SPUC welcomes FPA admission that Northern Ireland abortion law is clear
26 May 2004
SPUC welcomes FPA admission that Northern Ireland abortion law is clear Belfast, 26 May 2004 - SPUC Northern Ireland welcomed the admission by FPA (the Family Planning Association) that the law on abortion in Northern Ireland is clear. The admission was made during appeal proceedings in the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal this week. FPA Northern Ireland acknowledged that the law prohibits freely available abortion as practised in Britain, permitting it only in serious medical cases. This represented a reversal of the strategy used for many years by some of the leading pro-abortion campaigners in Northern Ireland. Commenting on the FPA's submissions, Liam Gibson, SPUC Northern Ireland Development Officer, said: "Surprisingly, the FPA acknowledged the right to life of the unborn child and said that the state not only had a duty to protect the health of women, but unborn children also have human rights. FPA also conceded the critical issue that aborting babies because of their disabilities is unlawful in Northern Ireland." SPUC, which is an intervener in the legal proceedings, warned that the comments reflected the FPA's anxiety to salvage some advantage from its litigation, and did not represent any support for pro-life values. It was also revealed at the hearings that the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has already drafted guidelines on abortion in Northern Ireland. SPUC has demanded that, if any guidance is issued by the department, it must make clear that illegal abortion will not be tolerated. The hearing continues today.