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26 / 03 / 2008 - N. Ireland First Minister warns government not to support any attempt by MPs to use Embryo Bill as a "backdoor" to legalising abortion
Ian Paisley has warned the government not to support any attempt by MPs to use its Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill as a "backdoor" to legalising abortion in Northern Ireland.
The controversial legislation has provisions to allow amendments to the Abortion Act 1967 which critics fear could see it extended to the province for the first time.
MPs are also expected to push for a reduction of the 24-week limit to 20 when the Bill comes to the Commons.
Speaking at prime minister's question time, the Stormont first minister said: "Would you give the people of Northern Ireland the assurance that no attempt will be supported by the government to countenance any attempt to use the embryo bill to bring in by the backdoor legislation that would legalise abortion in Northern Ireland?"
He added: "All parties in Northern Ireland are opposed to this and surely that decision should be made by Stormont and by Stormont alone."
Gordon Brown said: "The matter of an amendment on abortion to the embryology bill is a matter for this House.
"I do not believe the House will wish to change its mind on these issues but it is a matter of a free vote of the House of Commons."
Source : www.epolitix.com
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