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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Health minister should end public funding of abortion advocates, says pro life group SPUC

6 October 2010

Health minister should end public funding of abortion advocates, says pro-life group SPUC Belfast, 6 October 2010: Pro-life campaigners in Northern Ireland are urging the health minister to end the public funding of the Northern Ireland Family Planning Association (NI FPA).

The call comes on the eve of a conference organised by the FPA and which is aimed at training doctors in the medical and surgical techniques of abortion.

Speaking about the conference in the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Co. Down, later this week, Liam Gibson, Northern Ireland development officer for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said: “This conference is not merely part of the FPA’s campaign to overturn legal restrictions on abortion in Northern Ireland, it is principally intended to instruct doctors here in the actual procedures used to kill children before they are born. Many of the speakers are themselves experienced abortionists working for Marie Stopes International or the British Pregnancy Advisory Service."

“While this conference presents abortion as a medical procedure it is, in fact, an elective procedure and presumptively illegal in Northern Ireland. It is also illegal to help procure an abortion here. In Britain, it is almost always carried out for social reasons and actually endangers the health of women. Abortion is identified with numerous risks but has no documented health benefits. Research shows that a high percentage of women are likely to have some symptoms of post-traumatic stress after abortion, with at least a six times higher risk of death from suicide compared to women who carried their children to term. (see note 1 below) “It is not the job of the FPA to tell doctors in Northern Ireland how to perform abortions. The Northern Ireland health department is presently drawing-up guidance for doctors on abortion law and clinical practice here. It is outrageous that abortion providers, such as the FPA, should disregard the consultation process by promoting abortion practices which are incompatible with the law in Northern Ireland,” said Mr Gibson.

“The FPA receives a substantial amount of funding from the Northern Ireland health budget. It is therefore, reasonable to ask if public money should be used to support a group that organises an event of this kind. In light of the difficult financial climate we face in Northern Ireland, it is time the funding of the FPA was re-examined. We are calling on Minister of Health to end the funding of a group that has shown nothing but contempt for the law,” said Mr Gibson.

The First All-Ireland Conference on Abortion and Clinical Practice organised by FPA will take place Friday 8 October 2010 at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, Newcastle, County Down BT33 0AH.

Notes for editors:

1) For figures relating to suicide after abortion, see Gissler M, Hemminki E, Lonnqvist J. Suicides after pregnancy in Finland: 1987-1994: register linkage study. British Medical Journal 1996; 313: 1431-4.

2) Numerous studies have linked abortion with preterm delivery (less than 37 weeks) in subsequent pregnancies.The largest European study of this subject showed an even greater risk of early preterm birth (less than 32 weeks). Martius JA, Steck T, Oehler MK, Wulf K-H. Risk factors associated with preterm (

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