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Defending life from the moment of conception

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SPUC calls on elected assembly members to reject judge's ruling

16 December 2015


BELFAST 16 December 2015: The UK's leading pro-life campaign group, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), is calling on the members of the Northern Ireland Assembly to defend the right to life of all unborn children regardless of their disabilities or the circumstances of their conception.

The call comes after the High Court in Belfast said that laws in Northern Ireland which prohibit abortion violate the European Convention of Human Rights. In a statement on the ruling the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said that it was now for the Province's legislators to stand up for the human rights of all children before as well as after birth.

Liam Gibson, SPUC's development officer in Northern Ireland said: "In his ruling Mr Justice Mark Horner has found that the life of a child diagnosed with serious disabilities is not worthy of the legal protection shown to healthy children. It is quite shocking to hear a judge effectively sweep aside all consideration of some of the most vulnerable members of the human family, and do so in the name of human rights."

No human right to abortion

While UK judges can declare a law as incompatible with the European Convention, they cannot strike it down. The matter will now be handed over to the Northern Ireland Assembly to deal with. The politicians could, however, refuse to accept the judge's opinion and maintain equal protection under the law for all unborn children.

Mr Gibson said: "We are asking people to urge their elected representatives not to abandon the children threatened by the Court's distorted view of human rights. No universal human rights treaty, including the European Convention, has ever recognised a right to abortion.

"Yet the judge has gone far beyond anything the European Court of Human Rights has said about these issues. If the finding of this judgement were to become law, it would institute a lethal form of discrimination against disabled children. It is an insult to countless families who love and care for children with serious disabilities.

Don't punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty

"It is also a principle of natural justice that the innocent are not punished for the crimes of the guilty. Children allegedly conceived as a result of sexual offences have the same right to life as the rest of us. Their lives are just as important as the life of a High Court judge," said Mr Gibson.

For more detailed comments or an interview with one of SPUC's representatives, please contact Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's media manager, on:

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