in the political and moral affairs of our part of the world. The FPA is part of the International Planned Parenthood Federation which has constantly put pressure on the British government and on Northern Ireland to introduce permissive abortion legislation. "Such pressures have been consistently resisted by Northern Ireland's elected representatives. On 29 February 1984, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted by 20 to 1 against the introduction of the Abortion Act or any like legislation to Northern Ireland. On 20 June last year the new Northern Ireland Assembly adopted a motion reiterating the stance of the previous assembly with regard to abortion on demand and the extension of the Abortion Act 1967. "As the Reverend Ian Paisley has said: 'The overwhelming opposition (to abortion) is amazing, because it stretches from the Unionist parties to the nationalist SDLP...'. "The pro-abortion lobby justify their position by making fallacious claims about lack of clarity in Northern Ireland's laws. In truth, the position in Northern Ireland is very clear indeed. As Mo Mowlam put it when she expressed regret that the Abortion Act had not been extended to Northern Ireland: "Progress is hampered by lack of support across the parties in Northern Ireland for change in this area ... it's called democracy" (Belfast Telegraph, 13 October 1999). "The overwhelming majority of the people of Northern Ireland support the recommendation made by SPUC for the following draft clause in a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights: 'Every 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 FPA is reported to have sought permission last week for a judicial review of the current abortion situation in Northern Ireland.

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