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08 / 01 / 2010 - Precious Life expose "phony concern for women" from Family Planning Association
Precious Life have responded to a newspaper report publicising the The Family Planning Association's (fpa) call for the government to pay the costs of Northern Ireland women who travel to England for abortion.
In a letter to the Editor of the Derry Journal, Director of Precious Life - Bernadette Smyth exposed the fpa and their "phony concern" for women.
The letter is reprinted in full below...
I hope your readers saw though the fpa’s phony concern for women in your report “Petition is launched for abortion fund” (29 December 2009).
The fpa (Family Planning Association) are calling on the UK Government to foot the bill for Northern Ireland women who choose to travel to England for abortion.
If the fpa is so concerned about these women having to pay for abortions in England why is there no criticism from them of the private abortion clinics that exploit these vulnerable women by charging them between £600 and £2,000 to have their babies killed?
The fpa also failed to mention that they operate abortion referral agencies in Derry and Belfast where they charge these women for so-called ‘counselling’. If the fpa is genuinely concerned about these women, why don’t the fpa provide free counselling for them?
Maybe the fpa don’t want to draw too much attention to their ‘counselling’ following a recent case at the High Court in Belfast when the judge said abortion counselling could be unlawful in Northern Ireland. The case was a judicial review of Department of Health guidelines on abortion, which the court ordered to be withdrawn. One of the main reasons why the abortion guidelines were withdrawn was because the section on counselling was misleading. The judge said that people offering counselling procedures, such as giving advice on how to obtain an abortion outside Northern Ireland, could be breaking the law.
In your report, the director of the fpa in Northern Ireland was referred to as “Dr” Audrey Simpson. To avoid confusion to your readers, I think the Derry Journal should have made it clear that Audrey Simpson is not medical doctor. Her title of “Dr” only refers to a PhD she received for research into sex education in Northern Ireland schools.
Audrey Simpson stated that, in Northern Ireland, a woman’s “...right to a basic healthcare service is denied”. However, the law in Northern Ireland gives protection to an unborn child’s basic right to life. Abortion is not healthcare. Abortion kills unborn children and leaves women suffering mentally and physically. Healthcare is about saving lives not destroying them.
The Health Service is already already over-stretched and under-funded, with people who need genuine necessary medical treatment on hospital waiting lists for months or even years. How do these people feel about the fpa wanting the Health Service to start paying for more abortions, which are never medically necessary. Audrey Simpson as much as admitted to this when she stated, “Women ...decide, for a whole range of personal reasons, to end their pregnancy”. Health services should be provided on medical necessity, not on decisions for personal reasons.
In contrast to the fpa’s phony concern, Precious Life provide real help to women facing crisis pregnancies. In addition to providing free counselling and pregnancy tests, we offer a full range of services, e.g.: financial support; providing baby clothes and equipment; help finding housing; information about adoption; etc. Our concern and commitment is genuine because we truly care about women and their babies.
Director, Precious Life