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Northern Ireland abortion court case shows abortion lobby desperate, says SPUC

27 February 2013

Belfast, 27 February 2013: The pro-life group which twice forced the Northern Ireland Department of Health to withdraw misleading guidance on the Province’s abortion law has said that abortion advocates are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of success they have had in winning support for their agenda.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) made its remarks as an application for a judicial review brought by the Family Planning Association of Northern Ireland was beginning in the High Court in Belfast.

Liam Gibson, SPUC’s Northern Ireland development officer, said: “The FPA first took the health department to court over 10 years ago to demand guidelines on abortion law but has made little progress in that time. Despite its efforts, abortion in Northern Ireland remains presumptively illegal. Abortion is not a healthcare issue but a criminal offence. There is no research to show any medical benefits to abortion but there is a vast amount of evidence demonstrating how incredibly damaging it can be to a woman’s physical and mental health.

“The reason the FPA is trying once again to pressurise the Department of Health to publish guidelines is because it wants to medicalise discussion of abortion. Despite the claims of abortion advocates, the law is perfectly clear and really requires no guidance. The reason SPUC was successful in having the guidance withdrawn on the two occasions was because those documents failed to accurately reflect the law.

“Crucially, the FPA will only ever be satisfied with guidance which makes abortion routinely available. Guidelines that accurately reflect the law would not be acceptable to the FPA because it refuses to accept that current Northern Ireland law protects the right to life of unborn children”, concluded Mr Gibson.

Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland development officer, can be contacted on:

SPUC's London HQ can be contacted on 020 7091 7091.

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