This morning Green Party Deputy Leader Clare Bailey MLA will be presenting to the Speaker of the Assembly 45,000 petitions gathered by Amnesty International in support its campaign calling for legalised abortion in Northern Ireland.
“Over 45,000 have put their name to this petition. Over 70% of people in Northern Ireland want to see abortion laws changed. […] People who stand in the way of change on this issue are out of line with public opinion, and they are out of line with human rights,” says Ms Bailey MLA.
Bernadette Smyth, the director of Precious Life, argues that Amnesty’s claim of a “45,000 strong petition” holds no weight and should not be taken seriously by the Northern Ireland Assembly.
“It is important to bear in mind that a person ‘signing’ Amnesty’s online petition is only asked to provide his or her name and email. Clare Bailey MLA will be presenting 45,000 petitions this morning, but how many of these petitions were actually signed by Northern Ireland citizens?
“It is also important to bear in mind that only 1000 people were asked to take part in Amnesty’s survey last month. It is disingenuous of Clare Bailey MLA to claim that over 70% of people here want to see abortion laws changed. 72% of a survey sample of 1000 people only amounts to 720 people.
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“Ms Bailey MLA and Amnesty International have no respect for the democratic process in Northern Ireland. Amnesty International’s opinion poll and these “45,000” signed petitions are an attempt to override the united and unyielding conviction of the pro-life majority in Northern Ireland that every human being, born or unborn, has an unconditional right to life.
“Members of Precious Life will be at Stormont this morning with over 300,000 petitions on behalf of the pro-life majority in Northern Ireland.”