Synod: People of Amazon must be protagonists
7th October 2019
Church leaders meet Secretary of State on NI political impasse
10th October 2019

Precious Life response to appalling NI abortion guidelines

A set of newly published abortion guidelines for medical professionals in Northern Ireland have been described as a “document of death” by prominent pro-life campaigner Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life.

The guidelines will come into effect on October 22nd unless the Northern Ireland Assembly is reconvened by October 21st. This is due to the forcing through of Labour MP Stella Creasy’s cruel and extreme abortion law, which would legalise abortion up to 7 months of pregnancy.

Bernadette Smyth, Director of Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life organisation Precious Life, strongly condemned the guidelines: “This document is not about protecting life at all – it is about ending life. It is a document of death. This guidance is truly appalling. It is evidence of just how cruel and inhumane the new abortion regime being imposed on Northern Ireland will be if Stormont is not reconvened by October 22nd. Precious Life are calling on people here to actively protest against the introduction of this devastating guidance.
She expressed concern that the vague terminology regarding abortion for life-limiting conditions could also lead to the introduction of a permissive abortion on demand regime in Northern Ireland.

Ms Smyth stated, “This document deliberately uses vague terminology when referring to unborn babies diagnosed with life-limiting conditions. Not only does this document point to the introduction of late-term abortion for unborn children diagnosed with a disability or life-limiting condition, but such vague terminology opens the door to abortion in a whole range of circumstances.

Ms Smyth continued, “These guidelines are incredibly worrying and state that medical professionals could “choose to treat a woman where a fatal or serious foetal abnormality has been detected.” However, a serious foetal abnormality could mean different things to different doctors. That could mean spina bifida; that could mean a cleft palette or club foot, it could mean Down’s syndrome. It is entirely vague so where do we draw the line?

“The ultimate end result is that babies with disabilities will die. The implementation of such guidelines would create a society in Northern Ireland where we openly discriminate against individuals with disabilities; we decide that some unborn babies are not worthy of life based on their abilities or disabilities. That is profoundly unjust and would be a terrible human tragedy for our society.”

Ms Smyth sharply criticised the guidelines for the “total absence” of provision of perinatal care for women who choose to continue with a pregnancy in difficult circumstances.

“I don’t see anything within the guidelines that speaks of help and support for women who want to continue with their pregnancy in the form of perinatal hospice care. From my direct experience in working with women and families who have received a poor diagnosis for their unborn child, it is clear that abortion, the deliberate and violent killing of an unborn baby I the womb, is neither a practical nor compassionate solution.”

Ms Smyth also pointed out that the guidance offers virtually no reassurance to medical professionals that they will have the right to conscientiously object to being involved in abortions. She stated, “These guidelines not only discriminate against the unborn baby in the womb, but they also discriminate against doctors, nurses, midwives and other professionals who should not be forced to participate in abortion against their will.”

“Every elected representative in Northern Ireland should read this document because this is it, this is what is coming in. I don’t think it is likely but we are still hopeful that the Stormont Assembly will reconvene to stop this,” Bernadette Smyth concluded.

Precious Life are continuing their ‘Fight-Back’ public awareness campaign across Northern Ireland in a major effort to save Northern Ireland’s pro-life laws.