Thursday, 25 March 2010

Northern Ireland power devolution welcome

SPUC has welcomed the devolution of criminal justice in Northern Ireland from the Westminster parliament to the Stormont assembly (pictured). A number of pro-life issues will now become the responsibility of the assembly. The Abortion Act thankfully does not apply to Northern Ireland. From 12 April (when the devolved powers take effect) the assembly will be able to amend the existing legislation in respect of abortion, or not, as it sees fit. Sex education is already a devolved matter, but end-of-life issues are subject to Part II of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966. From 12 April the Northern Ireland assembly will assume responsibility for them.

Liam Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland told the media today:
"Opposition to liberal abortion was one of the few issues which united the people and politicians of Northern Ireland throughout the long years of sectarian conflict. A relentless campaign over four decades by SPUC, its supporters and colleagues in other organisations has helped to ensure that repeated efforts to overturn Northern Ireland's legal restrictions on abortion were defeated. The most recent attempt by the abortion extremists in Westminster to introduce the Abortion Act in 2008 failed due to the fierce opposition of members of the assembly.

“Attempts to undermine the protection of our children, however, will continue. Health officials persist in promoting medical guidelines which do not accurately present the law, guidelines which SPUC is actively resisting through the courts. Foreign pro-abortion agencies continue to pressurise Northern Ireland to change its abortion law.

“Nevertheless, the devolution of criminal justice powers means that Northern Ireland is entering a new period, in which it will much more difficult for the abortion industry to impose its agenda. Northern Ireland remains the safest place in the UK for unborn children, with the best record on maternal mortality. The pro-life movement is now in a much stronger position to safeguard our existing legislation, as well as introduce new measures to protect women and their unborn children.”
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