SPUC welcomes Supreme Court NI judgement but condemns judges' appalling opinions on right to life
7 June 2018
Liam Gibson, Development Officer for Northern Ireland of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said:
"We welcome the decision to dismiss the case brought by the Human Rights Commission. It’s clear that the case should never have been granted leave because the HRC simply did not have the authority to bring it and therefore it will return to the NIA to decide this issue.
"The accusation that Northern Ireland’s law is incompatible with Article 8 is no more than the opinion of the majority of judges: it is in no way a binding judgement. The opinions of the judges are merely personal, and a different panel may well have come to very different conclusions.
"The Northern Ireland Assembly has already considered the possibility that the law was incompatible by granting the same legal protections to children conceived through sexual crime and rejected proposals to amend the law (Feb 16). While we welcome the recognition of the value of the lives of people with serious disabilities, it is appalling that judges in the UK Supreme Court do not place the same value on the lives of children with life-limiting conditions or who have been conceived through sexual crimes. The judges considered that no unborn child should be regarded a person, but all human beings are persons: there are no ‘subhuman’ human beings.
"Nor is abortion good for women: research has found, for example, that women who have abortions after the devastating diagnosis of a life-limiting foetal condition report significantly more despair, depression and avoidance than women who accept their baby's life, continue the pregnancy and welcome their baby into the world."
Cope, H., Garrett, M.E., Gregory, S., Ashley‐Koch, A. Pregnancy continuation and organisational religious activity following prenatal diagnosis of a lethal fetal defect are associated with improved psychological outcome. Prenatal Diagnosis (2015) 35:761-8.
For more information, please contact Liam Gibson, SPUC's development officer in Northern Ireland:
Dr Anthony McCarthy, SPUC Director of Education and Communications can be contacted on: