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15 / 08 / 2012 - Precious Life call for police investigation into Northern Ireland abortions
Precious Life say serious questions need to be answered about abortions performed in Northern Ireland allegedly to “save the mother's life” and have called for the circumstances of these abortions to be opened to public scrutiny and investigated by the police.
The number of abortions in Northern Ireland to “save the mother’s life” in only 2 years, is more than the number of abortions carried out for the same reason in England and Wales over a 40 year period.
Official government figures released at the request of Lord David Alton, a former Labour and Liberal Democrat Party MP and now member of the House of Lords, revealed that of the over 6 million abortions committed in England and Wales since 1967, only 143 were performed on the grounds of “saving the life of the mother.”
However, according to figures from the Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), there were an average of 79 abortions a year performed over a 5 year period allegedly to “save the life of the mother”.
Director of the Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth said, "Questions needs to be answered as to how there can be more abortions 'to save a mother's life' performed in Northern Ireland in only two years, than in England and Wales over a 40 year period."
"We have been challenging the DHSSPS since they first released abortion figures in 2005. To date we have not received a satisfactory answer to why abortions are being performed in Northern Ireland, when it is illegal under the Offences Against The Person Act 1861 and Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945."
"In Northern Ireland it is a very serious offence to intentionally cause the death of an unborn child. In fact there are NO CIRCUMSTANCES in which abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother. There is clear distinction between abortion -- the intentional killing of an unborn child -- and genuine life-saving medical treatment, which may cause the unintentional death of the unborn child."
"It must also be stated that Northern Ireland is the safest place in the UK for a mother to give birth to her baby so how can there be so many abortions supposedly to 'save mothers' lives'. "
Bernadette Smyth concluded, "We welcome the statement by TUV leader Jim Allister calling on the DHSSPS to ensure that the law against abortion in Northern Ireland is being complied with.
In 2007, Precious Life filed a complaint to the police about Breda Hughes - the Secretary of the NI Branch of the Royal College of Midwives - when she admitted in THE IRISH TIMES that she took part in illegal abortions in Northern Ireland.
We will continue putting pressure on the DHSSPS to ensure unborn babies are fully protected in law, policy and practice."