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28 / 03 / 2008 - Abortion in Northern Ireland if Embryo Bill is passed - Dame Nuala O´Loan
Abortion in north if bill is passed says O´Loan
Former Police Ombudsman Dame Nuala O' Loan has weighed in to the debate about extending abortion legislation to Northern Ireland.
Dame Nuala said the recent debate about the controversial Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has caused her to speak out.
She warned the British government against forcing abortion or embryo research on the people of Northern Ireland.
The former ombudsman, who held the post from 1997 until last year, said politicians, and the public alike, were vehemently opposed to the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to the north.
A mother of five, Dame Nuala said feelings ran high in Northern Ireland against terminations.
"This bill [ Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill ] is about the creation and termination of life," she said,
"Whilst there is in Northern Ireland a movement to bring our abortion laws, which are restrictive, into line with England and Wales, there is clear cross-party consensus among the major parties that this change is neither sought nor welcome.
"The general view of the people of Northern Ireland is that they do not want to see the virtually unrestricted abortion of unborn children.
"Northern Ireland now has its own elected assembly. We have come through 40 years of murder and mayhem to a fragile peace.
"In these circumstances, shortly before Northern Ireland takes responsibility for matters of policing and security, there should be no attempt to change the law in Northern Ireland.
"Leave this for our elected assembly."
Mrs O'Loan, writing in the Irish Catholic newspaper, also criticised medical research that destroyed embryos.
The propose Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill would allow human-animal embryos to be created and used for research.
"Human life is sacred. To create it in order to use it for research purposes and then to destroy it, must be anathema to any society which claims to value humanity." Dame Nuala said.
She added her voice to a number of high profile Churchmen in Britain who have called on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to respect the consciences of Catholic MPs and allow them to oppose the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill without facing censure by their party.
"If government forces MPs, of any religion or moral persuasion to vote for this bill, this would be tantamount to denying those MPs their rights under European Convention on Human Rights." Dame Nuala said.
"MPs must be able to vote in accordance with their own thoughts, conscience and religious belief."
Source : The Irish News
See also :
Embryo Bill could cause ’’constitutional crisis’’ in Northern Ireland
DUP Leader outlines opposition to abortion ’by the back door’