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12 / 05 / 2008 - Precious Life support unity of NI Party Leaders` opposition to abortion law
Precious Life held a Press Gathering on the steps of Stormont in support of the four main party leaders' statement against the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act.
Dr Ian Paisley MP MLA (DUP), Mr Gerry Adams MP (Sinn Fein), Sir Reg Empey MLA (UU), and Mr Mark Durkan MP MLA (SDLP) have written to Westminster MPs to state their opposition to plans to extend the Abortion Act through amendments to the controversial Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill. The debate on the HFE Bill begins in Westminster on Monday.
Director of Precious Life Bernadette said "We're standing on the steps of Stormont to show our support for the leaders of our political parties in their united stand against abortion being imposed from Westminster."
"In October 2007, Precious Life's "Not In My Name" Campaign presented over 120,000 petitions from the people of Northern Ireland when our Assembly unanimously passed a motion opposing abortion. Thousands of petitions have been sent to our Secretary of State since we launched a Postcard Campaign in January."
"Westminster must take heed of this clear message being sent out from Northern Ireland - we don't want the '67 Act extended! "
Many Assembly members came out onto the steps of Stormont to show us their support.
Guest speaker at the Stormont event was Steven McDonald, a former NYPD detective who was paralysed from the neck down after being shot while on duty in 1986. He recently featured in a highly effective ad campaign that ran in USA opposing destructive embryo research. When asked if he would accept embryonic stem cell research if it would help him walk again, Steven said, "I could never accept the results of any medical research to improve my life if it came as a result of the destruction of another life".
Bernadette Smyth added "Steven McDonald's powerful testimony is a challenging and thought-provoking critique against the experimentation on human embryos as proposed by the HFE Bill."
Mrs Smyth concluded "Our unborn babies and their mothers must be protected from abortion. This event at Stormont will reinforce the clear message sent out from our political leaders, our Assembly, and our people. I urge the MPs in Westminster respect the democratic process here and vote against any amendment to extend the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland"
Steven McDonald (centre) speaking at Stormont to Assembly Members