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28 / 05 / 2010 - Precious Life welcome pro-life victory at Belfast High Court case against abortion guidelines
Precious Life has welcomed a successful challenge to abortion guidelines at the High Court in Belfast on Thursday (27th May)
Up to 50 people attended Precious Life’s "Prayer Vigil for Life" held outside the Court during the case against Department of Health abortion guidelines.
In a statement to the media, Precious Life said the guidelines were flawed and will legalise abortion 'through the back door', and that the Department was in breach of a previous court order in 2009 to withdraw the guidelines.
Despite an attempt by the Department of Health to have the case adjourned on Thursday, the Court granted leave for a full legal challenge of their decision to re-issue the controversial guidelines. Mr Justice Treacy said the application had more than exceeded the threshold necessary for the challenge to go to the next stage of a full judicial review.
Speaking to the crowd assembled outside the court, Director of Precious Life Bernadette Smyth said, “We welcome the successful outcome to this challenge.
In February, in a display of sheer arrogance and contempt for the court and for the views of the people in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health blatantly ignored the judge’s ruling and reissued these guidelines.
This lastest court victory has once again blocked their attempts to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland 'through the back door',”
Bernadette Smyth concluded, “The challenge to the guidelines now moves on to the next stage of a full judicial review. Precious Life will continue working to have these guidelines completely scrapped. We will also continue to lobby our Assembly to ensure there is a new consultation process on completely new guidelines with input from pro-life medical and legal experts. Any future guidance issued by Department of Health must clearly outline the illegality of abortion, and fully acknowledge the right to life of our unborn children and their protection in law”
The "Guidance on the Termination of Pregnancy: The Law and Clinical Practice in Northern Ireland" was issued by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) in March 2009.
After a Judicial Review of the abortion guidelines at the High Court in October 2009 the judge ruled that two sections of the guidelines were flawed and he ordered the entire guidelines to be withdrawn.
However, in February 2010, the Department of Health ignored the court ruling and reissued the guidelines with only two sections temporarily withdrawn