Precious Life hold Pro-Life Witness outside Belfast Court to say “Our Laws Matter”



Date: 6th November 2018
Contact: Bernadette Smyth

Precious Life hold Pro-Life Witness outside Belfast Court to say “Our Laws Matter”


Northern Ireland's leading pro-life group Precious Life held a pro-life witness outside Belfast’s Royal Courts of Justice today (Tuesday 6th November) to highlight that Northern Ireland’s laws matter because they protect unborn babies and their mothers from abortion. The court is hearing a case involving a woman who is challenging a decision by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service to prosecute her for procuring illegal abortion pills for her 15-year-old daughter.

The woman at the centre of the case faces two charges of unlawfully procuring and supplying the abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act.

Director of Precious Life Bernadette Smyth said, “We are outside the Court today to highlight the importance of our pro-life laws that protect both unborn babies and their mothers. Our life-saving law - the Offences Against the Person Act - ensures that mothers and unborn children are protected from abortion. We hope the judges involved in this case acknowledge that killing an unborn child in Northern Ireland remains a criminal offence and our laws must be respected and upheld at all times."

Amnesty International is an intervenor in this case and have been exploiting it in their campaign to legalise the killing of unborn children in Northern Ireland. Amnesty’s NI Campaign Manager, Grainne Teggart, admitted there are “working closely” with the woman’s legal team to contest the prosecution. The woman’s lawyer, Jemma Conlon has also admitted the aim of the case is to dismantle the laws that protect unborn babies, stating “..If we’re successful ..this will contribute to the dismantling of [the law].”

The legal team will attempt to use Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – the right to respect for private and family life – to justify killing unborn children. In June 2018, four of seven judges in the Supreme Court in London expressed their opinion that the law against abortion in Northern Ireland was incompatible with Article 8 of the ECHR.

Bernadette Smith said, “The Supreme Court judges’ statement on Article 8 was merely ‘opinion’ and not legally binding, so cannot be used to advance an abortion agenda in Northern Ireland. Article 8 of the ECHR must not be used to override any breaking of the law here. There is no ‘right to abortion’ – but there is a ‘right to life.’ The right to life of all members of the human family is enshrined in internationally agreed declarations, conventions, and covenants.”

She added that this case exposes the hypocrisy of Amnesty International who claim to be a “human rights” organisation; “Using the pro-abortion tactic of ‘breaking the law to change the law', Amnesty want to dismantle our pro-life laws and usher in cruel laws to kill babies in the womb. Their propaganda slogan, ‘decriminalise abortion’, in reality means ‘legalise abortion’ - the obvious and cruel injustice of killing an unborn child. But the Court must send out a clear message that killing an unborn baby is a crime in Northern Ireland, and any Health Professionals who flout the law must be prosecuted."

Explaining the serious dangers of these abortion pills, Mrs Smyth said, “At least twenty-two women worldwide have died from fatal complications including haemorrhage, toxic shock, sepsis, organ failure, and ruptured ectopic pregnancy following an abortion using mifepristone and misoprostol. Buying abortion pills and taking them without medical approval is illegal not only in Northern Ireland, but throughout the UK. If the same crime was committed in England it would still be a crime under the existing law.”

Bernadette Smyth concluded, “Precious Life will stand up for the human rights of those who have no voice in the courtroom – our unborn children. We will fight to ensure our laws continue to protect them in Northern Ireland. Abortion kills babies and hurts women so it must remain a criminal offence in order to show that our laws protect the life of every person in Northern Ireland. Women in crisis pregnancies deserve real support and life-affirming options for their babies, not the pain and violence of abortion. Precious Life will continue working to ensure abortion remains not only illegal but unthinkable.”


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