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25 / 11 / 2011 - Precious Life Statement in response to Abortion Guidelines issued by RCOG
The section on 'abortion in Northern Ireland' contained in Guidelines published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is misleading (Chapter 3: Legal aspects of abortion / 3.1 Application of the Abortion Act in Northern Ireland - published 23rd Nov 2011)
The guidelines do correctly state that the 1967 Abortion Act does not apply in Northern Ireland; and also that 'Fetal abnormality' is not recognised as a ground for abortion.
However, the RCOG Guidelines erroneously state - 'It is lawful to perform an abortion in Northern Ireland only where it is necessary to preserve the life of the woman, or there is a risk of real and serious adverse effect on the woman’s physical or mental health, which is either long-term or permanent."
This is untrue. It is unlawful to perform an abortion in Northern Ireland under any circumstances. The central purpose of the laws against abortion (Offences Against The Person Act and Criminal Justice Act) is the protection of the unborn child.
It must first be stated that there are no medical conditions when the life, or physical or mental health, of a woman can ONLY be saved by a abortion.
What is lawful in Northern Ireland is for a doctor to provide essential medical treatment to save a pregnant woman’s life that may result in the unintentional death of her unborn child.
In such cases, both the mother and child are treated as patients. The doctor’s intention is to administer to the mother, while ensuring all medical intervention is made to save the life of the child. If the child dies, it will be as a ‘secondary effect’ of the treatment given to the mother.
There is a clear fundamental difference between such genuine life-saving medical treatment and abortion.
'Abortion’ is when a doctor performs an operation with the specific and deliberate intent to kill the child. This is always ethically wrong, and illegal in Northern Ireland.
Precious Life has produced an Information Leaflet to explain why abortion is never necessary to save a woman's life. Our "No Medical Necessity" leaflet can be viewed online here.. If you would like a copy of the leaflet, please contact us on 02890278484 or email email@example.com