Tuesday 27 July 2010

Beware new abortion guidance in Northern Ireland, warns SPUC

Earlier this month Northern Ireland's health department withdrew its interim guidance on abortion, following SPUC's two successful court challenges last May and last December/November.

Today the department has launched a fresh public consultation to draft new abortion guidance. SPUC, therefore, has immediately issued the following warning!
"New guidance must not seek to undermine Northern Ireland’s abortion laws as previous guidelines threatened to do."
Liam Gibson, SPUC's development officer in Northern Ireland, pictured* to the left above, goes on to say:
"We welcome the consultation process to draw up new guidance. That consultation is necessary because the High Court found the original guidelines to be misleading on the issues of the counselling women should receive and the rights of medical personnel to avoid participation in abortion. 

“In light of the health department’s record on this matter, however, we will be looking at its proposals very closely. In the past health officials have largely ignored the submissions from the pro-life doctors and lawyers and the pro-life movement in general.  They appeared to be more interested in widening the scope for abortion in Northern Ireland. As a result they produced guidance which was fatally flawed. If we hadn’t have taken the department to court, it would have seriously undermined Northern Ireland’s legal protection for children before birth and compelled doctors and medical staff to perform or facilitate abortions. If new guidance fails to uphold Northern Ireland’s legal restrictions on abortion then there will be no choice but to go back to the courts.”
*Pictured with Liam Gibson is Pat Buckley of European Life Network, Ireland.

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