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29 / 07 / 2010 - Precious Life warns - revised abortion guidelines are even more dangerous than before
Precious Life has warned that revised abortion guidelines issued for consultation by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) are "even more dangerous" than guidelines that were withdrawn two weeks ago. We have now re-launched our NOT IN MY NAME Campaign urging the public to send Postcard Petitions to their Assembly Members to demand these guidelines are scrapped and our unborn children protected.
Director of Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth stated, "Two weeks ago, Precious Life only gave a guarded welcome to the news of the withdrawal of the guidelines because we don't trust the Department of Health. In the past they have displayed only arrogance and contempt for the courts and for the views of the people in Northern Ireland. Once again, the DHSSPS' have shown their arrogance by issuing the same guidelines for consultation with two sections redrafted. They've also shown their contempt for the views of the people by quietly issuing these guidelines for consultation during the summer holiday period and when our Assembly is in recess."
"The Department of health are hell-bent on issuing guidelines that will legalise abortion in Northern Ireland 'through the back door' by changing the interpretation of the law. "
"These revised guidelines are even worse than before because the Department are now trying to scare health professionals who are opposed to abortion. In their redrafted section on 'conscientious objection' the Department claims health professionals could be charged with manslaughter if a woman died as a result of them not taking part in an abortion."
"However, the whole concept of 'conscientious objection' is a red herring. The law in Northern Ireland is very clear. Killing an unborn child is illegal and a criminal offence. The only exception is when the child dies as a result of a doctor's treatment to save the mother's life. "
"Therefore the issue of 'conscientious objection' would never arise in a case of providing life-saving treatment to a pregnant woman, even if that may result in the unintentional death of her unborn child . Conscientious objection' would only arise in relation to - direct abortion - intentionally aborting the unborn child, which is illegal under Northern Ireland law. "
"The fact remains, the entire guidelines are still legally and medically flawed. They change the interpretation of the law relating to abortion in Northern Ireland; they do not acknowledge unborn children or their protection in law; they make no distinction between abortion and genuine life-saving treatment for a pregnant woman, which may result of her unborn child."
Bernadette Smyth concluded, "The guidelines are flawed beyond the level that would allow for correction. They are unacceptable, and must be scrapped. The Deparrtment of Health seem to think they are a law unto themselves.
We are re-launching our NOT IN MY NAME Campaign urging the public to send Postcard Petitions to their Assembly Members and demand that our Department of Health protect our unborn children. Precious Life will be working very closely with the All Party Pro-Life Group of the Northern Ireland Assembly to ensure the guidelines are re-drafted in full, this time 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"