Precious Life say Abortion Statistics Reveal 'Catastrophic Failure' of Women in Northern Ireland

-- Press Release --

Date: 22/01/20   

Precious Life say Abortion Statistics Reveal 'Catastrophic Failure' of Women in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group Precious Life have today called for better support for women in unplanned pregnancies, following the publication of new Northern Ireland abortion statistics. 

Department of Health Statistics published today have reportedly shown that the numbers of women from Northern Ireland travelling to Britain for abortions is on the rise. Since the British Government introduced abortion free of charge for women from Northern Ireland in 2017, there was a 22% increase from 861 in 2017 to 1,053 women travelling for abortion in 2018 according to the Department of Health.

Bernadette Smyth, head of Precious Life, who have been supporting women in unplanned pregnancies for 23 years, said today that the rise in abortions is deeply troubling. “The statistics reveal a catastrophic failure of the Northern Ireland government, and society, when their response to women in unplanned pregnancies is to offer the death of their unborn children.”

Bernadette Smyth continued, “It is very clear that women are being badly let down by our Government. The absence of a functioning government for almost three years and the failure to provide life-affirming alternatives for women has created a dire and hopeless situation for mothers and unborn babies in Northern Ireland.

“We need to provide hope, not abortion to these women. Nothing is ever made better by the death and destruction of an unborn child. It is clear that women are not being properly supported, and are subsequently pressing a panic button.”
Bernadette Smyth also highlighted the need for more funding for crisis pregnancy support.

“With Stormont back up and running, it is now imperative that the Department of Health invest massive funding in crisis pregnancy resource centres to make sure that women are given real help and all of their options. Currently, there is absolutely no government funding for pregnancy resource centres in Northern Ireland despite these figures reaffirming that there is a desperate need for such funding. Surely in the year 2020, we can offer compassionate, humane and progressive options for women as opposed to offering them the death of their baby.”

Bernadette Smyth also said that the rise in the numbers reflect a betrayal of Northern Ireland’s women by the British Government.

“These troubling statistics also reflect an enormous and tragic failure on the part of the British Government, whose policies have incentivised women, often in the most difficult situations, to go through with abortions, which many later live to regret and suffer the consequences of. The British Government have betrayed women with their policy of offering abortion free of charge and with travel expenses included.

"It is almost inevitable that the figures will rise when you are advertising something, making it freely available and promoting it, especially to those in the most difficult situations. Women are not given time to consider their options, and are instead feeling pressurised and forced into seeing abortion as their only option. Offering a woman money to have her baby killed is the furthest thing from progress or help. Abortion is the lazy so-called ‘solution.’ It doesn’t fix any of the underlying problems a woman is facing in her life – it simply kills an innocent child.”

Ms Smyth concluded, “With the over-due return of Stormont, Precious Life will be accelerating our efforts and we will be calling for an injection of government funds in pregnancy resource centres across Northern Ireland. The only practical, authentically compassionate answer to an unplanned pregnancy is to provide a service which loves and cares for both, mother and baby. Our work will not stop until every baby in Northern Ireland is protected and every woman in a crisis pregnancy is empowered to reject the violence of abortion and choose life.”

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