Precious Life states that pro-abortion amendment doesn’t change our pro-life laws

Firstly, Precious Life want to thank you all so much for your continued prayers, fasting and support to uphold our pro-life, life-saving laws. We couldnt' do it without each and every one of you. 

Precious Life has condemned Westminster MPs for voting yesterday (24 Oct) in support of an amendment – New Clause 7 (NC7) - to the “Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill” which aims to create guidance which would direct senior officers of all Northern Ireland departments to act contrary to the existing pro-life law in the Province. The pro-life group said the vote was a direct attack on Northern Ireland’s unborn babies, democracy, and our democratic process.

The amendment, brought forward by Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn, was passed with 207 votes in favour, and 117 votes against. 

Director of Precious Life Bernadette Smyth said, “These Labour MPs claim that our laws are incompatible with human rights. However, there is no human right to abortion under any international legal instrument, including the ECHR, the UDHR and the ICCPR. There is however the most fundamental, universal human right to life for everyone – born and unborn. Our laws, that ensure that all unborn children are protected from abortion, is consistent with the original meaning of European Convention on Human Rights. Despite this blatant and outrageous attack on our life-saving laws in Northern Ireland, this vote doesn’t change a thing.”

Bernadette went on to say, “Pro-abortion MPs in Westminster clearly have no regard for unborn children and those who voted in favour of this amendment yesterday have also shown utter contempt and disregard for devolution and democracy. Northern Ireland’s legislation on abortion remains a devolved matter. It is for locally elected representatives in the Northern Ireland Assembly to legislate on. In 2016, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted against any change to our laws, so this must be acknowledged and respected. In fact, over 97% of MPs in Westminster are not from Northern Ireland so therefore should not be interfering by trying to dictate a change in our laws.

Bernadette continued, “Lord Wilson said in the UK Supreme Court judgment in 2017, regarding the democratic process in NI, that it was not for the court to "address the ethical considerations which underlie the difference" in the law regarding abortion in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. This decision was consistent with the case in the European Court of Human Rights, Vo v France [2005], in which the Court stated that abortion is a matter for national legislation. MP Stella Creasy has claimed that our laws are incompatible with human rights. Contrary to this, the justices in the recent Human Rights Commission appeal case at the UK Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the law is compatible with human rights in the case of non-fatal disabilities. Lord Kerr said: "“Many children born with disabilities, even grave disabilities, lead happy, fulfilled lives. In many instances they enrich and bring joy to their families and those who come into contact with them. Moreover the difficulty in devising a confident and reliable definition of serious malformation we regarded as a potent factor against a finding of incompatibility."

Bernadette Smyth concluded, "Furthermore, an incredible 300,000 people have signed various Precious Life petitions in recent years, calling for our pro-life laws to be protected. Precious Life will work to ensure that our pro-life laws are retained in Northern Ireland despite this shocking and outrageous attack yesterday on our unborn children, on democracy, and on devolution. This amendment is more of a political statement than anything. The law will still be the law.

« Back to News