COURT CASE UPDATE: Judgment reserved

COURT CASE UPDATE: Judgment reserved until further notice

Precious Life held a pro-life witness for the past two days at Belfast’s Royal Courts of Justice during the landmark court case attempting to legalise abortion right up to birth for babies prenatally diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. The judgment of this case is reserved. Precious Life were the only pro-life organisation that acted as ‘Third Party Intervenors’ in this Judicial Review, which is challenging our pro-life laws in Northern Ireland. Precious Life presented 'The People's Submission' - giving the pro-life majority in Northern Ireland an unequivocally vocal voice to save mothers and babies from the violence and tragedy of abortion.

The woman at the centre of the case had an abortion, at 21 weeks, in England following a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition.

Director of Precious Life Bernadette Smyth said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and prayers throughout this case. Please continue to pray and fast that the judgment of this landmark court case upholds the fundamental right to life of every unborn child regardless of any disability or predicted lifespan. The right to life is neither granted by the Court nor the State. However it is their duty to uphold this fundamental and unalienable right.”

Mrs Smyth continued, “I would also like to thank John Larkin, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, and guardian of our laws, for speaking so passionately today about the right to life, about the importance of protecting all unborn children and particularly the little unborn children with life-limiting disabilities. I’m proud to say he give all unborn children a very strong voice. He also made it very clear that our pro-life laws have saved at least 100,000 lives. The Attorney General spoke out against discriminatory abortions.”

Mrs Smyth went on to say, “The introduction of abortion is not a realistic or compassionate response for families in these heart-breaking circumstances. In Northern Ireland, we need to tackle the lack of funding for truly compassionate alternatives such as perinatal hospice care and crisis pregnancy support - rather than legalising abortion, which kills an unborn baby and damages women mentally and physically.”

In the court room, the legal team for the applicant continuously used terms like ‘fetal’ to dehumanise these precious babies. Precious Life, as part of their submission, included personal stories of babies with life-limiting conditions. Christina Leonard was 20 weeks pregnant when she found out her baby girl had a life-limiting condition called Neu-Laxova Syndrome. Christina was told her baby was ‘incompatible with life’ and it was recommended that she immediately make an appointment for an abortion: 

“My little baby, Poppy Grace, was cherished and protected by us. She deserved to live, and despite her short life, she brought so much joy, peace and love to us all. If abortion is made legal in Northern Ireland, special babies like my Poppy Grace would not be given a chance at life.”

Bernadette Smyth concluded, “It is not for the courts to undermine devolution and the democratic process here. Our laws are a matter for our elected representatives and Assembly. The legislation in Northern Ireland ensures that mothers and their unborn children are protected in law, policy and practice.  Precious Life will continue to be a voice for the unborn child - on the streets, in the courts, and at government level.  We will ensure abortion is kept not only illegal, but unthinkable.”

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