Thursday 6 March 2008

retirement of Rev Dr Ian Paisley

There have been many tributes paid and comments made on the occasion of the announcement of Dr Ian Paisley's retirement as DUP leader and Northern Ireland first minister. Here are my observations:

  • In February 1984 he co-sponsored a motion (along with Rev Ivan Foster) in the Northern Ireland Assembly rejecting the extension of the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. The motion was approved by 20 votes to 1.
  • In autumn 1992 he led a rally in Belfast to oppose the opening of a Brook Advisory Centre in the city. Brook refers for abortions and provides girls under the age of consent with abortifacient birth control drugs and devices.
  • On 20 June 2000 he spoke in the New Northern Ireland Assembly in favour of a motion reiterating the rejection of the Abortion Act saying: "As a public representative, I shall speak for the child today, the child who feels, who can recognise its mother's voice and know pain, who is a member of the human family and who has been given the unique gift of human life. We cannot get away from that."
  • As a member of the House of Commons and an MEP, Dr Paisley has consistently supported the pro-life cause, working with other elected representatives regardless of religious or political differences.
  • He is expected to lead his party's opposition to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill.

You can read the rest of Dr Paisley's speech quoted above in this transcript of a Northern Ireland Assembly debate. Scroll down a few screens till you reach it.

SPUC's briefing on the
Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill is here as a PDF.