NI Human Rights Commission out of touch with human rights law

There were statements made last week, by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) that the unborn child has “no free-standing human right.” This is misleading and out of touch with human rights law.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises every child’s ‘inherent right to life’ ‘without discrimination of any kind.’ As indicated in this declaration, ‘the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.’

The NIHRC also stated that, if Westminster’s law is implemented in Northern Ireland in October, the only change would be that it is “no longer possible to take criminal prosecutions against, for example, women and clinicians”. This is a blatantly false claim. The removal of abortion legislation from criminal law means removing all legal protection from unborn children, and their mothers, through the whole 9 months of pregnancy. 

The Commission said that other regulations would remain in place, including clinicians’ professional duties. A clinicians’ focal duty of care has always been to do no intentional harm. Abortion, the intentional killing of a baby, violates that underlying principle of medical care. Another underlying principle for medical professionals is to practise evidence-based medicine. However, there is NO evidence in worldwide literature that proves abortion has a positive effect on a mother’s health.

Westminster’s cruel and extreme law would allow abortion up to 7 months for any reason and in certain circumstances, up to birth. It has no provisions against abortion on the basis of gender, race or disability. The decisions of the judges in the UK Supreme Court in 2018 are not legally binding.

The legislation would have to meet the recommendations of an inquiry into NI abortion law by the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). As Baroness Nuala O’Loan pointed out, the CEDAW is an “unelected Committee” with no legal standing. She also stated, to over 20,000 pro-life people, at the March for their Lives in Belfast on 7th September, “No human right allows killing.” In July, Nuala O’Loan co-authored and led a letter calling on Theresa May to either pull Westminster’s abortion Act or take further action to prevent the law being imposed. Over 20,000 people in Northern Ireland signed the letter, “This level of support has never been seen before.” Westminster has disregarded democracy and the principles of devolution.

The people of Northern Ireland say that abortion is “Not In Our Name!”

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