Press Release: Precious Life slam calls from Health Bodies for late-term abortion regime in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland's leading pro-life group Precious Life have today slammed calls for unrestricted late-term abortion in Northern Ireland. A range of British Health bodies, including the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Midwives and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, have stated that there should be no abortion restrictions up to 24 weeks.
They were responding to plans for a regulatory framework for local abortion services.
Speaking to BBC News NI, Dr Carolyn Bailie, RCOG chair, said restricting access to abortion care before 24 weeks "only creates barriers for women".
Precious Life Director Bernadette Smyth said the support for such an "extreme and cruel" abortion law was shameful.
"Today's news is beyond shocking. It is evident that these pro-abortion bodies are pushing for a cruel, extreme and totally unrestricted abortion regime in Northern Ireland. There is a disturbing determination from these organisations to ensure that absolutely all meaningful legal protection for unborn babies is removed right up to at least 24 weeks for any and no reason, and up to birth for children with life-limiting conditions."
Bernadette Smyth continued: "These proposals are stating that there should be absolutely no restrictions on abortion up to 24 weeks and no protection for any baby in the womb in Northern Ireland. To most reasonable people, the prospect of abortion up to 24 weeks, a point at which many babies have been born prematurely and survived, is unthinkably inhumane, deeply unethical and cruel. It is obvious that Northern Ireland has been used as a Trojan horse to accelerate an extremely radical abortion agenda and to push through abortion without time limit or restriction across the whole of the UK."
Speaking on BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme this morning, Antrim GP Dr Andrew Cupples also sharply criticised the calls for a late-term abortion regime.
He said he was "disappointed" with the report and felt the guidelines were "wrong-headed in many places".
"It's typical of Great Britain-centric bodies wanting to enforce their model in Northern Ireland," he told the programme.
Dr. Cupples also condemned the lack of consultation for local NI healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland.
"I am very concerned that there is no mention of the significant body of Northern Ireland medical and health care workers who disagree with the proposed abortion legislation," he said.
Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life concluded, “This radical abortion regime is by no means in the name of the people of Northern Ireland, thousands of whom will be horrified by the prospect of legalised late-term abortion for any and no reason.
“The abortion regime being promoted by Great Britain-centric bodies is entirely out of line with the democratic wishes of the people here. It is also extremely alarming and greatly disturbing in light of recent reports that more premature babies are surviving in the UK that ever before, along with new scientific research suggesting that babies at 12 weeks can feel pain in the womb. This regressive, inhumane agenda will be resisted by Precious Life and the pro-life people of Northern Ireland at all costs and we will accelerate our efforts to be a voice for the unborn child across all platforms.”