Pro lifers call on minister to end discrimination against disabled children
8 October 2004
Pro-lifers call on minister to end discrimination against disabled children Belfast, 8 October 2004 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children are calling on Angela Smith, the Northern Ireland Minister for Health, to ensure that any guidelines issued to doctors makes clear that illegal abortions will not be tolerated. The comments came as the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court ruling which rejected attempts by the Family Planning Association to force the health department to issue guidance on abortion practice in the Province. SPUC, which intervened in the case, also warned that what the FPA wants is abortion on demand. Liam Gibson, the Society's Development Officer in Northern Ireland, said: "The FPA will continue to attack Northern Ireland's legal protection for unborn children. "Some FPA supporters have publicly admitted being involved in the illegal abortion of children because they were disabled. The Health Minister must make it clear that disabled children have the same rights and protection in Northern Ireland as every other child. "The Department of Health's legal team told the Court in May that guidelines on abortion have already been drafted. Those guidelines must end the fatal discrimination against disabled children," said Mr Gibson Notes Abortion in Northern Ireland is only legally permitted for serious medical cases to save the life of the mother or prevent grave, permanent damage to her health. In 2002/03, the last year for which figures are available, there were 76 abortion preformed in Northern Ireland.